Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Taste of the South

Even in the winter, customers can find local beans and grains at the farmers market and street fairs.  First I spotted the red peas at the local mill stand, then blue grits at another stand.  Both are grown at farms near Columbia, South Carolina.  My conversation with the farmer at the mill stand helped to take my mind off the cold damp weather.  This man works at the mill 3 days a week and farms the other days.  He has planted 50 acres of farro this year in hopes he can supply the mill who currently gets their farro from the mid west.  I took his advice and cooked the grits in the slow cooker, after he told me they take a long time to cook.

Red Peas & Blue Grits

(6 Servings)

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
1/2 cup red peas (dry volume)
1/2 cup blue grits (dry volume)
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 garlic cloves, minces
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 sweet red peppers, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
Cook on low 8 hours.

Those are Fennel-Molasses Rye Rolls the side, a recipe from the magazine Taste of the South. 

Fennel Molasses Rye Rolls 

(12 Servings)

Mix rye flour, yeast, sugar in bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place.
1 cup whole rye flour
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup warm water (125 F)
Slowly add water.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl down after 1 minute.

Add melted buttery spread, molasses, eggs, flour, fennel, salt and soda.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl down after 1 minute.
2 tablespoon melted buttery spread
2 tablespoon black strap molasses
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Slowly add remaining flours and knead on low speed for 8 minutes until dough leaves sides of the bowl.
1 cup all purpose flour 
1/2 cup whole rye flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Place dough in large bowl, greased with olive oil spray.  Turn to coat.  Cover and let rise until double.  

Punch dough down.  Portion into 12 dough balls.  Place each in muffin tin, greased with olive oil spray.  Brush with egg-wash mixture.  Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes.



Monday, February 18, 2019

Explore New Foods and Flavors

Break the monotony of everyday meals by adding a new food weekly.  While it may not be the season to find new fruits and vegetables, there is a nice variety of unique whole grains on the grocery shelves.

Here are a few of my new favorite grains to try:


You might have seen the small yellow seed in birdseed-yet in Asia, India and Western Europe millet is a staple grain.  This non-gluten grain cooks on stove top in 20 minutes and is a high magnesium whole grain that's a great substitute for rice.


Teff has over twice the iron of other grains and three times the calcium.  This versatile, sweet flavored grain is good in stews, grain bowls and ground in flours for cakes and muffins.


If you're going to pick one new whole grain to try-this is the one.  Spelt can be used in place of common wheat.  While it has less gluten forming potential than durum wheat, the results are softer breads with golden colors with a taste that melts in your mouth.


Kamut wheat is a nutritious source of iron, fiber, zinc and magnesium.  It has higher levels of protein and more Vitamin E than common wheat.  Like spelt, it produces a softer golden texture in baked goods.  It also works well in pasta flours.

National Nutrition Month® is an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  See more healthy eating tips from the Academy's registered dietitian nutritionists here.



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Eat the Grainbow in Kasha Varnishkes

Based on a recipe in the November issue of Today's Dietitian, this dish features whole grain buckwheat and a multigrain pasta.  Because each whole grain, like vegetables, provide a unique nutrient profile, it's good to include a variety.  Tonight's dinner combines whole grains with vegetables and protein to create this healthy plate.

Kasha Varnishkes

(4 Servings)

In deep bowl, combine flours.
1/4 cup Kamut flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour

Add salt, pepper and zest to flours.
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 teaspoon black pepper
Zest from 1 lemon

 Stir in egg and juice.
1 egg, beaten
Juice from 1 lemon
Add cold water as needed until dough comes together.
Turn onto floured board and knead for 1 minute.

Divide dough in thirds.  Using roller attachment of electric mixer, roll pasta using the largest thickness.  Fold pasta strip in half and roll through machine again, this time with roller adjusted to the next narrower setting.  Repeat and reduce thickness a third time.

Cut dough strips in 1 1/2 inch strips, then into 1 1/2 inch squares.
Fold in half and pinch to create a bow tie.
Lay on parchment lined baking sheets and bake in 150 F oven for 1 hour.

Store in refrigerator until ready to cook dinner. 

Kasha Varnishkes
In a dry non stick skillet over medium heat, brown buckwheat groats, stirring often, for about 8 minutes.
1/3 cup buckwheat groats

Stir in beaten egg and cook for about 5 minutes.
1 egg, beaten
Remove kasha to another dish.

Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in oil for 8 minutes.
1/4 cup onion, diced
4 ounce baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil

Add water and bouillon.
2 cups hot water
1 low sodium vegetable bouillon cube

Add pasta and kasha.

Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until pasta is al dente.
Add broccoli flowers and parsley.
2/3 cup broccoli flowers
1/4 cup snipped parsely

My pasta is served with thinly sliced sirloin steak (6 ounces cooked for 4 servings)




Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Job's Tears-Heirloom, Versatile and Whole Grain

Though they look like teardrops, these chewy grains leave us nothing to cry about.  They're gluten free, full of antioxidants and high in fiber.  Though they resemble a bean or groat, Job's Tears take only about 45 minutes to cook on stove top.  Drain and add to soups, salads or main dishes.

Still hard to find, I was thrilled to find these in a capital city international store.  I'm planning to include these in a layered mason jar salad, to familiarize my students to the grain and to enjoy the taste of the kind of sweet grain.

Jobs Tears Layered Salad

(6-1 cup Servings)

3 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoon orange juice
1 ½ teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Salad Ingredients
1 cup 2 tablespoon cooked black beans
9 tablespoon sweet peppers, diced
9 tablespoon corn, cooked
1 cup 2 tablespoon cooked Jobs Tears
6 tablespoon radishes, sliced
6 tablespoon green onion, diced
6 tablespoon sliced grape tomatoes
6 tablespoon pepitas
2 ounce microgreens or arugula

To assemble:
Shake or blend dressing.  Place 1 tablespoon in bottom of each 1 cup mason jar.  Add all ingredients in layers:
3 tablespoon black beans
1 ½ tablespoon peppers
1 ½ tablespoon corn
3 tablespoon Jobs Tears
1 tablespoon radishes
1 tablespoon green onion
1 tablespoon tomato
1 tablespoon pepita
Garnish top with touch of microgreens.  Cover with lid.  Turn jar over and shake to eat.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Oat, Sorghum & Apple Muffins

Gluten free flours work best in batter breads, cookies, pancakes and muffins.  Because it's the gluten that forms the structure, gluten free batters need a small structured pan to bake.  Muffins tins or one serving cake pans can do the trick. I based this recipe on one in Sue Becker's Home-Ground Flour Book.  

Oat Sorghum & Apple Muffins

(Makes 10)

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
1 1/4 cup oat flour
1 1/4 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Combine milk, lemon juice, vanilla and olive oil in 2 cup measure.
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup olive oil
In bowl of electric mixer, beat egg and honey.
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
Alternately stir in dry ingredients and liquid ingredients, mixing only until dry is incorporated.

Stir in grated apple.
3/4 cup grated apple

Portion 1/4 cup batter into greased muffin tins.

Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.