For Those Hectic Weeknights… Dinner in 15 Minutes

I am a sucker for good pasta, and in my books good pasta should always have red peppers, asparagus and of course mushrooms!

I cooked up some boneless chicken breast in the skillet and tossed in halved crimini mushrooms, par-boiled asparagus and sliced red pepper, along with some garlic and sesame seeds.

It was such a delicious mixture to top off my pasta, and only took me about 15 minutes total – now that’s my kind of dinner! This simple, colourful dish looks beautiful plated and the mushrooms provide fibre and Vitamin D, as mushrooms are the only vegetable with natural Vitamin D.

Check out some of my other favourite pasta dishes, like Creamy Mushroom Penne, Mushroom Fettuccini and Spaghetti with Mushrooms, Garlic, Chili and Lime. Each of these is a quick dinner solution and provides great nutritional value too – my mouth is watering already!

What’s your favourite Mushroom Mixture for pasta?

by Shannon

Guest Post: Beef, Beans & Veggie Skillet by Marvelous Mommy Meals

Hello, my name is Jennifer; if you are looking for easy, quick and tasty kid friendly meals come by my blog Marvelous Mommy Meals. Every Monday we share our family meal plan for people to get ideas for their meals along with great kid approved recipes. I love to play around in the kitchen and always seem to have at least one helper with me.

I have always loved mushrooms, from raw with dip to cooked mushrooms added on the side or in my dinners. My husband also loves mushrooms and works as a mushroom farmer at a local farm. We try to include mushrooms in a lot of meals that we have as they are a great source of important vitamins and nutrients including fibre. I have to say my favorite mushrooms are grilled portabella burgers with garlic and butter; add some mayo and cheese, yum.

Beef, Beans and Veggie Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
8 oz of white or brown button mushrooms sliced – (you can also use a mixed variety of mushrooms. We usually add 16oz in everything that we make that calls for 8oz but that is our preference)
1 ½ cups of spiral macaroni (you can use other pasta of your choice)
2 cups of hot water
2 tsp of Beef bouillon *optional
2 cans – 14 ½ oz each of seasoned diced tomatoes (you can instead use 1 can –28 oz diced tomatoes and add 1 tsp dried Parsley, 1 tsp dried Basil, 1 tsp dried Oregano)
1 can – 19oz/540ml of mix beans drained and rinsed (Kidney, Chickpeas
1 can – 14oz/398ml of green beans cut
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese *optional

1. Brown ground beef, drain and reserve in a medium bowl.
2. Add mushrooms, onions, and minced garlic to skillet and cook about 10 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked through, return ground beef to skillet.
3. Add canned tomatoes, hot water, beef bouillon and macaroni bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
4. Add mixed beans, green beans and heat through.
5. If you are adding cheese add it right near the end and let it melt.

Serves 6 -8

Thank you so much Jennifer for sharing this family friendly recipe with us!

Make sure you follow Jennifer over on her Blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Recipe of the Month: Easy Mushroom & Cheese Frittata

Easy Mushroom & Cheese Frittata

Frittata is an Italian version of an omelet that has the vegetables mixed in with the eggs and since it is not folded but served open face, it is easier to handle. It may be baked in oven or cooked on top of stove and served any time of day.

8 eggs
1/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried sage leaves
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
8 oz sliced small mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced parsley (optional)
3/4 cup shredded Provolone, Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese

In a large bowl or measuring cup whisk eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, sage and pepper together until well mixed, set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

In a 10”(25 cm) non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté onion and red pepper 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned; add garlic and cook 1 minute. Pour egg mixture into skillet mixing lightly to incorporate mushrooms; sprinkle with parsley if desired. Bake in oven about 12-15 minutes or until just set in the centre and no longer moist on top. Sprinkle with cheese and return to over for 2 minutes to melt cheese. Loosen around the edges with a rubber spatula and slide out onto serving plate. Cut in wedges to serve. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings

Instead of cooking the frittata in oven it may be cooked on top of stove over medium-low heat; lifting outer edges of omelet to allow uncooked portion to run underneath, then cover and cook until just set. Turn off heat. Sprinkle with cheese and cover to melt cheese.

Substitute 4 eggs and 4 egg whites for the 8 eggs to lower fat.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 346, Sodium: 416 mg, Protein: 22.9 g, Fat: 24.6 g, Carbohydrates: 8.7 g, Dietary Fibre: 1.7 g.

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Dinner Made Easy on the Grill

The past couple weeks have been such a treat, weather wise, before cooling off again to these normal March temperatures. In the warm weather, I took advantage of barbecue, and grilled up a tasty rendition of a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.

In this quick and easy meal, I was able to incorporate mushrooms in every serving, from sliced crimini’s on the sandwich, to cheese-stuffed mushroom caps, to fresh Enoki’s on the Summer Salad. Every bit of this meal was a hit among my dinner guests – and it passed me off as a half-decent cook! This part counts for a lot, since I’m not so handy in the kitchen or on the grill, but wow did these mushrooms make my job easy! All-in-all the dinner took about 20 minutes which left me lots of time to visit and relax with friends.

Mushroom Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich

Steak (I used the thin-cut fast fry steaks)
1 Red Pepper, sliced
4-5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 Sweet Onion
2 large rolls or crusty buns
2 cups Marble Cheese, shredded

1. Barbecue steak on medium heat until desired rareness.
2. Meanwhile, sauteed peppers, mushrooms and onions, 3-5 minutes or until tender crisp.
3. Slice steak and place on bun. Top with peppers, mushrooms, onions and cheese. Return sandwich to grill for 1 minute, or until cheese is melted.

Crimini Caps Stuffed with Garlic Pesto and Cream Cheese

8-10 medium sized mushroom caps
Jar of prepared pesto
4 oz cream cheese

1. Clean mushroom caps and remove stems.
2. Spoon in each cream cheese and pesto.
3. On a baking tray, place on BBQ for 8-10 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft. Serve hot!

Fresh Summer Salad
This one was easy just toss any amount of fresh spinach with enoki mushrooms, blueberries, mandarin oranges, sunflower seeds, creamy poppyseed dressing, and whatever else you desire!

What are your favourite mushrooms recipes on the grill?

by Shannon

Guest Post: Double Mushroom Pizza with Bacon & Balsamic Drizzle by Sweet Sugar Bean

Hi everyone! My name is Renée Kohlman and SweetSugarBean is my food blog I started just 14 months ago. I love whipping up delicious creations in my little green kitchen here in Saskatoon, Sask. Being a professional chef as well as a food blogger, I’m fortunate to have turned my passion for food into a career I absolutely love.

When we were kids, my Mom made the best mushroom soup ever. Rushing home for lunch was always worth it when we found a pot of her mushroom soup greeting us. Since then, I’ve always been a fan of mushrooms. Sliced button or cremini always find their way into an omelet or stir-fry. Portabellas are amazing when done up on the grill, or stuffed with herbs and diced vegetables for an excellent vegetarian main course. And of course I always seem to have a pot of mushroom soup on the stove for our catering clients (I sneak a little sherry into mine – don’t think Mom did that!). What I love about mushrooms is that they are so adaptable. You can throw them in coconut milk curries, or in red wine sauces, or with cream and Dijon mustard for an amazing compliment to chicken. Pan-fried with butter and slathered on toast is a favourite after-work snack of mine. Besides being utterly delicious, mushrooms are also super good for you. They are the only vegetable source for Vitamin D – how cool is that? Also full of B Complex vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, and immune-boosting goodness, mushrooms deserve a little space in the shopping cart.

By far my favourite way to get mushrooms into my life is by eating them on pizza, especially with their best friend, bacon. This recipe is my dream pizza – mushrooms, bacon, Boursin and feta cheese, tomatoes and of course, fresh basil. I used button and portabella mushrooms – giving them a light sauté first to eliminate some of their juices (helps avoid a soggy pizza!). The whole wheat crust is simple to throw together, but if you are tight for time, the toppings would work well on a pre-made crust, or even pita bread. Balsamic vinegar reduced down turns almost syrupy and provides the perfect finishing touch when drizzled over a slice of this dreamy pizza. The sweet/salty/cheesy/mushroom goodness happening here makes for one delightful biteful.

Double Mushroom Pizza with Bacon & Balsamic Drizzle

To make the crust:
1 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp hot chili flakes
2 tsp dried oregano

In a large bowl, stir yeast into warm water and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the eggs, sugar, salt, and oil until foamy. Slowly mix in the flour and herbs, mixing well until everything is absorbed. The dough will be soft but not too sticky – if this happens just add a bit more flour. Drizzle some more olive oil into a large bowl and place your round of dough inside, turning it over to coat in oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour in a warm spot. Dough will double in size, then punch it down. Divide into three portions. For this recipe you only need one portion, so go ahead and freeze the other two for later use. Cool! Pizza dough in the freezer!

For the Pizza:
2 tbsp butter
1 portabella mushroom, sliced
3 ½ cups button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 package Boursin cheese (the herb and garlic is great)
8 slices bacon, cooked until medium crisp, chopped
handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup fresh basil, sliced
½ cup balsamic vinegar

Melt 1 tbsp of butter in large skillet and fry the portabella mushroom slices until soft. Remove from pan. Melt the other tbsp of butter and fry the remaining button mushrooms, until soft and all liquid is evaporated. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Remove from heat.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one third of the above pizza dough recipe, so it’s around 12” by 16”. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it’s pizza. The thinner you roll it out, the thinner it will bake up, obviously. Place on a pizza stone, or a parchment lined bake sheet. If using a pre-made crust you can proceed with the following as well. Scatter the Boursin cheese over the base of the crust. Top with bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and crumbled feta. Place in the lower rack of a preheated 400*F oven and bake until golden, 20-30 minutes, checking centre for doneness. (If using a pre-made crust, your baking time will be less). Sprinkle the pizza with fresh basil before slicing.

While the pizza is cooking, pour ½ cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes until it begins to turn syrupy. It will thicken as it cools. Pour into a squeeze bottle.

Let pizza stand for a few minutes before slicing. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serves 3-4.

If you love the mushroom/balsamic vinegar combination, check out my recipe for Sausage & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze.

Thank you so much Renee for sharing this fabulous recipe with us!

Make sure you follow Renee over on her Blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Behind the Scenes: Hamilton Food & Drink Fest

Why hello again Mushroom Lovers! It was a close one, but we made it through yet another Food and Drink Fest! Can you believe the people of Hamilton ate over 200lbs of mushrooms? That’s right, the Mushrooms Canada team sauteed over 200lbs of fresh crimini mushrooms… that equals almost 6000 samples!

The most successful part of the show was our “Ask a Farmer” session, where Paola Piccioni from Piccioni Mushrooms came out to answer all your questions. The question of the night: “What mushrooms are grown locally in Ontario?” Our answer is simple: these 7 varieties.

I was pretty excited to see Chef David Adjey on stage again. He whipped up a delicious (and very expensive) Tuna dish… shocking the crowd when he told them the piece of tuna he was using retails for about $90!

My favourite dish of the weekend? Roasted Tri Tip with Mushrooms & Sweet Onion from VG Meats… sooo good!

I always find Hamilton to be a great crowd with a wide range of exhibitors; everything from local restaurants and bakeries, to winery’s & breweries. I can never resist all the wonderful food and drink!

I would like to thank everyone who came out and tried a sample, asked a question, and filled out a ballot for our T-Fal pan draw!

I also want to thank my amazing staff, Shannon and Amanda.

See you all next year at the 2012 show!

For more show pictures, check out our album on Facebook.