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The colour of October is — pink.

Not just in our food, but on our clothing, our cars, our hair and nails, perhaps even our pets.

You’ll certainly find it in the vegetable aisles, in particular where the mushrooms are. That’s because for a second year in a row, Mushrooms Canada is channeling the power and appeal of this super food in support of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada (BCSC) and the 445 women diagnosed with the disease each week.

From now until November 11, fresh mushrooms packed in pink trays and marked with a pink ribbon will be available for shoppers across Canada looking to participate in the fight against breast cancer. for every pound of these mushrooms sold, Canadian mushroom farmers will make a contribution to the BCSC in the hope of beating last year’s $61,128.18 donation.

The anti-tumour properties in fresh mushrooms make this fab fungus the perfect fit for the cause. with diet being a key player in disease prevention, incorporating 3.5 oz. (100 g) of mushrooms into daily meals will count as one serving of fruits and vegetables, in addition to making a big difference in fighting breast cancer and staying healthy.

Enjoy the mushrooms and joing the fight – log on and become a member of the Mushrooms Go Pink group on Facebook. Every new "Like" will generate a 10 cent donation to the BCSC from Mushrooms Canada, up to $5,000.

Enjoy the following recipes courtesy of Mushrooms Canada. And check out MushroomsGoPink.ca for more details. Visit Mushrooms.ca for more delicious recipes.

MUSHROOM SOUP AU GRATIN

This looks like French onion soup but has the rich mushroom flavour instead of onion. it is almost a meal itself so just add a salad and dinner is ready.

2 Tbsp. (30ml) olive oil

12 oz. (6 cups/1.5L) sliced assorted fresh mushrooms (white, crimini, portobella, shiitake, oyster)

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

6 cups (1.5L) chicken broth

1 tsp. (5ml) finely grated lemon rind

1/4 tsp. (1ml) Each ground nutmeg and pepper

4 slices French bread (1/2"/2.5 cm thick) toasted

4 oz. (120g) grated or sliced Swiss cheese

2 Tbsp. (30ml) grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat; sauté mushrooms, onions and garlic about 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add chicken broth, lemon rind, nutmeg and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 to 30 minutes.

Ladle soup into 4 deep ovenproof bowls. Float bread on top; sprinkle with Swiss cheese and Parmesan if using. Place under broiler until bubbly and lightly browned.

SAVOURY MUSHROOM STUFFED PORK TENDERLOIN

A moist and flavourful stuffing makes an impressive but simple meat dish. top with an apple drizzle if desired.

2 Tbsp. (30ml) vegetable oil, divided

8 oz. (250g) fresh mushrooms, finely chopped(about 3 cups/750ml)

1/4 cup (50ml) each finely diced red pepper and onion

1 tsp. (5ml) each dried savoury and sage leaves

1/2 tsp. (2ml) each salt and pepper

4 tsp. (20ml) Dijon mustard

1 cup (250ml) fresh whole wheat bread crumbs

2 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb/500g each)

In medium skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium high heat; saute mushrooms, red pepper, and onion, saute 3-4 minutes or until moisture is released from mushrooms. Add savoury, sage, salt and pepper, saute 1 minute; remove from heat and stir in mustard and breadcrumbs. Cut tenderloins almost in half lengthwise so it opens like a book; pound to flatten slightly. Spread and lightly pack stuffing down the centre of each, leaving 1-in. (2.5 cm) border around the edges. Fold long edges over stuffing overlapping as necessary, and fold in the narrow end; secure with skewers or string.

In large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium high heat, sear both sides of tenderloins, about 5 minutes. If skillet handles are not oven proof, cover with foil or transfer pork to baking pan and place in 400F (200C) oven; roast for 20-25 minutes or until juices run clear or when an instant read thermometer reads 155F (75C). let stand covered with foil for 5-10 minutes, remove skewers or string, slice and serve fanned out on serving plates. Drizzle with pan juices or apple drizzle (below).

Variation: Add 1/4 cup (50 ml) diced apple with onion and red pepper, reduce mustard to 2 tsp. (10 ml).

Apple Drizzle: in a small saucepan mix 1 cup (250 ml) apple juice with 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) corn starch until smooth; bring to boil, stirring constantly and boil 1-2 minutes or until thickened and clear; stir in pan juices from the skillet. Drizzle over sliced tenderloin.

OVEN ROASTED MUSHROOM AND VEGETABLE SALAD

This room temperature salad is also delicious served warm over grilled polenta. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese if desired.

1 1/2 lb. (750g) medium fresh mushrooms, halved

1 large sweet onion, thickly sliced into rings

1/3 cup (75ml) olive oil, divided

6 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and halved

1/4 cup (50ml) balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. (10ml) dried basil leaves OR 1/4 cup (50 ml) sliced fresh basil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

Pinch of hot red pepper flakes

1/4 cup (50ml) chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Place mushrooms in a large bowl with onion wedges. Add 4 Tbsp. (60ml) olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Arrange in a single layer on large shallow baking pan and roast uncovered on bottom shelf in 400F (200C) oven for 15 minutes; stir and continue to roast for another 15 -20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut zucchini in half lengthwise and then crosswise in 1-in.(2.5 cm) pieces and place in same bowl and add tomatoes; toss with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place tomatoes cut side up on another baking sheet with zucchini and roast in oven with mushrooms for 15-20 minutes or until softened and sizzling. Remove vegetables from oven and spoon into large serving bowl.

In measuring cup combine vinegar, basil, garlic, hot pepper flakes and parsley (if not using fresh basil) and pour over warm vegetables. Toss lightly; serve at room temperature as side dish or on grilled polenta for main course.

Makes 6 side servings or 4 main course

Grilled Polenta: purchase pre-cooked polenta rolls and cut into 1/2-in. (2.5 cm) thick rounds or prepare your favorite polenta and chill until firm in square pan and cut out squares. Brush with olive oil and grill, broil or bake until golden brown.

The favourite combination of bacon, lettuce and tomato tops baked portabella mushrooms instead of bread for a light lunch.

4 slices bacon, halved

4 (340g) large fresh portabella mushrooms (340g), stems removed

1 tbsp (15ml) olive oil

1 tsp (5ml) dried basil

1/4 tsp (1ml) each salt and pepper

4 Tbsp. (60ml) crumbled Chevre cheese

1 large tomato, sliced into 4 thick slices

2 cups (500ml) mixed greens (mesculin, arugula, baby spinach)

1/4 cup (50ml) slivered red onion

2 tbsp (25ml) balsamic vinaigrette

Garnish: chopped fresh basil (optional)

Place bacon in single layer on one end of large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, brush both sides of mushrooms with oil. Remove baking sheet and place mushrooms stem side down on other end of baking sheet. Bake for 4 minutes. Then remove baking sheet again and turn mushrooms over stem side up. Sprinkle evenly with basil, salt and pepper. top each mushroom with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of cheese and a slice of tomato. Return to all to oven for 4-5 minutes longer or until mushrooms are soft and bacon is cooked. Meanwhile, toss greens and red onion with vinaigrette.

Drain bacon on paper towels. Place mushrooms on individual salad plates. top each with 2 slices of bacon. Spoon salad mixture on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil, if desired and serve while warm.

Tip: Substitute 8 thin slices of pancetta for the 4 slices of bacon. it cooks faster, so just bake it with the mushrooms for about 6-8 minutes or until crisp. Pancetta is Italian bacon that is not smoked and is available in the deli section of the grocery store.

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