HG Salutes: Portabella Mushrooms!

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Hungry people, we're dedicating today's email to a food item that is not fruit, vegetable, meat, dairy, grain, or legume. It's large, it's in charge, it's one of our favorite ingredients, and it just so happens to be a member of the fungus kingdom. We salute you, portabella mushroom!

  What Is It?

Portabella Mushroom

One raw 3-oz. mushroom: 20 calories, <0.5g fat, 8mg sodium, 3.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 2g sugars, 2g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

"The largest of the cultivated mushrooms, portabella have open veils and flat caps that can measure up to six inches in diameter. They are actually mature Criminis and have a meatier flavor, the result of a somewhat longer growing period."

This info, courtesy of Produce Pete, is certainly useful, but nothing about it indicates how crazy-awesome portabellas are (aside from the fact that having "open veils" and "flat caps" makes them sound very stylish). Which is OK, since we're prepared to fill you in...

  Why Do We Love It?

Meaty Yet Meatless - If you're familiar with this mushroom, you know what we mean: There's just something kind of meaty about a 'bella. This makes it perfect not only for vegetarians and those trying to amend their carnivorous habits, but also for calorie counters. Because face it -- even the leanest beef around isn't as lean as a mushroom.

It's Large - Do you see any bigger mushrooms in the produce aisle? No, you don't. These things are the BOSS. And even though the size is big, the calorie count is small -- only around 35 for a super-large one! We're all about big volume with little calories...

Tastes Great with Everything - OK, so we won't be whipping up a portabella fudge sundae anytime soon, but most savory foods go REALLY well with mushrooms. Eggs? Yup. Pasta and noodle swaps? Absolutely. Chicken? You bet. Haggis? Um... Maybe. (We're not making any portabella 'n haggis recipes either.) The point is that this mushroom is versatile.


Cheese - Think about it. Mushrooms are way low in calories and fat; cheese is typically on the higher side. These two go together like Paula Abdul and that cartoon cat (a.k.a. MC Skat Kat) from the "Opposites Attract" video. Using a low-calorie base like a 'bella means we can use more of the decadent stuff we like. Exhibit A: our 2-Cheese Sausage 'n Portabella Skillet.

Bread, Buns & Tortillas - Why do portabella mushrooms go so well with handheld carby items? Because they make a FANTASTIC filler! Like cheese, these starchy items are typically on the high end in terms of calories; loading 'em up with large 'n light mushrooms balances things out. We make fajitas and sandwiches with portabellas that are soooo good...

Frenemy Alert! Beef - Beef's main beef with portabellas? They tend to step on red meat's turf, popping up in place of burger patties and strips of steak. (Check the roundup below for examples.) But these two always seem to make up in the end -- which is good because they taste great together in this stew.

  Porta-bellissima Recipe Roundup

A bunch of the most beautiful recipes around...

Bean 'n Veggie PattyCakes - Beans and veggies get top billing, but these patties pack a TON of mushroom goodness. YUM.

Eggy B-fast Stuffed Mushrooms and Spicy Bacon-Stuffed Cheesy Mushrooms - Big mushrooms! Small mushrooms! Mushrooms for any time of day!

Gooey Mushroom Quesadilla - Three ingredients... and we bet you can guess what they are. This trio ROCKS.

Portabella Sliders - These li'l sandwiches call for baby bellas -- they're too good to be left off the list.

Pizza-bellas - Pizzas with portabella mushroom crusts. It's one of the best ideas we've ever had.

Stuffed 'n Squashed Mushroom Foil Pack - A super-popular recipe that's been on TV -- it would look even better on your plate, though.

Hungry Mac 'Bella Stack Burger - If you crave Big Macs, this is THE BEST way to squash a craving without devouring big calories.

Dan Good Chili - Chop up your 'bellas and mix them into chili! Who needs ground beef?

Roasted Veggie Spreaddip - We're still not sure whether this is a spread or a dip -- we only know that we love it and that the mushrooms give it a great flavor boost!


Hey! Mushrooms don't have any feet! How are they gonna get around if you don't help? Click "Send to a Friend" now.


Happy National Caramel Popcorn Day, April 6th. Pssst! It's not corn, but Mini Pops Air Popped Sorghum Grain comes in Cutie Caramel Clusters. We won't tell if you won't...

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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