So Gretchen’s Grains has the whole grain stamp on the packaging indicating it is in fact a whole grain and endorsed by the Whole Grains Council. Every 18 months they hold a big conference of specialists, business owners, nutritionists, statisticians, farmers etc.. all in the whole grain industry. I am going to Portland for 3 days and two nights to geek-out on one of my favorite things in life-whole grains! Not to mention a much needed break from the every day grind. Hooray! Check in with you all in three days. Check out wholegrainscouncil.org if you are feeling it.
Archive for January, 2011
Today I was trying to throw some dinner together before I ran off to work (Circa Bar and Grill tonight) without making a trip to the store. I had a cup or so of the creamy (creamless) whole grain chicken soup from the other day so I boiled up some whole grain rotini, tossed it with the soup so it acted as a pasta sauce and voila! dinner was ready. Bill cut up a piece of fruit to go with it and three small boys had full healthy bellies for no extra money or time at all. Success.
Today I had to work early (Mission Latin Restaurant and Tequila Bar) and we hadn’t gone grocery shopping so I pulled out my bag of bulk grain odds and ends. Dumped in a pot the last of some grits, amaranth, millet, and vegetable broth. I chopped up the last bits of a rotisserie chicken and some green onion then ran about 6 carrots through the shredder on the food processor. Boiled it all up and this actually turned out delicious! The grains made the whole thing creamy and the carrots gave it a nice sweetness. I love coming up with something delicious and nutritious when it seems there is nothing in the kitchen.
Whole grains really have changed the way I look at cooking. Not just pre-cooked whole grains, which I rely on all the time, but every type of grain I had never heard of before my foray into the whole grain world. It is a relief to know now what I didn’t know then about whole grains!
When we feel like we need to give the boys a big hit of fiber and super nutrients we wait until they wake from their nap and heat them a big bowl of pre-cooked, frozen wheat berries mixed with a can of pureed organic sweet potatoes. They gobble the whole thing down and we feel we’ve done our job for the day to get their system running smoothly. We feed them this at least every couple of days. Off to work in a few. Bartending at the surprisingly delicious and busy Circa Bar and Grill tonight.
Although it’s not his actual birthday (a few more days) I have to work that night so tonight we partied! Thomas did not make an appearance until the very end out of fear of all the screaming kids. However I did throw together a wheat berry salad with peas to go with the homemade mac n cheese. Two bags of pre-cooked, frozen wheat berries, thawed, one cup mayo, couple scant tbsps apple cider vinegar (or whatever kind you have on hand) and a big bag of frozen peas with salt and pepper and a bit of sugar to taste. Super healthy, delicious and quick (unlike the homemade mac and cheese, but it was delicious too). Thomas made an eventual appearance for the ice cream cake.
Was in a huge rush to get to work today so before I left I threw in a pot: a box of organic chicken broth, half a bag of pre-cooked frozen quinoa, half a bag of pre-cooked frozen wheat berries, the last of a bag of frozen butternut squash, half a bag of frozen corn, a few peas in the bottom of an old bag and the ends of some fresh green onions. As I ran out the door I told Bill to fry up some old bread cubes in butter to drop on the top for soup croutons. Dinner took me all of 1.5 minutes to prepare. Gotta have pre-cooked frozen grains in my house!
Been working on developing a 5 grain chocolate chip cookie for my babes for some time now and today was a success! Pre-cooked frozen quinoa (thrown in frozen), uncooked millet, uncooked amaranth, whole wheat flour and oatmeal. Look in the recipe section soon because this will definitely be a featured item. Finally, a special treat I feel good about giving the boys (and me and Bill) without compromising health or taste. Sweet success in the kitchen today.
Dawndra came over for lunch today and since I already had a delcious pear and of course, pre-cooked frozen organic brown rice in the freezer I decided to make a big brown rice gorgonzola pear salad. Always so delicous. Made a quick dijon vinaigrette (dijon, oil and whatever vinegar you’ve got-apple cider today) a bag of thawed brown rice, chopped pear, chopped walnuts, handful gorgonzola and a smattering of green onions. Maybe 7 minutes of work and we ate gourmet, gossiped and felt great about it!
Today I made a really delicious breakfast, unwittingly, from last nights leftover dinner grains. I took the leftover pot of quinoa, millet and amaranth and threw an egg and some quince paste (a heavy fruit jelly really) in, mixed it up and dropped big spoonfuls onto a hot griddle and cooked them up like pancakes. The boys loved them! Some gals friends came over for a playdate and I smeared the remaining ones with goat cheese and the girls went crazy for them. They had never eaten amaranth or millet so I gave them quick rundown on the amazing nutritional profile and versatilty of these little grains. Definitely going to add these savory-sweet whole grain cakes to my recipe section of the website, when I find the time.
On the rare night I have off from working at the restaurants to have dinner with my family I love to make something special. Tonight I pounded some free-range organic chicken breasts down flat and dug out from my fridge some gorgonzola, quince past and walnuts. Mashed them together, smeared the chicken with the mix and rolled up the breasts. Lightly dusted the chicken with flour and cooked them in olive a couple for a half hour.
In my rice cooker I threw a handful of uncooked quinoa, millet and amaranth, added some veg broth and turned that dude on. Steamed some brussel sprouts.
When the chicken was done I de-glazed the pan with half a bottle of white wine and let it cook down then thickened it slightly with some flour I liquified with cold water then added a bit more butter to the sauce. Poured this pan gravy over the chicken and grains and it was a gourmet (super cheap!) meal for all.