Friday, November 30, 2018

Making Calories Count with Whole Grain Cookies

These oat and brown rice cookies are whole grain and gluten free, without the added starches and fillers in some gluten free products.  The recipe is based on one in Gluten-Free Flavor Flours.  I substituted additional brown rice flour for the potato starch and flaxseed meal for the xanthum gum.  The added sugars were cut in half. 

Oat & Brown Rice Cookies

(Makes 48 cookies-1 Tablespoon Dough each) 

Combine flours, salt and baking soda in a bowl and mix.
1 1/4 cup oat flour
1 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon brown rice flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine melted butter sticks, sugars, flaxseed meal, hot water and vanilla.  
1/2 pound buttery sticks, melted
3/4 teaspoon flaxseed meal
1 1/2 teaspoon hot water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk in eggs.
2 eggs
Stir in flour mixture.  With a rubber spatula, mix batter briskly for about 45 seconds.  

Stir in chocolate and nuts.

2 cups unsweetened and 60% cacao chocolate (I mixed 1 cup each), chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, ground
1/2 cup pecans, ground

Refrigerate dough for 2 hours.

Drop by 1 tablespoon scoops onto parchment lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Bake at 375F for 12 minutes.  Remove from trays and paper.  Cool on wire racks.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Don't Knock It Till You've Tried It Gnocchi

This recipe has whole grains, legumes, colorful vegetables and local meat-add a sprinkle of cheese or a glass of milk to complete the meal.  

I made the gnocchi ahead, laid out on a parchment baking sheet, wrapped and refrigerated.  When ready to cook, I pulled the tray from the refrigerated, cooked and proceeded with the rest of the recipe.


(Serves 4)

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender.  Drain, cool and mash.
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed

Beat egg.  Combine with flour and mashed potato.  Add additional water if necessary to form into a ball.  Knead for a minute or two.
1 cup pasta flour (mine had equal parts of Kamut, whole wheat, semolina and all purpose flours)
1 egg
Cold water
Divide dough in half and form each into a long rope, about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut in 3/4 inch pieces.  Make an impression in each piece with a cocktail fork.  Place on prepared sheet.  Cook within an hour or refrigerate until ready to cook.

Gnocchi, Garbanzos, Veggies & Sausage

(Serves 4)

Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil.  Add gnocchi and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain, reserving broth.

Saute peppers, onions, fennel and mushrooms in olive oil, about 5 minutes.
2 mini sweet peppers, yellow, orange or red, diced or cut in thin strips
1 green onions, diced
1 tablespoon fennel, diced
6 baby bella mushrooms, diced
2 teaspoon olive oil

Add crumbed sausage and brown.
2 ounce sweet Italian sausage

Stir in herbs, broccoli, spinach, garbanzo beans, gnocchi and reserved cooking water.
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
3/4 cup broccoli, cut in small flowers and peeled and shredded stem
1/3 cup fresh spinach, stems removed 
1/2 cup garbanzo beans, cooked
Reserved cooking water
Cooked gnocchi
Simmer until hot (about 155 F).

Serve with shredded cheese, if desired. 




Friday, November 23, 2018

Hands On Thanksgiving

Our made-from-scratch turkey day meal went smoothly.  Local foods were a must-turkey, wheat berries, potatoes, cornmeal, eggs, squash, eggplant, onions and apples all grown or raised by our nearby friends.

Turkey with Honey Balsamic Glaze
Mixed Vegetable Bake
Fresh Pineapple & Grapes
Challah Bread
Crock Pot Apple Dessert with Vanilla Ice Cream 

I made the cornbread for the stuffing weeks ago and froze.  The day before the meal, I made the Challah and whipped potatoes. Bob and I spatchcocked the turkey the night before. We cut the drumsticks and wings from the bird and de-boned the thighs to cook along side the breast.  I cut most of the vegetables the day before except the eggplant which would turn colors cutting that far ahead.

The once 12# turkey roasted in only 2 hours cutting it like we did and slicing was a breeze.  I'd never reheated whipped potatoes but that actually worked just fine.  Using a thermometer to test final temperature for all the hot foods was a must, as the small deep baking dishes I used took a little longer to roast. (Turkey must be 165 degrees, stuffing 155 and other hot foods 145) For the mixed vegetable blend, I roasted the harder vegetables like winter squash and carrots 10 minutes before adding the other vegetables.  Mine had a mix of eggplant, patty pan squash, celery, basil, oregano, sweet peppers and olive oil.  To the crock pot apples, I decreased the sugar, adding 1/4 cup brown sugar.

Planning back from the eating time, my Thursday oven times went as follows:
  • 10 am crock pot apples
  • 1030 am turkey
  • 1115 am mashed potatoes and stuffing
  • 1130 am vegetables
  • 1230 pm heat bread 
  • 1240 pm gravy
  • 1 pm "let's eat!" 
Bob and I both worked with our friends, processing and distributing the turkeys on Monday and Tuesday.  Of course the best part of the meal was enjoying it with our family:

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Best of the Grains Buns

St. Hildegard once said that spelt was the "best of the grains" and 10 centuries later, I tend to agree.  Spelt is not the variety of wheat that most customers buy as industrialization incentivizes farmers to grow durum and bread wheat .  Spelt flour, a whole grain, can be substituted for whole wheat flour.  It is higher in protein than common wheat and may be more easily tolerated.  I prefer the taste of spelt to wheat berries, and find that using 1/2 spelt and 1/2 wheat in my flour mill reduces that earthy taste I get with some wheat berries.

Cardamom Cinnamon Buns

(12 Servings)

Mix yeast, milk, eggs and vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup.
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

In bowl of electric mixer, combine flours, sugar and salt.
1 1/4 cup spelt flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoon 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

With mixer running on low speed, cut in buttery spread.
16 tablespoon cold buttery spread, cut in small cubes
Drizzle in the milk mixture and mix till dough forms into a ball.
Turn onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a 1 inch disk.  Refrigerate 6 hours.

Turn dough onto a floured surface.  Roll into a 12 X 16 inch rectangle.  With the short end facing you, brush the melted buttery spread onto the dough to within 1 inch of ends. 
3 tablespoon melted buttery spread
Combine sugars and spices.
2 tablespoon 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sprinkle onto buttered dough.

Brush the borders with egg wash.
1 egg
2 teaspoon water

Fold the dough in half and cut into 12 inch strips, perpendicular to the fold.

Lifting each strip, twist in opposite directions and form into circular buns.  Lay on parchment lined baking sheets, about 3 inches apart.  Cover and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 400 F. for 22 minutes.

These buns are higher in fat and fiber with just a touch of added sugar.  One of those, combined with other proteins in a meal, will keep me full all morning or eliminate the need for a dessert after a dinner meal. 




Saturday, November 17, 2018

Amaranth Waffles: Choose the Flour Blend

Just as one can choose the waffle toppings, one can choose the flours that go in them.  Here are 2 recipes, one gluten free and one gluten containing.  Both are made with whole grain flours.  Both were very good, with a nice golden color.  

To increase the nutrient density of the gluten free blend, I did not add the starch called for in the original recipe.  Instead I substituted additional brown rice flour, which worked just fine.  The waffle was light and airy.    

Amaranth, Oat & Brown Rice Waffles

(3 Waffles-each with 1/4 cup batter)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon amaranth flour
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon oat flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a separate cup or bowl, beat egg in milk, then add melted buttery spread.
1/4 cup & 1 1/2 tablespoon nonfat milk
1 egg
1 1/5 tablespoon melted buttery spread 

Stir wet ingredients into dry.  Do not over mix.  Portion 1/4 cup batter into each grid of a preheated and greased waffle iron.  Bake until crispy.

The gluten containing mix is based on a recipe from Kim Boyce.  

Amaranth Wheat & Flax Waffles

(6 Waffles-1/4 cup batter each)

Mix dry ingredients.
2 tablespoon amaranth flour
2 tablespoon flax seed meal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a separate bowl or cup, beat egg into milk with lemon juice.  Stir in honey and melted buttery spread.
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg
2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon melted buttery spread

Stir wet mix into dry.  Do not over mix.  Portion 1/4 cup batter into each grid of a hot and greased waffle iron. Bake until crispy.


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lasamasa Soup

Homemade lasagna noodles with masa harina flour heightens the flavor and texture of the pasta. First the recipe for the pasta, then the recipe for the soup.

Lemon Pepper Egg Pasta

(3-4 servings)

Beat egg in a small measuring cup.  Mix into flour, salt and pepper for about 30 seconds.  Add juice. Add just enough cold water to get mixture to almost form a ball.
1 egg
2 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon Kamut flour
2 tablespoon semolina flour

4 tablespoon masa harina
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 teaspoon black pepper
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
Cold water 

On a floured surface, knead dough for 1-2 minutes.  Roll into a thin oblong and fold in thirds.  Feed into pasta cutting machine set at the widest thickness.  Reset the thickness to #5 and roll again.  Cut pasta into strips 1 3/4 inch wide, then each strip into 2 1/4 inch pieces.  Place on baking sheets and refrigerate until about 1 hour before service.  At that point, I remove from refrigerator and dehydrate in a 150 F. oven for about 30 minutes.

Lasamasa Soup

(3-4 servings)

Over medium high heat, crumble and brown meat.  Drain thoroughly and wipe out pan.
8 ounce grass fed ground beef

Over medium heat, saute vegetables in olive oil for 5 minutes.
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoon onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 small sweet pepper, seeded and diced
1/3 cup carrot, peeled and diced
Add spices.
2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Add tomatoes, broth and paste.  Heat to a low boil.
1 141/2 ounce canned petite diced tomatoes (without salt)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
2 tablespoon tomato paste

Add lasagna.  Return to a low boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, until noodles are of desired texture. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Echos of Samplings at the Farmers Market

With four years of monthly samplings at the market under my belt, here are my take aways:

  • This was a challenge, something I'd never done before.  Entertaining was somewhat new to me.
  • My background in Food Service made me a master at sanitation.  I received 100% on all health department inspection.  I was never going to make anyone sick.
  • Incorporating meat or poultry, produce, grains and dairy into my samplings gave the customer a taste of the entire market and a model for nutrient dense meals to make at home.
  • Keeping abreast of current offerings, calendars and popular magazines helped me incorporate seasonal ingredients into the sampling.
  • I couldn't have done it without my husband.  2 gallons of prepared soup or sauce with equipment was heavy and two people were necessary to transport.  He had the charisma to draw people to our table and keep the conversation going.  On the days we grilled, he manned the griddle while I served 

  • The customers enjoyed the samplings.  Just as they went to certain tables at every market, they came to ours.  Customers tried the recipes and would return to tell me about that.
  •  The children liked the samplings.
  • The samplings enhanced the aura. The farmers are happy to talk to customers, answer questions and share experiences.  Customers from the community value that experience.


  • I have never seen people work harder in my life than the farmers.
  • The farmers wanted to donate and see you incorporate their products.
  • The dietetic students, interns and faculty liked to help and promoted our work at the market.
  • The profession and state affiliation received positive PR.  
  • Other RDNs offered help.  The first year when I represented the hospital, the department RDNs and chef volunteered to help.  These are memories I'll never forget.