Saturday, March 30, 2019

Band of Colleagues Master Whole Grains

It's Whole Grains Sampling Day 2019-the last Wednesday of March (National Nutrition Month)-a day the Whole Grains Council recognizes as a day to encourage everyone to try a new whole grain. This day was recognized at WVU Davis College with a 2 hour class of recognized dietitian nutritionists, dietetic interns, grain growers, producers and life long learners.  

The class began with a review of whole grains A-W.  There were examples of what to make with each at home in berry, flour and pasta form.  First we covered the gluten free grains, took a networking break, then covered the gluten containing grains.  During that time we demonstrated how to use a counter top flour mill by grinding wheat, spelt, barley, millet, lentils and dry beans to make Ezekiel flour.  We made everyone an availability chart of where to find grains and flour at 12 locations up and down the I-79 corridor.  Local growers were in attendance-who gave us samples of whole grain flour.  Pictures of the grains growing locally were included in the slide set. 

We concluded with a meal featuring Minestrone Bulgur & Lentil Soup, a flatbread cracker and a layered vegetable salad.    The young professionals in training-the WVU Dietetic Interns- (pictured at top) were ready assistants who packed samples, made soup and salads.  The soup and cracker are pictured below:

Everyone had a sample bag to take home which included a pound of local whole grain flour, enough Ezekiel flour to make cookies,  enough Kamut to make a carrot raisin salad and homemade fennel muesli.   

Whole grain recipes are everywhere!  This was a day to entice the practitioners!   

Recognized Dietitian Nutritionists received 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for attending.  The one evaluation question asked was what new whole grain will you try at home?  Answers to date include sorghum, teff, Kamut raisin salad and oat flour pizza crust.

My favorite whole grains are endless!



Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Book Review: Dinner in a Dash

Lots of veggies, generous portions, whole grains, pastas and gooey desserts-they're all included in this Dash Diet Instant Pot cookbook.  I never would have thought to cook my pasta in a pressure cooker-this book spells out exactly how to do it.  The advantage?  All the cooking is in one pot.  Yes, it's fast.  Because the dash diet has lots of vegetables-it took me longer to cut those up than it did to cook the whole meal.

I tested recipes from each chapter: wraps, salads, soups, pasta, grains, protein and desserts.  It wasn't hard to pick out selections from each.  I liked the variety of reduced fat cheeses and generous portions, which included lots of vegetables and smaller amounts of meats.  The recipe directions and timing were perfect.  

Here are the recipes I tried:

 Baby Bella and Sherry Beef Stew

Citrusy Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Chicken, Pasta and Veggie Toss with Feta

Italian Cheese and Vegetable Casserole

Power-Packed Greek Pitas

Shrimp and Buckwheat Pilaf 

The photo of the Hot and Gooey Chocolate Bowl did not turn out, but you can believe I licked the bowl clean.  That one had an oat-cocoa bottom, ice cream middle and chocolate sauce topping.  The oat layers were portioned in ramekins, wrapped and steamed.
I was somewhat afraid my husband would not be satisfied with a lentil pita, so I added tuna and hard cooked eggs to the serving platter to give him some choices.  The lentil, cucumber, tomato, goat cheese and chopped spinach salad was so good, he stuffed a pita and took it to his buddy after we'd enjoyed ours.

Because the pressure cooker I purchased a few years ago did not come with a book, this cookbook provided me with times I really needed.  And I got to try some simple ingredients I hadn't used for a while (like sun dried tomatoes) and some techniques (like chopping the spinach salad fine and mixing with hot drained lentils and goat cheese). 

Thank you Quarto Group for the complimentary review copy.  The above post and pictures are my own.  I received no other compensation for this review, other than the pleasure of an enjoyable read and eating experience!

 Dinner in a DASH /Harvard Common Press / $22.99 / March 12, 2019
These are delicious meals that don't compromise on flavor. From a homey and comforting Marinara Chicken with Parmesan to an adventuresome plate of Shrimp-Stuffed Poblano Peppers, and from an elegant Salmon on Spinach with Tarragon Mustard Sauce to a casual and carefree Flank Steak with Mushrooms, you'll do your body a world of good while enjoying every minute. Each of the recipes comes with complete nutritional data, and the book opens with a wealth of tips and tricks for mastering the Instant Pot and other electric pressure cookers. For fast and easy dinners full of flavor and nutrients, this is an indispensable book.
About the Author
Nancy S. Hughes writes for a wide range of health and food magazines and is the author of 17 cookbooks, with a focus on low-calorie cooking for weight loss, heart-healthy cooking, diabetic cooking, and cooking with kitchen appliances. She lives in the Mobile, Alabama, area.
Dinner in a DASH
By Nancy S. Hughes
Publishing: March 12, 2019 | ISBN: 9781558329591 | $22.99 US · $29.99 CAN
160 pages I Trade/Paperback | Harvard Common Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Black Barley Bouillabaisse

Just when I thought I'd tried every whole grain I could find-another suggestion comes along.  This one is from a corporate chef in grades K-12 presenting at the Whole Grains Conference 2018.  While most of us know it as the chewy component in soup, barley is showing up in recipes everywhere-in both hot and cold dishes and in flour.  Black barley, originally from Ethiopia, is now grown in the United States and provides a brilliant glossy contrast to the vegetables and seafood found in this recipe.  I'm anxious to grind it for my Ezekiel Flour mix.  

Black Barley Bouillabaisse

(5 Servings)

Heat olive oil in pan on stove-top.  Add onion, garlic, peppers, saffron and sausage.  Break up sausage and stir periodically until sausage is brown.  Drain and press out visible fat.
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch saffron
1/3 cup colorful sweet peppers, seeded and diced
6 ounce sausage

Return sausage mix to pan with hot chicken stock.  Stir in sherry and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add barley, tomatoes and paste.  Simmer covered for about 45 minutes, until barley is tender.
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cups sherry
5 ounce black barley
10 ounce petite diced tomatoes in juice, no added salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Just before serving, add peas and shrimp.  Cook for about 3 minutes,  until shrimp is pink and heated throughout.
4 ounce raw peeled shrimp
3/4 cup peas, frozen

When reheating, I added some low sodium V-8 juice to provide moisture and additional flavor.




Monday, March 4, 2019

Choose Seafood Twice a Week

Healthy eating tips from numerous experts now recommend making seafood the main protein on the plate twice a week.  Keep it flavorful and creative by varying the form and seasonings.  Substitute seafood of an assortment of species in kabobs, cakes, stews, tacos, pasta and packets.


Homemade seasonings can save cost and sodium.  Here are two of my go-to recipes:

Seafood Seasoning 

(Makes 2/3 cup:  One serving is 1/4 teaspoon)

4 tablespoon celery seed
3 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 1/3 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Blackened Seafood Seasoning

(Serves 2)

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Concerned about making the best sustainable choices?  

Guidelines for choosing sustainable seafood:

  • Look for the MSC label.  Seafood with the Marine Stewardship Council label comes from fisheries independently certified to standards and are well managed.
  • Some trusted retailers now partner with sustainable fisheries.  Look for information in the store and on the web sites.  Talk to the worker at the seafood counter.
  • Buy American when possible.  Look for information on the package and at the counter.
  • Eat an array of different species.  The salmon and scallops we crave is depleting quicker than flounder and haddock.
  • Smaller fish are more plentiful and have less mercury.
  • Eat smaller portions of seafood, filling the plate with more vegetables and some grains.

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.