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Healthy Women's World

Make Mushrooms Your Pick of the Season

(ARA) – Long overlooked, mushrooms are nature’s hidden treasure for helping those focusing on living a healthful life. To promote the nutritional benefits of fresh produce this back-to-school season, Weight Watchers continues Pick of the Season, a public health initiative spotlighting seasonal fruit and vegetables, with recipes this quarter for mushrooms, a produce selection so versatile it can add flare to any every day meal.

Did you know? Mushrooms are the only fresh fruit or vegetable that has four percent of the Daily Value of vitamin D (per serving of 4-5 white button mushrooms specifically).

Mushrooms are also nutrient rich, providing a similar number of nutrients as many brightly colored fruits and vegetables. For instance, mushrooms provide the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. White, Portabella and crimini mushrooms have natural antioxidants and in fact, are the leading source of the antioxidant selenium in the fruit and vegetable category. Mushrooms are also fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium.

In addition, mushrooms have umami. Also known as the “fifth taste,” umami foods are described as hearty or savory. The high water content and very low energy (calorie) density of mushrooms help to satisfy hunger.

In the kitchen, nothing beats the versatility of mushrooms; they work in everything from soups and salads to main dishes and appetizers and are easy to prepare. Simply sauté and in fewer than 10 minutes you can add flavor and texture to any favorite family meal. Just toss in a handful of mushrooms to enjoy a boost of delicious flavor and nutrition.

Below are four recipes that highlight the savory taste of mushrooms: Mini Mushroom Burgers; Tilapia with Mushrooms, Olives and Tomatoes; Turkey Mushroom Soup; and Mushroom Chicken Piccata.

Pick of the Season – Mushroom Recipes:

* Mini Mushroom Burgers

Makes 4 servings

2 Portabella mushrooms, stem removed
1/4 cup light balsamic vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 small high-fiber whole grain dinner rolls
8 slices red onion
8 slices tomato

1. Place Portabellas and vinaigrette in a large zip top bag. Zip and lightly rub the vinaigrette into the mushrooms. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Remove mushrooms from bag, drain and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place the mushrooms on the grill gill side down and cook for 4 minutes. Turn and continue to grill until mushroom is almost cooked through, about 4 more minutes.

3. Remove from pan and drain mushrooms on paper towel, gill side down. Cut each mushroom into quarters and place on buns. Top with onion and tomato and serve.

POINTS value per serving: 2, 144 calories, 5g fat, 5g fiber

* Tilapia with Mushrooms, Olives and Tomatoes

Makes 4 servings

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 pound (16 ounces) button mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cup pitted green olives with juice, halved
2 cups halved grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, removed from stem and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
4 skinless tilapia filets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and a single layer of mushrooms and cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms become red-brown on one side. Flip and cook about 5 minutes more, until other side is same color. Add olives, tomatoes and herbs and heat for another 2 minutes, until juice is evaporated. Remove from heat, place in a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

2. In the same sauté pan, heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Season the filets with salt and pepper on both sides and place in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes until nicely browned, gently turn and cook another 3 minutes. Return vegetables and herbs to skillet briefly to warm, then serve.

POINTS value per serving: 4, 196 calories, 7.5g fat, 2g fiber

* Turkey Mushroom Soup

Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1/4 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
8 cups low-sodium turkey stock (or store bought chicken broth)
2 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
8 ounces (about 2 cups) cooked turkey (or chicken), removed from the bone and shredded
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups packed fresh baby spinach (a large handful)
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add a single layer of mushrooms and cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms become red-brown on one side. Add onions, garlic and celery and sauté until translucent, about 5 more minutes. Add turkey stock (see recipe below) or chicken broth, turkey and sage. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

2. Add rinsed beans, spinach, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil to wilt spinach and serve hot.

3. To make turkey stock: Place turkey bones in a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add 1 quartered onion, 2 coarsely chopped stalks of celery, 1 coarsely chopped carrot, 1 bay leaf and 2 sage leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cook 2 or more hours. Strain and skim fat from top and store stock for future use.

POINTS value per serving: 2, 120 calories, 3g fat, 3g fiber

* Mushroom Chicken Piccata

Makes 4 servings

4 chicken cutlets (4 oz each)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 lemon
2 tablespoons capers, with juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil and warm briefly, then add chicken and cook until nicely browned, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and cover.

2. In the same pan, warm the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add a single layer of mushrooms and cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms become red-brown on one side. Flip mushrooms, add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add wine and scrape up any browned bits in the pan. Bring to a boil and add stock, then return heat until it is bubbling nicely. Slice 4 very thin slices of lemon and add to the pan along with the juice from half of the lemon. Add capers and continue cooking sauce till it becomes a glaze, about 2 more minutes. Add the chicken to the sauce and heat through, then serve.

POINTS value per serving: 4, 199 calories, 6g fat, 2g fiber

These recipes reflect the food values inherent to the Weight Watchers philosophy that eating should be satisfying as well as healthy. In fact, learning and sharing innovative ideas about healthy cooking and eating are part of the experience at weekly Weight Watchers meetings, where members help and support each other.

To learn more about Weight Watchers, visit To find the nearest Weight Watchers meeting location, call (800) 651-6000, or click on the Find a Meeting link at the top of the homepage.

For more information about mushrooms, visit the Mushroom Council at

All recipes courtesy of the Mushroom Council and

Courtesy of ARAcontent
Mushrooms - Pick of the Season