Make Your Grocery Budget Work for You – Family Friendly Mushroom Recipes
Nov 09, 2022, Updated Jun 16, 2023
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This post is sponsored by Monterey Mushrooms.
You’re at the last few days before your next paycheck.
Let’s just say your bank account is getting…lean.
But you still have hungry mouths to feed and want to give your family food that’s actually good for them.
So you’re looking for something with flavor, affordability, and nutrition. Not to set the bar too high, but some leftovers for tomorrow would be the cherry on top.
You’ve got to add mushrooms to your grocery list!
With vitamins and minerals and so many varieties, mushrooms are the perfect ingredient to stretch your meat budget. Mushrooms also help double a recipe or create a new dish altogether.
You won’t believe what you can put together with a few simple mushrooms!
Mushroom v. Meat
Let’s talk about flavor, texture, and nutrition between mushrooms and meat, so you see why we’re so excited for you to add mushrooms to your budgeted grocery list.
Now, we’re not saying that mushrooms are meat, but they do have a meaty texture to them. Mushrooms can be shredded, chopped, or fried, and you’ll still get a heartiness similar to a meat-filled recipe.
Mix your meat and mushrooms together for more servings out of a recipe and to hide some extra veggies. This is a method called blending that we learned from Monterey Mushrooms. For example, if you make burgers, you can use up to 80% chopped mushrooms mixed with 20% ground beef.
That’s five times as many servings out of a meal just by blending mushrooms with meat! That means more money in your pocket and happy, full bellies at home.
You can’t beat that!
Meat has an amino acid called glutamate that gives a steak that savory, hearty flavor. But guess what? Mushrooms have that same amino acid. That’s how they get an earthy taste that’s satisfying to eat. You might know this flavor as umami.
Mushrooms soak up flavors for a totally different taste every time you cook with them. Soak them in a marinade, cook in a sauce, or load them up with a dry rub, and they take on a whole new taste.
So whether you’re in the mood for BBQ, tacos, or soup, mushrooms can fit any flavor profile you want to achieve.
Remember, mushrooms are not actual meat. So meat beats out mushrooms when it comes to protein. But specially marked mushrooms high in vitamin D have three times more vitamin D than cow’s milk and more antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable! They also have five B vitamins to support brain health and help your body absorb more energy from your food.
And who doesn’t need more energy, right?
Add a few mushrooms to your next recipe for larger portions that are flavorful and hearty with less sodium, fat, and calories. Mushrooms are your best friend when it comes to a sustainable meat alternative that also saves you money.
Produce Mom Tip: Look for the High Vitamin D Mushrooms from Monterey Mushrooms on your grocery shelf.
How to turn mushrooms into “meat”
Just as different types of meats are made into different textures, the same is true with mushrooms. Different cooking techniques result in different textures in your mushrooms. For example, if you want shredded meat, you cook the meat and then shred it. Mushrooms can also be shredded.
Substitute or blend mushrooms in tacos, casseroles, burgers, pizza toppings, and much more. You name it – you can add mushrooms to it.
Related: Vegan Mushroom Tacos
Depending on the dish you make determines which mushroom is best for that recipe. For instance, white mushrooms are the most common and mild in flavor, so you can use them in almost any dish without the earthiness taking over.
If you’re unsure which mushroom would taste the best in your recipe or don’t want to stand in the produce aisle for 10 minutes to decide which variety you need, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a cheat sheet to help you incorporate more mushrooms into your meals and save you money.
Best mushrooms for meat substitutes:
White — pizza, pasta sauce, soup, stew, kabobs, and stuffing
Portabella — veggie burger, fajitas, stew, chili, and tacos
Oyster — calamari, Po boys, seafood, and clam chowder
King Trumpet — scallops, stir fry, beef jerky, and pulled pork
Shiitake — bacon, stir fry, pasta, and soup
Enoki — ramen, pho, taco meat, pulled pork, and salads
Are mushrooms good for you?
Yes! Mushrooms have made their way to the superfood list of foods. They have a nutrient called selenium that helps support immune health. You can never have to much help when it comes to helping you and your family fight germs. Mushrooms are safe to add to your meal plan daily. Cremini and portabella mushrooms help your body develop the most antioxidant enzymes. And with a variety of mushroom recipes, you can eat them in a variety of ways.
Related: Mushrooms and Onion Butter Board
Can Your Freeze Mushrooms?
If you found mushrooms on sale, grab ’em and freeze what you don’t need right now. The texture of your mushrooms may change or lose some of their nutrients. But to avoid food waste and add to the shelf life of your mushrooms, go ahead and freeze them. Scrub your mushrooms (don’t wash them) to prevent your mushrooms from getting soggy after thawing. Then, slice or leave them whole before freezing them in a single layer. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag.
How Long Do Mushrooms Last?
It’s best to leave your mushrooms whole. When you store your mushrooms properly, whole mushrooms can last up to a week in the fridge. Sliced mushrooms will only last up to two days. If you plan to use your mushrooms quickly, prepping them is always a time saver. But make sure you cook with them quickly. Mushrooms stored in the freezer can last up to nine months – perfect for those money-saving sales.
Related: Stuffed Mushrooms
No matter which mushrooms you decide to cook with, look for mushrooms that are firm and smooth. If you see mushrooms that are slimy or discolored, this means they’ve been exposed to too much moisture. They could be developing bacteria and decomposing.
Your mushrooms should be dry but not to the point of dryness that they start to shrivel.
Mushrooms need humidity to grow, but too much moisture makes them go bad quickly. It’s best to take your mushrooms out of the container you bought them in.
You have two storage options. First, wrap your mushrooms in paper towels, put them in an open plastic bag, and put them in the fridge. Second, put your mushrooms in a paper bag, fold the top over, and then put it in your fridge. The paper products help to absorb extra moisture.
Both options need to be stored on a fridge shelf instead of a drawer for better airflow. And don’t rinse them until you’re ready to use them. This prevents your mushrooms from getting soft, soggy, or moldy from condensation, so they can last up to a week.
Why we trust Monterey Mushrooms
Monterey Mushrooms’ commitment to sustainability shows in everything that they do. They take responsibility for people (including you) and our planet by doing their part to create a better world for future generations.
From their growing methods to new products and the environment, they think about how their processes affect us as consumers. With mushrooms, powders, sauces, and blends, your recipe options are endless with Monterey Mushrooms.
Let’s make something meaty!
Meaty Mushroom Meals
- Mushroom Bruschetta – a meaty mushroom twist on a classic appetizer
- Portobella Mushroom Lasagna – a hearty lasagna for meatless Mondays
- Mushroom Vegan Tacos – quick, easy, and filling for taco Tuesdays
- Mushroom Kabobs – a kid-friendly side to any grilled meal
- Crockpot Mushroom Tetrazzini – low calorie, convenient, and tasty for endless dinner possibilities