Mushrooms in the pink

Last week we saw media reports of the Newman Venture and Hunter Valley mushrooms getting behind the Mushrooms go pink in October celebration. Well just to show good news needs repeating, Hunter Valley Mushrooms has popped up again with another media report. This time it is the Newcastle Herald with an article “Mushrooms in the pink”.

Naturally enough Regina Mullan of Hunter Valley Mushrooms knows a thing or two about the healthy all-rounder and tells readers that mushrooms are nutrient rich, low in kilojoules, high in bioactive compounds and have been found to be cancer reducing.

“We as mushroom farmers think breast cancer reseach is a very worthy and serious cause, so we decided to go pink for the month of October.”

Well done, Hunter Valley Mushrooms, for your support of this great celebration. To find out more, have a look at the Mushrooms go pink in October website.

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Let mushrooms be your medicine

Monday mornings is always an interesting time for emails, sifting through the messages for some important themes to get the week off to a good start. Thankfully this morning I came across a little ripper from John Rich, who wrote an article on mushrooms in the Tasmanian Country.

For a start you just have to love the headline – “Let mushrooms be your medicine”. And it just gets better, giving readers plenty of reasons to include the healthy all-rounder in their next meal. Rather than spoil the story, why not head over and read the article for yourself by clicking on the following LINK.

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Let’s hear it for the healthy all-rounder

Mushrooms go pink in October has certainly got people talking – quite literally in fact, with the promotion featuring on a range of radio stations across Australia.

While you might not get to hear everything that is happening, why not take a moment and check out the look of the Fifi Box program on the 2DayFM website. After you have had a look, close down the site and see if you can fill in the blanks – Mushrooms are going _ _ _ _ in _ _ _ _ _ _ _

In Brisbane the competition on Campo’s Drive Time program had people listening in to find out which celebrity was singing for their supper. All courtesy of Mushrooms go pink in October.

It shows that radio is a great way of getting people to talk about the healthy all-rounder. As listeners to the Fifi Box show heard….

We can’t guarantee listening to the Fifi Box show will do anything to improve your health but eating three button mushrooms a day may dramatically increase your health and wellbeing.  Find out more at

What a great idea!

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Keep an eye out for the pink mushrooms

When we say keep an eye out for the pink mushrooms, the fact is that you probably don’t have to look very far. As a mushroom lover you already know where to find these tasty little numbers at your local store. And given that mushrooms are wrapped in pink during October, they are even harder to miss than usual.   So, follow your eyes (and  your tastebuds); grab some mushrooms and get cooking.

And if you are not sure what to cook, why not check out “six of the best” with our great new BBQ Mushrooms Japanese Style recipes.

Going Japanese (with BBQ mushrooms) has never tasted so good…

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Growing Pink – Producers get behind Pink Promotion

Over the last couple of days the evidence has been mounting of the great work being done by mushroom growers in support of the Mushrooms go pink in October celebration.

As you know by now the industry has been out there dazzling shoppers with some bright pink packaging. They have also been encouraging everyone to celebrate a decade of industry support for global research on the link between mushrooms and good health. Some of the individual growers have also taken up the challenge to make the most they can of this “pink” opportunity.

One story in the Port Stephens Examiner shows the Pink effort paying off for Campvale farmer. The story highlights the efforts of Hunter Valley Mushroom owner, Regina Mullan in using the promotion to raise $800 for the Pink Ribbon day appeal.  Her inspiration was a university study which revealed women who eat as little as one button mushroom per day could be protecting themselves against breast cancer.

The Newman Venture at Ballandean has also gone pink for the cause as well. Not just content with the pink mushroom celebration, the team has been holding pink morning tea, raffles and a best bra competition with the aim of raising $1,000 for the Breast Cancer Network Australia.

Well done to everyone for highlighting the many ways to celebrate this October. All the more reasons to get your hands on those mushrooms and get cooking as Mushrooms go pink in October.

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Winners are Grinners – Australia takes out the Mushrooms Masters

Well, we knew it really before we even started. Australian food bloggers love their mushrooms. Not only that, but people recognize great Australian mushroom recipes. And it’s not as though the US and Canadian recipes were not deliciously tasty meals. They were. It’s just that our Mushroom Masters meals were that little bit better.

Well done to our Australian team for taking out the inaugural Mushroom Masters and winning a total of three of the four weeks with some fantastically creative mushroom meals.  Take a bow and enjoy the applause from mushroom lovers across Australia as they sit down to enjoy some Mushroom Masters inspired meals.

Thanks also to the US and Canadian bloggers who took part and gave us a run for our money. A total of twelve great recipes over four weeks is a literal smorgasbord of mushroom delights and a credit to everyone involved. It’s one of the great things about mushrooms – you simply just can’t lose when it comes to a mushroom meal – all that taste and good health is a winner every time….

Now, just in case you have joined in late to this conversation why not take a minute to go back and revisit our Australian recipes.

Week 1 – Jules Clancy – Stone Soup  – Roast portabello mushroom & bread salad

Week 2 – Ellie Won – Kitchen WenchLasagne with slow roasted mushrooms and goat’s cheese

Week 3 – Christie Connelly – Fig & CherryShiitake Okonomiyaki (aka Japanese Pancake)

Week 4 – Peter Georgakopoulos – Souvlaki for the SoulMushroom Haloumi Burger

And if you have that urge to get out and grab some mushrooms, don’t forget that Mushrooms Go Pink in October. Want to know more about the celebration? Then head over to our website and see what the fuss is about.

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Mushroom Haloumi Burger – bringing home the Mushroom Masters

Well it has come down to this. One week to go in the inaugural Mushroom Masters and everything is one the line for those all important bragging rights. Our Fungi Foursome has been fantastic, producing some delicious recipes to get everyone into the mushroom mood.

Congratulations also to our American and Canadian mates for their efforts in valiantly trying to defeat Australia with some great looking – and tasting recipes. For the mushroom lover the four week feast has provided 12 new recipe ideas to tempt the tastebuds. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

This week we have our last (but not least) member of our Aussie team – Peter, from Souvlaki for the Soul. Also cooking up a storm in the Wildcard Round is Katherine from Kath Eats (United States) and Kevin from Closet Cooking (Canada).

While I have not seen the other recipes, I remain confident that Peter’s great little number can stand up to anything our opposition can put up against it.

So, without any further ado, as they say in the classics, let me introduce Peter so we can all get cooking….

My name’s Peter and “Souvlaki For The Soul” is my baby! I started the blog during a period in my life where I was seeking to do something creative. I come from a Greek background where food has always been a passion and has played a big part in defining who I am.

I’m very lucky as I get to travel for a living and this has allowed me to see and eat a lot of the world!! When I first started the blog I had no idea which direction it would take or where it would lead me. I now find myself being invited to private masterclasses with famous chefs, cooking with exotic ingredients on tropical Thai islands and photographing restaurants and food commercially.

Blogging has been a good education tool too. It has taught me a lot. I’m a firm believer that one should never stop learning. I’m also grateful for what I have and try to say thanks. Oscar Wilde was once quoted as saying ”We are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Well I can tell you, the stars I can see are covered in a dark couverture chocolate!

And now what you have all been waiting for – the recipe……

Mushroom Haloumi Burger
(for one “burger”)

Think of this as more of a construction than a recipe. You can add whatever you like. I make caramelised onions and chargrilled peppers and store them in the fridge. You may choose to add some crunchy cos lettuce, grilled eggplants-really the possibilities are endless. I quite like the concept of using the large portabello mushrooms as the base and top to create a burger. Even though burgers are usually eaten with one’s hand I’d be wary doing it with this!


2 portabello mushroom with the stems trimmed
1 thick slice of haloumi cheese
caramelised onions
chargrilled peppers
olive oil
micro herbs to garnish
wedges, chips or fries to serve


1. Place the two portabello mushroom caps in a non stick pan and drizzle a little olive oil over them.

2. Cook for two minutes on each side and then place the pan in a preheated 180 deg C oven and cook off the mushrooms for five minutes. Remove and set aside.

3. Heat another pan with a little olive oil and once it’s heated place your thick slice of haloumi on one side. Allow it to cook for 2-3 mins until it forms a nice brown crust, turn it over and repeat again.

4. Once it’s cooked remove from the pan and set aside.

5. Take one of the mushroom caps and place some chargrilled peppers on the base, then the haloumi, followed by some caramelised onions. Garnish with micro herbs and top with another mushroom cap. Serve with your favourite potatoes on the side.

Don’t forget

If you have been following our progress over the competition you should know by now that you need to vote each week as a matter of national pride. And you know the drill – vote now and then send the link to all your family and friends, so they can all help us celebrate our Mushroom Masters victory. Naturally enough the best way to celebrate is with some mushrooms.

So, whip on over to Tastespotting and remember – Vote 1 – Mushroom Haloumi Burger.

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Shiitake Okonomiyaki (aka Japanese Pancake)

Three cheers for Ellie Won – Kitchen Wench for her resounding, convincing, fantastic win in Week 2 of the Mushroom Masters with her recipe for Lasagne with slow roasted mushrooms and goat’s cheese.

If you ever want to be convinced about the dedication of our Fungi Foursome in taking on the United States and Canada in this competition, then head on over to her Kitchen Wench blog and check out the post entitled – Mushroom & Goat’s Cheese Tart (and a little emotional blackmail…) If it doesn’t make you smile and want to get up and eat some mushrooms, then you are a very hard person to please…

This week features Christie from Fig & Cherry taking on Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy (US) and Elizabeth from Guilty Kitchen (Canada). I was lucky enough to meet Christie last week at the launch of BBQ Mushrooms Japanese style, so it is highly appropriate that the recipe is a little bit of Japanese inspiration.

The US have already warned that they will be hard to beat this week, but having seen our entry I am quietly confident that our Fungi Foursome are on a roll. So let’s hear from Christie and get this party started….

Hi I’m Christie, the publisher of the food blog Fig & Cherry. My blog features original recipes, restaurant and product reviews and travel stories.

I love cooking, photographing and writing about food and am glad to have had the opportunity to meet amazing chefs such as Tetsuya Wakuda through my blog.

When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m running my online marketing agency, Morning Copy, with my husband and preparing for the arrival of my first baby in November 2010!

And now for the recipe…..

Shiitake Okonomiyaki (aka Japanese Pancake)

Makes 2 x 6 inch pancakes (recipe may be doubled or more)


2 cups white cabbage, finely shredded

8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced

2 eggs

1/2 cup plain, all purpose flour

1/3 cup cold water

Pinch each of salt and white pepper

2 tablespoons vegetable oil



Okonomiyaki sauce (or make your own by mixing together 3 tbs ketchup, 1 tbs worcestershire sauce and 1 tsp soy sauce)

Fried prawns/shrimp and mushrooms (optional)
Shiitake Salt (optional, makes 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, 1/2 cup sea salt flakes, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


1. Place the cabbage and mushrooms into a large bowl. Crack the eggs over the vegetables and add the flour, water, salt and pepper. Mix with chopsticks or two forks until well combined and all ingredients are lightly coated in batter.

2. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a heavy based frying pan (skillet) over medium heat. Add half the mixture then shape into a circle and flatten to about 3/4 inch thick. Cook for 5 minutes until golden and crispy, then carefully flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm, then repeat with the remaining oil and pancake mixture.

3. To make the shiitake salt, blitz the dried mushrooms in a coffee grinder until finely chopped then mix with the salt and sesame seeds.

4. To serve, drizzle the pancakes with mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce in a criss cross pattern. Garnish with prawns and mushrooms, if you like, and have the shiitake salt close by for sprinkling.

One last thing

If you have been following our progress over the competition you should know by now that you need to vote each week as a matter of national pride. And so do your friends and family, so send them a link and together we can all enjoy some Japanese mushroom pancakes while we reflect on how nice it is to be No 1.

So, whip on over to Tastespotting and remember – Vote 1 – Shiitake Okonomiyaki (aka Japanese Pancake).

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Lasagne with slow roasted mushrooms and goat’s cheese

This week the battle for the Mushroom Masters continues unabated and, as we recover from a battering at the hands of the Canadians, Australia is throwing Ellie Won – Kitchen Wench headlong into the competition. This week a recipe that will have mushroom lovers everywhere heading for the kitchen to whip up a storm – a slow roasted storm that is!

Doing their best to offer some competition to Ellie this week will be Maggie from Pithy and Cleaver  (US) and Jeannette from Everybody Likes Sandwiches  (Canada).

To your corners bloggers and on my signal let the Button Battle begin. Sorry, getting a bit carried away there. I should firstly introduce Ellie in her own words….

My name is Ellie and I’m the mind and madness behind the Kitchen Wench food blog. Coming from a Korean background and having grown up in Australia, I’ve been in the kitchen since I could sit up, and my cooking captures what I believe are some of the best aspects of both cultures. With a passion for food, photography and media, the kitchen is the best place for me to unwind from the hassles of everyday life and let my creativity take hold.

And now for the recipe…..

Lasagne with slow roasted mushrooms and goat’s cheese

Slow roasted mushroom ingredients:

500g button mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
3-4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste

Lasagne ingredients:

1 batch slow roasted mushrooms
4 fresh lasagne sheets
150g ricotta cheese
100g soft goat’s cheese
1/2 cup thin or cooking cream
1 large organic egg
1 large onion, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp butter


1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C, then toss the sliced mushrooms in olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon and salt and pepper. Scatter the mushrooms onto a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper, then roast for 30 to 40 minutes or till browned on the bottom. Flip over all the mushroom slices and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool.

2. Melt the butter in a non stick frying pan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté till translucent and soft. Once soft, mix together with the ricotta, goat’s cheese, thin cream and egg till the mixture is well incorporated.

3. Line a non-stick loaf tin with the first lasagne sheet, then layer with 1/4 of the cheese mixture and add 1/4 of the slow roasted mushrooms. Repeat till you’ve used up all of the mushrooms and cheese, then bake in an oven at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes or till a skewer poked through the pasta sheets goes through cleanly.

4. Allow to cool slightly in the pan before carefully removing onto a plate, and serve while still warm with a fresh garden salad.

One last thing

I know you are keen to get into the kitchen and whip up a storm, but we need you to vote first and eat later. So, whip on over to Tastespotting and remember – Vote 1 – Lasagne with slow roasted mushrooms and goat’s cheese. And after that you deserve a treat. Can I suggest the Lasagne sounds good! Go the Mighty Mushroom.

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Team Australia – the battle for mushroom supremacy continues

As you may be aware Australia is currently battling the United States and Canada for supremacy in the Mushroom Masters.

With Week 1 now finishing please prepare to pace yourself over the coming weeks as our next batch of bloggers takes to the contest. With Angela of Oh She Glows  (Canada) taking out the Portobello Playoff, we are now preparing ourselves for Week 2 and the Button Battle.

And just so you know who to support, our full Australian team for this competition is as follows:

Week 1 – Jules Clancy – Stone Soup  – Portobello Mushrooms
Week 2 – Ellie Won – Kitchen Wench – Button Mushrooms
Week 3 – Christie Connelly – Fig & Cherry – Shiitake Mushrooms
Week 4 – Peter Georgakopoulos – Souvlaki for the Soul – Wildcard
Help our team by:

  • Voting each week for the Australian entry
  • Talking about the event on your websites, blogs and Twitter and encouraging any mushroom lovers to get involved and vote.
  • Spreading the word on any of your newsletters that our Australian team is battling for the Mushroom Masters.
  • Above all, have fun – remember it is all about great tasting, healthy food, so don’t forget to grab those mushrooms, follow the recipe and get cooking. With the healthy all-rounder it is a win no matter which way you look at it.
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