The Magic of Mushrooms


I’d like to introduce you to Brittany’s hands.  These hands belong to the a fun and talented gal; conveniently named Brittany.  Not shown are Shannon and Shannons’ hands.  These two awesome ladies are my friends from Mushrooms Canada who travel all over the country speaking the gospel of all things edible and “fun”gus.


You may find them at trade shows, conferences, food demos and I like I did at a cooking class helping to convert anyone willing to the ways of the mushroom.


On a dime they can tell you everything they know about the nutritional value, health benefits, growing conditions and availability of our little capped friends.


Blown Away!!!

But most importantly they can tell you all the delicious ways to cook them.   And they can show you too.


Lately conversation has taken on a great new twist with the Blend and Extend campaign. As someone who grew up hating mushrooms (thanks mom) I really wished I had thought of this first.  Its brilliant idea of combining beef and mushrooms to make your meals go further, adding vegetables to the plate of maybe some super picky eaters and bringing up the wow factor of your dishes.  Here Brittany’s hands showing us how it’s done with these Asian Lettuce Wraps.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

It’s so simple to do.  If your recipe calls for 2 lbs of beef replace up to half of it with chopped mushrooms.  You can do a 75/25 split, or a 60/40 split or a 58.2/41.8 split. Well you get my drift.  If you are mushroom shy then start with the common little white button mushroom. Mildy flavoured and just as nearly nutritious as more stronger tasty mushrooms like the oyster or shiitake.  And even those “stronger” flavoured ones?  Not really that strong.  When combined with beef  all the varieties pick up the flavour of the meat, spices and sauces you are going to add to the dish. Beside once cooked mushrooms look just like cooked ground beef. We are so sneaky. They add bulk and a punch of nutritional power. Just throw them in a food processor to chop them nice and fine. Don’t have a food processor? A lot of varieties come to grocery markets pre-sliced so you are half way there.


Sloppy Joes are a great way to try this method with children.  They won’t notice the addition at all but will still love the messy yumminess that these dripping sandwiches provide.

Sloppy Joe

I can go on and on about the benefits of Blend and Extend and all the different ways you can use it in your cooking.  I would rather direct you right to the source on the Mushrooms Canada website where there are pretty pictures of mouthwatering dishes.  I don’t think it will take much to convert you.

I could also go on about the awesome enthusiasm  that Brittany and Shannon’s hands bring to all the events they attend promoting this wonderful vegetable.  But you are just going to have to find them yourself at the next mushrooms event. Like maybe the Gourmet Wine and Food Show.

SPOILER ALERT:  There will be mushrooms.  And a lucky spoon.




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  1. Lovely post Heather! It was so much fun to have you along and I'm glad we could share so many fun facts with you and the class. It was great to see how enthusiastic everyone is about the Blend & Extend method! Thanks for posting an awesome recap of the night and sharing your photos. I guess the lucky spoon did the trick!! -Shannon

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