Healthy Cook

'Shroom Service

by Kate Sherwood, January/February 2014

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Forget David Copperfield. You want to see real magic? Sauté a pan of mushrooms and watch them go from tasteless to sublime. Just make sure the raw mushrooms are firm and dry. And don’t wash them. Wipe with a dry paper towel. That will keep them from getting soggy.

Simple Mushroom Sauté

Serves 4 | Total time: 20 minutes.

As simple and delicious as it gets. We used a combination of browns, whites, and shiitake caps.

extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs.
1 lb.
scallions, chopped
roasted red pepper (jarred), drained and diced
½ cup
kosher salt
1/8 tsp.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Sauté half the mushrooms until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate and repeat with the remaining oil and mushrooms. When the second batch is brown, stir in the scallions and peppers, then return the first batch to the pan. Season with up to 1/8 tsp. of salt.

PER SERVING (3/4 cup)

  • Calories: 100
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Sat Fat: 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sodium: 125 mg

Mushroom Ragù

Serves 4 | Total time: 45 minutes.

Unlike a traditional ragù, this stew-like variation reaches comfort-food status without the need for meat. Try it over whole wheat pasta with a sprinkle of grated parmesan.

extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs.
large carrot
stalk celery
cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 ½ lbs.
cloves garlic, minced
dried thyme
¼ tsp.
15 oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
fresh or frozen spinach
10 oz.
freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt
¼ tsp.

In a large, heavy pot or deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and celery and sauté until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. • Add the mushrooms and garlic and stir until the mushrooms release their juices, about 5 minutes. • Stir in the thyme, tomatoes, and 1 cup of water. Simmer until the mushrooms are tender and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. • Stir in the spinach and heat through. Season with pepper and up to ½ tsp. of salt.

PER SERVING (1 ½ cups)

  • Calories: 180
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Sat Fat: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Sodium: 340 mg

Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Serves 4 | Total Time: 15 minutes

If you’ve given up stroganoff to avoid the beef and cream, you’re going to love this new take.

small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 ¼ lbs.
extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs.
button mushrooms, sliced
½ lb.
finely chopped onions
½ cup
fat-free half and half
½ cup
country dijon mustard
2 Tbs.
freshly ground black pepper

Pound the chicken to an even ¼-inch thickness. • In a large non-stick pan, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the chicken until browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and sauté until cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan to a serving plate and keep warm. • Add the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil to the pan. Stir in the mushrooms and onions and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. • Remove from the heat and stir in the half and half and mustard. Season with pepper and spoon over the chicken.

PER SERVING (1 breast + ½ cup sauce)

  • Calories: 270
  • Total Fat: 11 g
  • Sat Fat: 2 g
  • Protein: 32 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sodium: 380 mg


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