Hearty, wholesome dishes to support immune systems


If feeding your family wholesome meals is a daily goal, keep in mind you can serve up tasty foods that also feed your immune system by including ingredients like mushrooms. With their earthy flavor, mushrooms — like many other fruits and vegetables — can also play a positive role in supporting a healthy immune system. 

Studies at Oregon State University concluded there are a variety of micronutrients important for supporting a healthy immune system. Consider that three of these nutrients (vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins) can be found in mushrooms.

Provided here are recipes for a Grilled Portobello Gyro with Yogurt Dill Sauce and Roasted Chicken Thighs and Veggies with Mushroom Orzo Risotto.

Find more ways to add mushrooms to family meals at mushroomcouncil.com. (Family Features) 

Grilled Portobello Gyros with Yogurt Dill Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”

Cook time: 15 minutes 

Total time: 25 minutes 

Servings: 4 

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
  • Yogurt Dill Sauce
  • 1 English cucumber, grated
  • 1 cup whole-milk 
  • Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small lemon, juice only
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 4 pita breads or naan
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head green lettuce
  • crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Remove stems from mushrooms and brush caps with wet towel. Using spoon, carefully scrape out gills. Slice mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces and place in medium bowl with olive oil, oregano and smoked paprika.

Preheat indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and peppers; grill, tossing occasionally, until tender, 5-7 minutes.

To make yogurt dill sauce: Squeeze grated cucumber in clean towel to remove excess liquid. Add to large bowl with yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and dill. Stir to combine.

To serve, place mushrooms and pep­pers in middle of pita bread. Top with tomatoes, onion, lettuce, feta, if desired, and big dollop of yogurt dill sauce. 

Roasted Chicken Thighs and Veggies with Mushroom Orzo Risotto

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”

Cook time: 50 minutes 

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes 

Servings: 4 

  • Chicken
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 16 ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 zucchini, sliced in half moons
  • 3 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed 
  • and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Orzo 
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 ounces crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • To make chicken
  • Preheat oven to 450 F.

Pat chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Sear chicken until browned, 4-5 minutes on each side.

In large bowl, toss mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, garlic and rosemary. On large baking sheet, spread vegetables. Nestle chicken into vegetables. Drizzle with butter and juices from pan.

Bake 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.

To make orzo

In small pot over medium-low heat, warm broth.

Using skillet from chicken, add butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, 3-4 minutes.

Add orzo and black pepper. Stir and cook 2 min­utes. Add white wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add warm broth to orzo 2/3 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, waiting until last batch is absorbed before adding more. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.

Serve in individual bowls with chicken and roasted vegetables atop mushroom orzo risotto. 

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