Ever wonder how certain foods affect your body?

Do you want to know which ingredients can help support your health?

Are you looking for new creative recipes?

Welcome to our Food for Thought blog series that will aim to address these questions and more each month! Tune in for expert nutritional tips from Masha Fox-Rabinovich, outpatient dietitian and diabetes educator at Washington Adventist Hospital, and savvy cooking techniques from Randall Smith, executive chef for Adventist HealthCare.

Chef Randall

Chef Randall Smith, executive chef for Adventist HealthCare, is the author of “Farm Fresh Flavors”, an invaluable guide for cooking with fresh, local ingredients. Learn more at www.cooklocalfood.com or follow @cooklocalfood

This month, it’s all about mushrooms!

Either you love them or you hate them. Mushrooms rarely get a neutral response from anyone, but they are one of nature’s perfect foods.

Here’s why:

  • They are easy to cook and deliver richness and sweetness in a package that is low fat and low calorie.
  • They are in season all year long, and in our part of the country, they are locally sourced. Most cultivated mushrooms come from Pennsylvania.
  • They are a guilt free food and I don’t think you can eat enough.

Cooking Tips

Cooking and serving mushrooms is simple, but keep this in mind when preparing them:

1)       Mushrooms are almost always better cooked and they are best well-cooked. This is different from most other vegetables which tend to habitually get overcooked.

2)      They should always be cooked until browning occurs. This heightens the sweetness and fully marries any seasoning with the mushroom. You can do this in a hot frying pan, but I find it easier to roast them in an oven or broiler.

Recipe: Simple Roasted Mushrooms

I like to roast Mushrooms ahead of time to use in recipes. It is an easy, mistake-proof way of developing their flavors without complicating the recipes they are in.

Quite often mushrooms are added to a pan with many other ingredients and while they cook, they usually sweat instead of brown, which does not produce the sweetness that is inherent in all mushrooms.

Just make a batch of these and store cooked with the juices in an airtight container. Use as salad toppers or ingredients in a pasta or rice dish. They can be added anytime in the cooking process and will be flavorful and rich!


  • 1 lb. fresh mushrooms (Any kind that are sliced or whole. Remove the stems if they are tough.)
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • Salt and Pepper (Or your favorite salt-free seasoning)


  • Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss until well coated.
  • Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until mushrooms shrink and are well browned.
  • Use immediately or let cool and store in an airtight container. These will keep about a week in the refrigerator.

What foods are you curious about?  We’d like to hear from you! Please share your questions in the comments section below.