Portabella Excellence

One of my favourite mushrooms to eat in the summer has got to be the Portabella Mushroom. Since they are such a large mushroom, they tend to lose much of their moisture during growth. This lack of moisture is what gives them that meaty texture and makes them an excellent substitute for meat and a vegetarian’s best friend. In the summertime, I simply can’t say no to a Portabella Burger or a Stuffed Portabella, especially when they are jam-packed of all that good-ness – and I don’t mean just the yummy filling!

One large Portabella Mushroom has more potassium as a banana and is loaded with B Vitamins, Minerals, Fibre and Antioxidants. Fresh mushrooms offer nutrients such as beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid, compounds that are currently being studied for their cancer preventing capabilities. Recent research suggests that mushrooms (and mushroom extracts) may have powerful anticancer activity for both breast and prostate cancers – Wow!
The Portabella is a very versatile mushroom that can be grilled, baked, or deep fried and is great as an appetizer, side dish, or even an entree! You may also find that the Portabella has a similar taste profile to the Crimini Mushroom. This similarity is no coincidence! Portabella’s are simply full grown Crimini Mushrooms that have been left in the substrate longer – Now you know!!
With all of this Portabella talk, I MUST share a few of my favourites for you to enjoy as well:

What is your favourite Portabella recipe?


Varieties and Taste

If you are a Mushroom Lover like I am, chances are you eat as many mushrooms as you can! Growing up, my mom’s cooking was full of mushrooms and her favourite was always the Portabella. Mine was white button. White’s just seemed so easy- they were perfect on pizza and was always a favourite of mine on a veggie platter. Every person I know has that one go-to mushroom variety and until I began my time here at Mushrooms Canada, I wasn’t even fully aware of all of my choices! Here’s a brief breakdown of the 7 different varieties that our local Farmers grow in Canada.

White Button: The most popular mushroom variety in Canada. They are white in colour and have a woodsy flavour that becomes stronger with cooking.
Crimini: Similar to the White Button mushroom, but are brown in colour. Also has a more intense flavour than the White’s with a more meaty texture.
Portabella: Have a meaty texture as well, because these are full grown Crimini’s! They have the large brown caps and are packed full of flavour.
Oyster: These velvety mushrooms have a funnel shape and a mild flavour.
King Oyster: Very sweet with a woodsy flavour. They have a tan coloured cap and a thick, white stem.
Shiitake: Dark brown in colour with a flat cap. Woodsy flavour and a meaty texture and is great in Asian-inspired cooking.
Enoki: Long slender mushrooms with tiny caps. These are bright white and have a delicate flavour and a slight crunch, similar to a bean sprout. For that reason, Enoki are great in salads, wraps and stir-fries.
For a more detailed description of each variety, click here. Hopefully this will help you, as it did me, find your new favourite variety! Since I loved my White Button’s so much, I opted to try Crimini’s and am happy I did!
What’s Your Go-To Mushroom Variety?


Meatless Monday: Stuffed Caps on the Grill

What a warm weekend it was! It was absolutely perfect timing for a backyard barbeque with friends. I was in charge of bringing a salad and an appetizer- a great time to show off my new skills and love for stuffed mushrooms. These were super easy and were made with things found in my fridge!

In a bowl I mixed up herbed goat cheese, minced garlic and pesto. This was all added “to taste” and since we were all garlic lovers there was an obscene amount of minced garlic! After removing the mushroom stems, we brushed the caps with extra-virgin olive oil and set them on the grill with the lid closed for about 5 minutes (during which time, we helped ourselves to the stuffing mixture right out of the bowl). Once the caps were browning, the mixture was lovingly spooned in and the caps were left for another 5 minutes with the lid down. Once done, they were pulled off the grill and sprinkled with panko bread crumbs for an added crunch.  All-in-all it was a fantastic appetizer that went all too quickly for my liking!
What You Need:
extra virgin olive oil
herbed goat cheese
minced garlic
panko bread crumbs
white button or crimini mushrooms
*add all ingredients “to taste” and make it your own!

Try these Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms! Another Meatless Monday favourite of mine. Enjoy!
What did you cook on the grill this weekend?

Fresh from the Farmer: Favourite Summer Recipes

Ever wonder if mushroom farmers actually like mushrooms? Well guess what, they do! And they even have recipes!

Grilled Crimini Mushrooms by Nick Pora of Continental Mushrooms
“Remove the stem and put the mushrooms gill side up on the BBQ. Place a dab of real butter in the center, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme, and then grill for 5-7 minutes. When the butter has melted and the mushrooms have softened they are done. You can then serve them as an appetizer or even with a nice steak.”

Marinated Portabella Mushrooms by Lawrence Zimmermann of Highline Mushrooms
“My favourite mushroom recipe happens to be with portabella mushrooms. It is very simple, take a portabella mushroom and remove the stem, rinse the mushroom under cold running water on both sides, and then I marinate it with either Italian salad dressing or roasted red pepper. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then just throw it on the grill, gills up for about 7 minutes on one side and the 5-6 on the other. It’s wonderful it has the texture of being a meat like a steak, but the flavour of the mushroom and the salad dressing is just wonderful!”

What is your favourite mushroom recipe? Share in the comments or leave a link!

How to Use Up Leftover Vegetables

This past weekend I had a small get together at my house. We had food… and lots of it. As the host, I always find that I am left with ample amounts of leftovers that nobody seems to want to take home… in this case it was a tray of veggies.

Short of eating them for lunch every day with dip, I thought that I would whip up a little stir-fry for dinner…

Everything is so easy when you have everything in the fridge…

Mushroom Teriyaki Stir-Fry

1 tbsp olive oil
Assortment of fresh vegetables (broccoli, carrots, snowpeas, onion, peppers, mushrooms, corn, and whatever else you may have on hand)
1 bottle of prepared Teriyaki sauce
4 cups of cooked rice (white or brown)

1. Prepare rice as per package directions.
2. Heat oil in pan on medium high heat. Stir-fry vegetables until tender crisp.
3. Add Teriyaki sauce. Stir until all vegetables are covered and sauce is warm.
4. Serve stir-fry over rice.

Makes 4 servings.

What’s your favourite way to use up leftover vegetables?