The Blend -- made by combining mushrooms with meat, poultry or seafood -- is a compelling cooking tip for consumers. Not only does The Blend provide a way to increase the servings of vegetables in a dish and extend portions, but it does so with a boost of umami flavor. For shoppers looking to lower calories, eat more plant-based, and more sustainably, The Blend assists with these goals. "I love that The Blend is easy for anyone to incorporate into the meals that they are already making at home," says Heather Steele, RD, LD. "Plus, as a dietitian I love sneaking in that extra serving of vegetables at meal time."
Heather, a retail dietitian at Reasor's, is the winner of The Mushroom Council's Blenditarian recipe contest, hosted specifically for members of the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance. Heather's winning recipe -- Chicken Parm Blended Burger -- is a marriage of her love of chicken Parmesan and her husband's craving for burgers. The added bonus is a nutrition profile that gets the RD stamp of approval. "I love that The Blend was able to bring a healthy twist to the dish without sacrificing flavor."
The role of the retail dietitian requires strong cooking skills, and for Heather, cooking has been a way for her to express creativity with food as a dietitian. "My customers are always looking for ways to implement health ideas," indicates Heather. "I love the idea of passing out my winning recipe when discussing The Blend one-on-one, during store tours, and at community events." In the past, Reasor's has sold and promoted The Blend in store, and Heather plans to feature all the ingredients along with the recipe, inspiring shoppers and increasing sales at the same time.
Runners up in the recipe contest were:
As the winner of The Mushroom Council recipe contest, Heather receives a $1,000 travel stipend to a professional conference. She is planning to attend FNCE in Chicago in October, where her Chicken Parm Blended Burger will be featured at the What's In-Store event hosted by RDBA on Saturday, October 21.