Stretch Your Grocery Budget with a Savory Solution
(Family Features) In today’s world, grocery shopping can seem more like a burden than an opportunity to gather supplies for your family’s favorite meals. With prices of everyday ingredients fluctuating almost daily, it’s important for many families to make their dollars go further at the store.
Easy ways to stretch your grocery budget, like using versatile ingredients, can make the checkout experience a little less impactful on your household’s finances. Consider the benefits of mushrooms, which provide a delicious option to enhance flavor in favorite recipes while extending portions in an affordable way.
Stretch your dollars by stretching your meals using a process called “The Blend.” Blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat can extend portion sizes of your favorite meaty recipes and help your bottom line. Chop your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of ground meat, blend the chopped mushrooms and meat together then cook to complete the recipe. For burgers, use a blend of 25% finely chopped mushrooms and 75% ground meat. For tacos or chili, use 50% mushrooms and 50% meat or an even higher mushroom-to-meat ratio.
Savor the Flavor
The savory umami taste of mushrooms means a flavorful experience in blended recipes like burgers, where the chopped mushrooms help hold in the juiciness. Or, you can chop, quarter, slice or enjoy them whole in a recipe like Creamy Spinach, Mushroom and Lasagna Soup.
One Carton, Multiple Dishes
Thanks to mushrooms’ versatility, you can buy one large carton of mushrooms to chop up then bulk up multiple dishes, from a morning omelet to hearty soups to blended burgers.
Serve Up Nutrition
Low-calorie, low-sodium, fat-free and cholesterol-free, mushrooms are nutrient rich and can play a starring role in a variety of meals. With an array of fresh varieties and nearly endless ways to prepare them, they can be your powerhouse from the produce department.
Creamy Spinach, Mushroom and Lasagna Soup
Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks, MS, RD, on behalf of the Mushroom Council
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, small diced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, such as white button, crimini or portabella, sliced
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 6 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
- Heat large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and mushrooms soften, 4-5 minutes.
- Add marinara, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, basil, salt, oregano, pepper, bay leaf and broth. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer. Add lasagna noodles and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and remove bay leaf. Stir in heavy cream and spinach until wilted, 2-3 minutes.
- Divide between bowls and top each with dollop of ricotta and sprinkle of mozzarella.