Sunday, April 23, 2017

Presto Pesto

Pesto rolls, pork tenderloin, and a "forbidden" salad comprised our picnic meal today.  The salad was an assortment of black rice, cherries, white bean, orange and pistachio salad.  I combined ingredients from two recipes and added a little balsamic dressing to the rice.  Everything was good!  The recipe I wanted to share is the pesto mix for the bread roll.  I made the spelt dough, then rolled it into a rectangle, spread with pesto, brushed with 4 ounce tomato sauce and sprinkled with 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese prior to rolling, cutting and rising the third time.

Here is the pesto recipe (needed 1 cup for 20 pesto rolls):

Spinach Pesto

(2 cups)

Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil.  
Add spinach, basil and parsley.  Cook for 20 seconds.
Remove green mixture to a bowl filled with ice water.  Let stand
for 30 seconds.  Drain and pat dry with clean towels.
5 cups fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
2 1/2 cups fresh basil, stems removed
2/3 cup parsley leaves

Add spinach mixture, tomatoes, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice,
black pepper, cheese and olive oil to food processor.  
Process until finely chopped.
14 tablespoon grape tomatoes, diced
2 large cloves garlic
1 cup toasted walnuts
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup Parmigiano cheese, shredded
1/4 cup olive oil

Spread dough into a rectangle, approximately 9 X 14.  Pat pesto mix on top of dough to within 1/2 inch edge of rectangle.  Brush with 4 ounce marinara sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese.  Roll dough.  Cut in 1 inch pieces.  Place dough cut side up in pans greased with olive oil spray.  Let rise 40 minutes.

Bake at 350 F. for 40 minutes.

Our picnic today was at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia.  The tulip beds were a little past peak, but pretty just the same.




Friday, April 21, 2017

Sharing Talents at the Farmers Market

The summer farmers market is a place where many community members gather.  RDNs can promote health and wellness by providing farm fresh sampling at the market.

First open your toolbox of ideas for combining healthy seasonal ingredients in meals served at home.  Ask your school or place of employment if you can prepare food samples in the food service kitchen and utilize their commercial equipment.  Contact the health department and market manager to inquire about a temporary permit.  Space and temporary permits may be available at a minimal or no cost to a non profit.  Find local sources for foods.

Suggestions for sampling:
  • Fresh fruit smoothies made in a commercial smoothie maker.
  • Fruit crumble served in covered and labelled souffle cups.
  • Glazed peaches or applesauce warmed on a griddle.
  • Meatballs, autumn vegetable soup, chili con carne or sundried tomato hummus served from a commercial soup crock. 
The benefits are many.  RDNs at the farmers market promote:
  • Improving the health of the people of the state.
  • Advancing the education of the community.
  • Empowering members to be food and nutrition leaders.
  • Supports the farmer.
  • Increases the farmers sales.
  • Builds positive relationships with community members.
  • Learning and enjoyment for the RDN.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Time Honored Tradition of Pasta Making

You're never to old to learn, right?  This year I've tackled dumplings, won-tons, lasagna and noodles from scratch.  It's been fun-and very tasty.  This month's Rachael Ray Everyday Magazine has a page devoted to steps in pasta making, which was very helpful.

I made 2 meals with the noodles I prepared.  The first is a mushroom soup bowl topped with a poached egg.  I sauteed an assortment of vegetables, carrots, sweet peppers, fennel, celery, onion, garlic and mushrooms in sesame oil, then added a vegetable broth and a tablespoon of Mirin.  The noodles were added the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Tonight's dinner was a pesto shrimp and vegetables with homemade noodles.  That recipe is from Cooking Light.  I made extra pesto to eat with hard cooked eggs.

Homemade Noodles

4 Servings

1 cup semolina flour
Pinch of salt
2 eggs

1/4 cup water  
Flour for kneading and rolling.

Mound the flour on a floured surface. Sprinkle with salt.  Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs.  Whisk eggs slightly, then mix by hand with the flour until a ball is formed.  Add water as needed to keep dough from drying.  Form dough into a ball and knead for 8 minutes.  Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Divide dough in half.  Shape into an oval.  Starting with the widest setting on the pasta maker, run the dough through the maker.  Then set the machine to the next setting and run through again and again until reaching the narrowest setting.  Cut the dough in 12 inch noodles, about 3/4 inch wide.  Transfer to small piles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Let rest covered for 30 minutes.

Cook in boiling water 2-3 minutes.



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sunshine Noodles

Whole grains, dried fruit, nuts and low fat dairy made for a delicious breakfast as well as a dinner dessert.  The recipe for Noodle Rice is from Food and Wine Magazine.  My method and amounts were modified.  I cooked a little extra noodles earlier in the week, which were ready to mix with the other ingredients when I needed them.

Whole Grain Noodles & Red Rice

(Serves 5)

3/4 cup cooked whole wheat egg noodles

Cook rice in stove top pressure cooker for 45 minutes.  
1/4 cup red rice
2 cups water

Soak saffron in 2 ounce drained rice water.
Pinch of saffron 

Drain remaining rice.

On stove top, melt buttery spread in a small saucepan.  Stir in dates, raisins and orange juice.  Simmer until thick, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat. 
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 ounce dates, diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon orange juice

Mix noodles, rice, date mix and pistachios.
2 tablespoon ground pistachios

Place 1/2 of noodle-rice mix in a 3 cup baking dish greased with olive oil spray.
Sprinkle with 1/2 of coriander and cardamom.  Place remaining noodle-rice mix in dish and sprinkle with remaining coriander and cardamom.  Pour saffron water over top.
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon cardamom 
Bake at 350 F. for 30 minutes.

Garnish with rose petals.

For dinner, we enjoyed this dish as dessert with a little ice cream.  For breakfast, I enjoyed this with part skim ricotta cheese and a glass of skim milk.

We enjoyed another dish from Food and Wine Magazine for dinner as well-Red Wine BBQ Chicken.  Also on the platter were fresh green beans and twice baked red potatoes. I cut up chicken thighs for the entree.

I welcome the spring weather and love working outside in the morning then preparing a delicious dinner in the afternoon.  We'll have to make these again!



Sunday, April 9, 2017

Park 'n Pasta

Our spring picnic menu features a pesto pasta dish, asparagus and olive oil cake with strawberries and ricotta.  The pasta dish is based on a recipe from Rachael Ray.  I added my homemade marinara to keep it hot in the thermos for transport.  It was a delightful meal.

Pesto Pasta with Sausage & Marinara

(Serves 2)

Pulse nuts, greens, cheese, garlic, oil and lemon juice in a mini food processor. 
2 tablespoon shelled pistachios
3/4 cup cut greens (I used local bok choy and cilantro)
1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced

In a non stick skillet sprayed with olive oil spray, brown and crumble sauce with pepper and onion.  Drain well on paper towels.
4 ounce sweet Italian sausage
1 mini sweet pepper
2 tablespoon onion, diced

Cook noodles in boiling water for 12 minutes.  Drain (reserving liquid).  Mix liquid with 1 low sodium bouillon cube (gluten and GMO free). 
4 ounce whole wheat egg noodles
1 cup low sodium chicken stock

Stir pesto and sausage mix into noodles.  Add chicken stock and cool in refrigerator overnight.

1/2 hour prior to leaving for picnic, fill thermos with boiling water to preheat.  Empty pasta mix into a stove top pan.  Add marinara.  Heat to 165 F.  Empty water in thermos.  Fill with pasta.  Tighten lid to transport.
8 ounce no added salt marinara

The olive oil cake recipe I used was from Parade Magazine.  I used fresh ground whole wheat flour and only 1/4 cup sugar.   The strawberries were diced small and 1/2 of the mix pureed with 1 pack of strawberry jam.  I added a teaspoon of sugar to the part skim ricotta cheese.  We kept the cheese cold in an insulated container with ice packs and assembled the dessert at tableside.

Our picnic today was at Tygart Lake West Virginia State Park.  The water was high next to the dam.

The docks are not yet in the water, but in a few weeks, there will be many boats and fisherman.  This is one of a few historic spots in Grafton, West Virginia.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Life Long Learners Sample Whole Grains

The participants in the life long learning class at West Virginia University know how to cook, yet love to sample new things. On this Whole Grains Sampling Day, we sampled grains A-W with the purpose of finding a new grain to enjoy.

As the instructor for this class, I was one who learned many things about grains-where they're grown, where to find them and what to do with them.  On day trips, I stopped at bulk food, gourmet food and farmers markets in hopes of finding another grain.  Recipe sources were endless-on packages, in the current magazines and on the internet.  Seems what's old-as in ancient grains-have become new again.

In the classroom, we previewed whole grains A-W. with a PowerPoint of meals I made at home.  Samples of most of the grains were passed , displaying the grain in it's dry state.  For 6 of the featured grains- I gave everyone a recipe and enough of the dry grain to prepare a recipe at home.  


At break. a whole grain soup, flatbread cracker and dessert were set up in a buffet in the office for participants to try.  For the Butternut Squash, Millet and Teff Soup, I used the recipe on the Whole Grains Council website, Curried Sweet Potato and Millet Soup, and substituted local Butternut Squash for the sweet potatoes.  The recipe for the Double Chocolate Cupcakes was inspired by Forks Over Knives, for which I added a touch of ground black beans to the whole grains in the dry mix.  I love the date, fig and cocoa icing in this recipe.

I'm fairly certain the enthusiastic "students" will not have to wait until next year to sample a whole grain!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Rollin' Ramen

Picnic weather has returned and this spring meal features brisket ramen, using some of the some of the wine-braised brisket and broth I made Thursday.  The recipes are from Rachael Ray's "Shortcut Suppers".  I slow cooked the brisket, then froze 2/3 of it to pull and plug into many more meals to come.  I refrigerated the broth, skimmed the fat, and will freeze some of it as well.

The meal is served with sliced grape tomatoes, Crusty Irish Soda Bread and Apple Pear Pecan Crumble.

Wine Braised Brisket

(Serves 12-15)

Mix wine, stock, paste and thyme in slow cooker.
2 cups dry red wine
2 cups low sodium beef stock
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat oil in skillet on stove top.  Add brisket.  Season and brown 6 minutes on each side.
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 (2.7 #) brisket
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash

Place brisket in slow cooker.  Add vegetables.  Cook on low heat 8 hours.
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped

On cutting board, divide beef into thirds.  Slice one piece with electric knife across the grain and serve with dinner.  Cool and refrigerate sliced meat and broth.  Cool and freeze pieces of brisket.

Brisket Ramen

(Serves 3)

On stove top, heat stock, soy sauce, pan juice and ginger.
2 cups beef stock, low sodium
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup pan juice, skimmed of fat
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Add noodles and cook as recommended on package.
2 ounce whole grain noodles

Stir in vegetables and beef.  Heat through out.
1/3 cup butter browned mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup fresh peas, previously cooked
1 cup fresh chopped spinach

1/2 cup wine-braised brisket, chopped  

Place soup in thermos, preheated with steeping boiling water.

Add hard cooked egg at table-side. 
1 hard cooked egg, halved

I love the green eggs I bought this week at my local farm store.

Our picnic today was at Watters Smith State Park near West Milford, WV.  There were lots of hikers and bikers at the park today.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Roast 'n Rye

For this adaptation of Reuben Loaf, I chopped the St. Patrick's Day Pickled Spiced Beef (frozen leftover) and combined with aged cheddar in a rye bread dough. To the whole rye and white bread dough, I added dijon mustard and caraway seed.  This made a very happy Friday meal at the start of a warm spring weekend!

Rye Loaf

(Serves 5)

In electric mixer with dough hook in place, slowly add warm water to a dry mix of rye flour, dry yeast and sugar.  Beat at medium speed 2 minutes.
1 cup whole rye flour
1 tablespoon 3/4 teaspoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (125 F) 

Add caraway seed, salt, mustard, buttery spread and 1/2 cup all purpose flour.  Beat at slow speed 2 minutes.
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
Smidgen salt
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Gradually add additional flour, kneading until dough leaves sides of bowl.  Place dough in bowl greased with olive oil.  
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Cover and let rise 45 minutes.  Punch dough down.  On parchment paper dusted with flour, roll dough into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch high. 

Spread beef down center 1/3 of dough.  Sprinkle beef with cheese.
1 1/2 cup roasted beef, chopped
3 ounce aged cheddar cheese, shredded
Cut dough on each side of center into 1/2 inch strips.  Overlap dough strips to resemble a braided top.  Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

Beat egg.  Brush dough with beaten egg.
1 egg 
Bake at 375 F. for 30 minutes.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Diabetic Friendly Cook Book "Switches It Up"

Corinne Trang's recipes in this new American Diabetes Association cookbook takes readily available ingredients and transforms recipes into flavorful meal combinations.  In each of the recipes, she suggests how to combine 3 recipes from the booklet to create a colorful meal.  Our dinner tonight features the 3 recipes she suggested as a pairing.  The poultry dish was similar to recipes we'd prepared.  The couscous-cranberry combination was all new (and very tasty) as was the smokey bean soup.  We both enjoyed the offerings.

Our menu:
Curried Spiced Turkey Tenderloin
Smoked Tomato Bean Soup
Quinoa with Spinach and Dried Cranberries

 Curried Spiced Turkey Tenderloin
©2017 by Corinne Trang. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. Switch It Up is available at, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733.”

(Serves 3)

In a small bowl, mix curry, ginger and garlic.
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic clove

Drop tenderloin into bowl of turn to cover with spice mix..
6 pound turkey tenderloin
Place on a baking tray covered with non stick aluminum foil.  Bake at 325 F. until thermometer inserted into center of tenderloin reaches 165F, about 45 minutes.  Slice thinly with electric knife.

Smokey Tomato Soup 

©2017 by Corinne Trang. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. Switch It Up is available at, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733.”

(Serves 3)

Saute celery, shallots, carrots and peppers in olive oil, stirring frequently.
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup celery, diced
2 tablespoon shallots, diced
1/3 cup carrots, diced
2 tablespoon orange and red sweet peppers, diced

Add spices.
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Add beans, water and bouillon cube.  
1/3 cup great northern beans
2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube, low sodium
Cook until beans are soft, about 1 hour.

Stir in tomatoes.  Heat throughout.
1/2 cup diced tomatoes, no added salt

Garnish with fresh cilantro
Fresh cilantro, garnish 

Quinoa with Spinach & Dried Cranberries

©2017 by Corinne Trang. Reprinted with permission from The American Diabetes Association. Switch It Up is available at, in bookstores nationwide, or by calling 1-800-232-6733.”

(Serves 2)

Heat oil in stove top skillet.  Add quinoa.  Stir to toast.  Add water and dried cranberries.  Heat to boiling.  Lower heat.  Cover and cook 20 minutes, until water is absorbed.
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoon quinoa
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries, chopped

Mix quinoa and berries with spinach.  Dress with lemon juice.
1/2 cup fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Serve with crumbled cheese.
2 tablespoon crumbled bleu cheese


Contact Dalyn A. Miller
Dalyn Miller Public Relations
A Fresh Take on Quick and Easy Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for a Balanced Life

by Corinne Trang
February 2017
The biggest challenge facing most people is how to get creativity and diversity into their diet, particularly when they are preparing meals daily. the trick is to incorporate a repertoire of simple recipes, using readily available ingredients that can be mixed and matched to create innovative dishes that become favorites.
In her new book SWITCH IT UP [Feb 2017, $14.95 US] Nautilus Book Award winner Corinne Trang has created a treasure trove of core recipes with the goal of achieving a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Corinne inspires readers to break the cycle of cooking "dinner time fixtures" by including some new, and many familiar, ingredients and sharing her unique approach to savoring the methods by which a food is prepared and presented. A healthy lifestyle begins with understanding balance - replacing dishes that are unhealthy or hard to digest with smaller, varied plates creating consciousness while eating. Best of all, there are plenty of options for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike! Inspired by cuisines from around the world, Corinne brings a new appreciation to the table with dishes like these:
  • Fennel Salad with Blood Orange
  • Eggplant, Tomato, Mozzarella Napoleon
  • Baby Bok Choy Stir-Fried with Ginger and Garlic
  • Spicy Miso Guacamole
  • Calamari in Tomato Sauce with Basil
  • Curry-spiced Chicken Breasts
  • Pan-seared Pork Tenderloin with Sautéed Apples
  • Apple Cranberry Pecan Crisp
Recipes use easy-to-find, staple ingredients, along with the American Diabetes Association's approved meal exchanges and detailed nutrition information.
SWITCH IT UP introduces the concept of mixing and matching dishes and opens the door for new combinations for any meal. The leftovers from a recipe you include for dinner can be combined with another recipe for tomorrow's lunch to create an entirely new flavor profile. SWITCH IT UP takes readers on a journey of new and bold tastes using ingredients that will elevate creativity in the kitchen, a bonus for family and friends.

About the Author
Corinne Trang is the award-winning author of nine cookbooks, including 2013 Nautilus Award-winning Asian Flavors Diabetes Cookbook, as well as Essentials of Asian Cuisine and Authentic Vietnamese Cooking. Trang is a frequent television and radio guest and has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's Early Morning Show, Martha Stewart Living, PBS, FOX News, ABC, CNN, Lifetime, Discovery, Food Network, Sirius, Business Talk Radio, NPR, and Bloomberg. She has written for numerous publications including: Saveur, Food & Wine, Fine Cooking, Island, Gourmet, CookingLight, and Bon Appetit, and has taught and lectured internationally. For more information, visit
* * *
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association® is leading to fight to STOP DIABETES® and its deadly consequences for those affected with diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure, and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, its mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish.
A Fresh Take on Quick and Easy Diabetes-Friendly Recipes for a Balanced Life
by Corinne Trang
February 2017

American Diabetes Association
$14.95 US
Original Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-58040-549-2

Dalyn A. Miller, 617-504-6869 /
Dalyn Miller Public Relations represents a variety of lifestyle-focused clients and products including experts and authors in the categories of diet, health, fitness, cooking, spirituality, sex, self-help and more. If this project is not appropriate to you or your demographic, we may have one (or more) that is appropriate.