Spring is almost here and that means one thing: time for spring veggies!  And if you’re looking for delicious ways to mix in some spring (like asparagus) veggies right now, here is the perfect dinner side dish to do so.  This is a simple and fast recipe to bring together mushrooms with veggies; just add in some olive oil, dried herbs and spices, and you’ve suddenly created a super savory flavor boost to please even the pickiest eater.

Let’s talk mushrooms

There’s a lot more to this fungi than meets the eye. Mushrooms deserve to come out of the dark and onto your dinner plate as shining examples of a food exhibiting antioxidant, antitumor, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties.  They’re also rich in beta-glucans and chitosans, helping protect against colds, flu, and other infections. White button mushrooms make up almost 90% of the type of mushrooms eaten in the United States. White button mushrooms, like all mushrooms, have antiviral properties and are a great source of selenium, a mineral preventing inflammation.

The wide variety of mushrooms

I love cooking with mushrooms; they’re tasty, low in calories, versatile, they add a depth of flavor to dishes, and are always a welcome addition to main entrees or as a stand-alone side dish. It’s also nice that mushrooms come in a wide variety of types – in case you don’t like one type, there’s always another to choose from.  Here are a few examples:

  •  White Button

These are the most common type of mushroom you will find in just about any grocery store. Available year round, white buttons are harvested when young and have a very subtle, earthy flavor.

  •  Cremini

Creminis are also known as baby bella or mini bella and are a more mature white button mushroom. Similar in size and shape, it’s the color that distinguishes them – creminis are a light shade of brown. Mild in flavor, they are a perfect substitute for white buttons in recipes.

  •  Portobello

This mushroom is the mature stage of white button mushrooms. The cap is fully grown out with the same mild flavor but with a meaty texture. They are a favorite for grilling.

  •  Shiitake

Primarily grown in Japan, China, and Korea, they’re commonly used in Asian cuisine. Savory and meaty, shiitake’s add an umami flavor to dishes. Use shiitakes for topping meat dishes or for enhancing soups and sauces.

  •  Enoki

Similar looking to bean sprouts with their long stems and little caps, enoki mushrooms are loaded with flavor. Native to Japan, they are available either fresh or canned and are often used in soups or salads.

  •  Morels

Resembling a honeycomb, morels are a mushroom lover’s favorite for their super savory and delicious taste. Half of the fun of eating morels is searching for them out in the woods come springtime.  Meaty with a nutty flavor, morels are seen as a culinary delicacy and may sell for up to $20 a pound.

Sautéed Mushrooms with Veggies – serving size – ½ cup, makes approximately 4 servings 

Photo Taken by Cheryl Mussatto

 Nutrition per serving : Calories – 110;  Total Fat – 6 grams; Protein – 2 grams; Carbohydrates – 12 grams; Fiber – 2.5 grams; Sodium – 150 milligrams

The nice thing about this recipe is you can always switch up the veggies. If zucchini, yellow squash, or cherry tomatoes are not your favorites, consider using diced asparagus, broccoli, spinach, or even peas paired with mushrooms.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 ½ teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 medium yellow squash, diced

8 ounces of baby bella or cremini mushrooms (or your favorite mushroom), sliced

1 cup cherry tomatoes, unsliced

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried Italian seasoning until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Cut up veggies; place all veggies in a large bowl.
  3. Add olive oil mixture to veggies in the large bowl; Toss well until all veggies are coated.
  4. Heat large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add veggies and sauté 5-7 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Once veggies are tender crisp, remove from heat.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!
Categories: Recipes

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Cheryl Mussatto, MS, RD, LD

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia and The Prediabetes Action Plan and Cookbook, both available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions.

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