I like to shop at “big box” stores and head straight for the food section. The display of produce is stunning — fat, red strawberries, giant bags of lettuce, and mushrooms the size of golf balls. Last weekend I made a pilgrimage to a box store and came home with a giant box of mushrooms. We’ve had mushrooms in stir fry, mushrooms mixed with other vegetables, and there are still mushrooms left.
What could I do with them? I searched cookbooks for recipes found several that had potential, including one for creamed mushrooms with a crispy topping. I decided to build on this concept and created my own casserole recipe. When I was pre-cooking the mushrooms I thought about their nutritional value.
Mushrooms have no cholesterol and few calories, only 15.4 per one cup serving. They’re high in Niacin and Vitamin D. One of the things I like best about mushrooms is that you can use them in many ways and bring out their flavor with herbs and spices. Mushrooms, garlic and thyme are a natural combination.
I retrieved my giant box of mushrooms from the fridge and used about a third of them for this recipe. To add more fiber I combined sliced mushrooms with broccoli “flowers” and a few fire-roasted red peppers for color. When I created this recipe I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Well, the suspense is over because my husband and I loved it.
If you like mushrooms, you will like this recipe for Mushroom-Broccoli Bake with Cheesy Topping.
1 cup added-fiber elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup finely-chopped onion
3 cups sliced mushrooms
2 cups broccoli “flowers,” cut into small bite-size pieces
1/4 cup fire-roasted peppers from a jar, drained well, and cut into strips
10 1/2-ounce can ready to serve mushroom soup
1/2 cup fat-free half and half
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 slice wheat bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice: Swiss, Gruyere, Mozzarella, Cheddar
Cook macaroni in boiling water until al dente (almost soft.) Rinse with cold water and set aside. Put olive oil and butter in a large skillet and warm until butter melts. Saute onion in mixture for two minutes. Add mushrooms and saute until they start to brown. Add broccoli flowers. Cover skillet and remove from heat, and let the broccoli steam for about four minutes. Uncover skillet and stir in mushroom soup, half and half, nutmeg, and cooked macaroni. Turn into prepared casserole dish. Cut the bread into small squares. Put one tablespoon of olive oil into a small, no-stick skillet and saute bread squares until crispy. Top mushroom-broccoli casserole with toasted bread. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top. Bake, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until cheese has melted and casserole is bubbly. Makes five accompaniment servings or four main-dish servings.
Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson