What is The Blend?
A simple cooking technique that takes traditional recipes to the next level in terms of health and taste. Finely chopping mushrooms so that they’re the consistency of ground meat, combining the two and using them together to complete classic recipes is a simple way to make meals delicious and nutritious.
Why do mushrooms work so well?
No other food can be used in so many ways, while bringing flavor and nutrition to the plate. Blending really plays on mushrooms’ compatibility with meat in terms of taste and texture (and visually, too – can you spot the mushrooms above?). Mushrooms deliver a savory, earthy taste because of their umami. They’re naturally low in calories, fat-free and cholesterol-free and provide important nutrients like vitamin D, B vitamins, antioxidants and potassium (9%).
Mixing mushrooms into the recipe brings another serving of vegetables to the plate and adds bulk and volume, generating more servings and stretching recipes into more portions.
What kind of mushrooms do I use?
Any mushroom variety will work – white button, crimini, portabella, shiitake – to bring flavor, moisture and nutrients to dishes. Creminis and portabellas lend rich flavor and a darker color making them an ideal match for ground beef dishes. White button mushrooms blend seamlessly with ground chicken, turkey and pork. Find out more.
How do I chop my mushrooms?
The key is to have your mushrooms match the texture of the meat in your dish:
- If you’re using ground meat for tacos or burgers, chop mushrooms to mimic that crumbled texture. Use any of the following techniques to create small mushrooms pieces (they don’t have to be even or uniform):
– Chop mushrooms using a knife and cutting board
– Pulse mushrooms in a food processor a few times
– Use a vegetable chopper
- With larger chunks of meat in stews, consider halving or quartering mushrooms
- To match strips of meat in fajitas or stir fry, slice mushrooms accordingly
Do I need to cook my mushrooms before adding them to the meat?
There are many different ways to bring mushrooms to your meals. Here are some suggestions – experiment to find what works best for you, your schedule and your culinary skills!
– One Pan Cooking (great for tacos, Sloppy Joes and pasta sauces): brown meat in a pan until cooked through, remove and set aside. Then, add chopped mushrooms to the same pan, sauté and return meat to the pan to complete the recipe.
– Create a Mushroom Base (ideal for burgers, meatballs and meatloaf): roast or sauté mushrooms ahead of time to intensify flavor and then finely chop to add to ground meat dishes.
How many mushrooms should I use?
The beauty of blending is that it’s completely customizable and works in any ratio – for a meatier dish, 50 percent mushrooms and 50 percent meat satisfies, or for even lighter fare with hearty texture, try 80 percent mushrooms and 20 percent meat. Just make sure that the amount of mushrooms and meat you use add up to the total amount of meat called for in the recipe. You can transform family favorites like burgers, meatballs, pasta sauce and tacos using any amount of mushrooms.
Full Article: Mushroom Council.