(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, many families need 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 affordably extending portions.

Save Money

Stretch your dollars by stretching your meals using “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, then cook to complete the recipe. Use a blend of 25% finely chopped mushrooms and 75% ground meat for burgers. For tacos or chili, use 50% mushrooms and 50% meat or a 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 and 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 various meals. With an array of fresh varieties and nearly endless ways to prepare them, they can be your powerhouse from the produce department.

Find more recipe ideas and ways to make the most of your grocery store dollars at MushroomCouncil.com.

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

Servings: 4

  • One tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Two cloves garlic, minced
  • One medium onion, small diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, such as white button, crimini, or portabella, sliced
  • One jar (24 ounces) of marinara sauce
  • One can (15 ounces) of diced tomatoes
  • Two tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • One teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • One tablespoon of dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • One teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • One bay leaf
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Six 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 a large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Cook, occasionally stirring, 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 a 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 the bay leaf. Stir in heavy cream and spinach until wilted, 2-3 minutes.

Divide between bowls and top each with a ricotta dollop and a mozzarella sprinkle.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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