Guest Post: Basil Beef & Mushroom Rice Bowls by Kiwi & Bean

We have a guest in the kitchen! We have Sarah of (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean back today, to share a comforting dish that still makes use of those summer flavours. I have no doubt it'll be a hit with your family, as it was with hers!!


Hello mushroom-lovers! Sarah here from (Cooking for) Kiwi & Bean, a food blog where I share no-sweat, super simple, family-friendly recipes that anyone (repeat: ANYONE) can make!

You might remember me from my guest post last winter—Penne with Sausage, Caramelized Mushrooms and Winter Greens. It was a perfect way to enjoy mushrooms on the coldest and dreariest of winter days.

I’m excited to be back today sharing a recipe that combines mushrooms with one my favourite summer herbs—basil! If you’ve got a garden, you might have some fresh basil in full (and fragrant) bloom. Otherwise, the grocery stores and farmers markets are full of the stuff.

Mushrooms and basil might seem like unlikely bedfellows, but they pair beautifully in these Thai-inspired Basil Beef & Mushroom Rice Bowls. The mushrooms are diced and sautéed with ground beef, and when fully cooked they almost disappear—a win if you’ve got any mushroom skeptics in your family, as I do.

While this dish has a rich and layered flavour, it’s surprisingly fast and easy to prepare. If you chop the onions, garlic and mushrooms the night before, you can throw the recipe together in about 20 minutes.

I like to serve these rice bowls “build-your-own” style at the dinner table. Set out the basil beef, a pot of cooked rice or quinoa, some chopped red chillies, extra fresh basil, julienned carrots, cucumber rounds, and thinly sliced green onions, and let everyone in the family build a bowl to their liking. And, if you are feeling a little indulgent or want to make this dish weekend-dinner-guest-worthy, top each rice bowl with an egg, sunny-side up. Now we’re talking.


Basil Beef & Mushroom Rice Bowls
Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 10 mins.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons avocado oil (or another vegetable oil of choice)
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced or crushed
½ pound white button or cremini mushrooms, diced
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons tamari (gluten free) or soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 cups fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
Juice of half a lime

To serve: cooked rice or quinoa, chopped red chillies, additional fresh basil, julienned carrots, cucumber rounds, thinly sliced green onions, fried eggs, lime wedges

Method
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Soften and lightly brown the onions, then add the garlic, mushrooms and ground beef, breaking up the beef with the back of your spoon.
2. Let the mixture cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are very soft and the beef is browned and cooked through.
3. Combine the tamari, fish sauce, sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Pour over the beef and mushroom mixture, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer for a minute or two, or just until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in the basil and lime juice. Remove from the heat, and serve immediately over rice or quinoa with desired garnishes.

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Be sure to follow along with Sarah online at Kiwi & Bean, and on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!


FBC2016 Appetizer Spotlight Winner Is...

We were lucky to have another fantastic group of submissions for this year's, incredibly competitive, Appetizer Spotlight contest! We had a very, very tough decision on our hands. The Mushrooms Canada staff and the good folks at the Food Bloggers of Canada came together to pick our winner!

Congratulations to...
Mushroom and Beef Cheese Balls (Mini Style!) by Kacey of The Cookie Writer


Kacey has won the opportunity to be our featured appetizer at this year's Food Bloggers of Canada Conference at Delta Toronto! Our Mushrooms Canada table at the Friday night reception of FBC2016 will feature these mouthwatering cheese balls, so be sure to come by and try one (or three!) for yourself. Not only that, but Kacey will be in attendance to see her recipe enjoyed, having won a full conference pass and 2 nights accommodation to the sold out event! 

Once again, congrats to Kacey, as well, a special thank you to all of the talented bloggers who submitted their amazing mushroom-meat blended appetizers! We can't wait to see you everyone at FBC2016!!

Blend your way into FBC2016: Moussaka Mini Pies by True Sustenance

It's our final day sharing the entries of our Appetizer Spotlight contest, featuring so many mouthwatering blended appetizers. Our winner will be announced Friday September 9th!! 

Do you have a winner picked out?

Maybe today's recipe will change your mind. Our final entry, submitted only hours before the deadline, comes from Lesli of True Sustenance. Her Moussaka Mini Pies feature a juicy blend of ground beef, ground pork and mushrooms! This is certainly an exciting entry to finish off another fun year of this contest. 


Moussaka Mini Pies

Ingredients
Filling:
½ lb. ground beef
½ lb. ground pork
8 oz. finely chopped mushrooms
1 finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped zucchini
2 garlic cloves
1 – 5.5 oz. can tomato paste
1 c. of white wine
3 T. chopped parsley
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Béchamel Sauce:
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 c. milk
2 egg yolks
½ c. feta

Method
1. Brown beef and pork, add mushrooms and onions. Cook until onions are translucent. Add the remaining ingredients. Set Aside.
2. Melt butter in a pan. Add flour, blend well with a whisk. Whisk in milk, until mixture thickens. Whisk in egg yolks. Mix in feta.
3. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees and bake 24 mini pie shells. Cook as directed on box. Remove from oven.
4. Put oven on broil.
5. Place 1 T. of filling and 1-2 tsp. of Béchamel sauce in each mini pie shell. Arrange on tray. Place tray under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, Béchamel should not turn brown.
6. Arrange on your appetizer table with tiny spoons. Enjoy!


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A HUGE thank you goes out to all of the FBC Members who joined the Appetizer Spotlight competition with their own blended recipe!