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The Magic of Mushrooms

By Cheryl Forberg, RD
Image of Arugula Salad with Grilled Portobellos and Shishitos and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Loaded with nutrients, mushrooms are also very high in water (which makes them filling). A great addition to salads and stir-fries, they’re also delicious when stuffed and baked. Large mushrooms are excellent when grilled and make a great replacement for meat. When buying fresh mushrooms, make sure they are firm. Store them wrapped loosely in plastic in the refrigerator. Before use, wipe them with a damp paper towel or, if necessary, rinse them with cold water and dry thoroughly.

While the price of some mushrooms may seem expensive by the pound, an entire pound is a whole lot of mushrooms. Morels, oyster, chanterelles, lobster mushrooms - a couple ounces really go a long way, so experiment the next time you’re shopping in a great produce department, and try a ‘shroom you haven’t had before.

I tend to keep shiitakes on hand most all of the time. There easily cultivated and found in most grocery stores. When fresh, the cap should be smooth and plump. They’re delicious grilled, roasted, sautéed, stir-fried and always great in soup. You can also buy them dried, which is a great way to be sure you’ve always got mushrooms in the house.

Another favorite of mine is the portobello, which is a mature crimini mushroom, grown until the cap is up to five or six inches wide. Discard the stem, and scrape the gills with a spoon before cooking. Their meaty texture makes them a perfect replacement for a burger when grilled. They’re also delicious stuffed or roasted. This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy the scrumptious portobello.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Portobellos and Shishitos and Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
This simple salad is perfect with a grilled steak or piece of fish. If you don’t feel like grilling, you can broil the mushrooms and peppers as well.
Makes 2 appetizer salads.
Image of Ingredients

For the vinaigrette:

¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest

For the salad:

1 large or 2 medium portobello mushrooms, stem and gills removed
4 medium shishito peppers
2 ounces baby arugula (2 cups)


1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper

Image of freshly squeezed lemon juice
Prepare vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a small bowl or jar and mix well. If the lemon is too tart, feel free to add a pinch of agave nectar or honey. Set vinaigrette aside.

Preheat grill or broiler to medium high heat – approximately 375°F.
Image of brushing mushrooms with vinaigrette
Brush mushrooms with 1 to 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette and place on grill with peppers.
Image of grilling and brushing mushrooms
Grill mushrooms and peppers for 5 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.
Image of chopped peppers and mushrooms
Place on cutting board until cool enough to handle. Remove stems and seeds from peppers. Then, slice mushrooms and peppers ¼ inch thick.
Image of arugula in mixing bowl
Place arugula in mixing bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Add mushrooms and peppers, toss again and transfer to two serving plates. Top with grated cheese and cracked pepper and serve immediately. Reserve leftover dressing for another use.

Nutritional Analysis for 1 salad:

Calories 140
Calories from fat 90
Total Fat 11g
Sat Fat 1.5 g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 75 mg
Total Carb 6 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 3 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 15% DV
Vitamin C 40% DV
Calcium 10% DV
Iron 6% DV
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