Small but Mighty: Savour the Season with Canadian Mushrooms

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Slow Cooker Chili with a Mushroom Twist © Courtesy of Mushrooms Canada

Elevate your winter dishes with a single, homegrown Canadian ingredient that brings a fresh twist to your meals: mushrooms!

Packed with flavour and nutrients, mushrooms are bonafide powerhouses for your health. With low calorie, sodium, and fat content, these fungi are a guilt-free enhancement to any dish. Cholesterol-free and rich in selenium and B vitamins, mushrooms are essential for a healthy body and mind. Mushrooms are also the only source of vitamin D found in the produce aisle, a must for any time of year, but especially in the midst of a Canadian winter. A healthy diet, including things like mushrooms, can play a role in managing a range of health issues, from blood pressure to arthritis.

Mushrooms not only elevate the nutritional value but also add excitement to your favourite robust recipes. Surprisingly, each mushroom variety boasts a distinct flavour profile. White mushrooms, the nationwide favourite, offer a versatile, woodsy flavour that complements nearly any dish, making them a perfect choice for a quick weeknight dinner. On the flip side, shiitake mushrooms bring a savoury umami taste, enhancing stir-fries, stews, and soups to maximize the nutritional benefits of your winter meals. With a variety ranging from earthy to woodsy, delicate to meaty, mushrooms cater to all tastes.

Canada’s mushrooms stand out for both sustainability and nutritional value. Grown from coast to coast, these remarkable fungi travel minimal distances to reach your local grocery store. Thriving indoors year-round, mushrooms are a consistent, affordable, and eco-friendly food source, offering value from the sunniest summer days to the frostiest winter nights.

Discover countless ways to make the most of mushrooms, bulk up your portions, and add heartiness to your meals! For recipes, tips, and insights into Canadian mushrooms, explore mushrooms.ca.

© Courtesy of Mushrooms Canada

Slow Cooker Chili with a Mushroom Twist

The only thing better than a bowl of homemade chili is one that was made with minimal effort. This Slow Cooker Chili is flavourful and satisfying, a comforting treat for your taste buds. Crimini mushrooms are the star of this hearty meal, with a savoury blend of seasonings that bring out the earthy and delicious flavour. Let the slow cooker do the work, and savour every spoonful of this flavour-packed chili.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz fresh crimini mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef, crumbled
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp dried minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Place the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
  2. Pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Combine the mushroom mixture, ground beef, green pepper, red pepper, and beans in a slow cooker.
  4. Stir the diced tomatoes with the tomato paste, chili powder, seasoning blend, cumin, and salt until well combined.
  5. Pour the tomato mixture into the slow cooker.
  6. Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 10 hours.
  7. Garnish and serve!

Tip: Garnish with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and green onion, and serve with tortilla chips or in a bread bowl for a fun and tasty dinner.

© Courtesy of Mushrooms Canada

Mushroom Soup Au Gratin to Warm Your Winter

Soup and winter go hand in hand, and mushrooms only make this partnership stronger. This soul-warming Mushroom Soup Au Gratin is a savoury blend of assorted fresh mushrooms, aromatic onions, and garlic in a rich chicken broth. This recipe, enhanced with a touch of lemon rind, nutmeg, and pepper, is a welcome dish on a cold night.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz sliced assorted fresh mushrooms (white, crimini, portabella, shiitake, oyster)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 tsp each ground nutmeg and pepper
  • 4 slices French bread (1/2″/2.5 cm thick) toasted
  • 4 oz grated or sliced Swiss cheese
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté mushrooms, onions, and garlic for about 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Add chicken broth, lemon rind, nutmeg, and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Ladle soup into 4 deep oven-proof bowls.
  5. Float bread on top; sprinkle with Swiss cheese and Parmesan, if using.
  6. Place under broiler until bubbly and lightly browned. Serve and enjoy.

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Mushrooms are a great way to add a depth of flavour to your cooking, with their earthy and savoury taste, their umami can easily enhance any dish and take it to the next level. Adding mushrooms to your meals can elevate the taste and create a deeper, more satisfying flavour profile thanks to their naturally occurring umami. They’re versatile, easy to cook with, and a great way to add a healthy boost to your meals.

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