County employees had the opportunity to sample some tasty whole grain dishes when Extension Agent Carmen Long prepared samples to elucidate her program on “Whole Grain Challenge.”
After the family and consumer education specialist listed facts about the importance of including more whole grains in the diet, she prepared oatmeal with apples, quinoa corn salad, spinach pasta salad and Swedish apple pie. These were displayed for everyone to sample and enjoy foods made using new grain products.
In these recipes you will discover whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown rice, quinoa or bulgur, barley and steel-cut oatmeal. Long said, “Besides the traditional stove-top method of cooking steel cut oats, they can be put in a slow cooker the night before and are ready the next morning when you get up. Steel cut oats can be frozen in individual containers and then removed from the freezer the night before you want to eat them, put in the refrigerator to thaw, and reheated in the microwave in the morning. A delicious whole grain, steel cut oats are a good source of iron and fiber and are low in fat.”
These delicious recipes also include fruits and vegetables and they’re quick and easy to make. Even the children will enjoy this one for Whole Grain Pita Pizza.
This pizza is healthy because you have a whole-grain crust, plenty of vegetables and a reasonable amount of cheese. Add small bits of Italian chicken or turkey sausage if you like. Kids love to decorate their own pizzas! 2 servings
WHOLE GRAIN PITA PIZZA
2 round 6-7-inch whole wheat pitas
6 ounces spaghetti sauce (about 1/4 of typical jar)
3 ounces part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup chopped vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, olives, your choice
Drizzle olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread half the sauce on each pita round. If you’re using chopped fresh spinach, add it now, before the cheese, so it won’t dry out too much. Top with cheese, divided between the two pizzas, and then vegetables. Drizzle with oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.
Whole grain pasta comes in lots more varieties besides just whole wheat.
SPINACH PASTA SALAD
6 ounces uncooked whole wheat, whole rice or quinoa, corn pasta
2 tablespoons lemon juice or juice from half a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 cloves
4 cups fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and chopped
1 can chickpeas or other white beans, drained and rinsed
2 ounces feta cheese
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. (Spiral whole-wheat pasta is good and takes about 8 minutes to cook. In a large salad bowl, mix the lemon juice, oil and garlic. Minced garlic in a jar is handy. while the pasta boils, clean and chop spinach, drain and rinse beans. Drain pasta and mix with dressing in the salad bowl. Add spinach, beans and feta and mix. Chill for one hour or more, or simply enjoy it war with salt and pepper to taste
Steel-cut oats have a different texture than regular oatmeal. Try them for variety.
OATMEAL WITH APPLES
1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
4 cups water (or slightly less)
4 small apples or pears, washed, cored and chopped (no need to peel them)
Dash cinnamon and /or nutmeg
1 handful walnuts or pecans
Enough milk (soy milk and cow’s milk are both good)
Measure oats into saucepan and add water. In general you want about 1/4 cup oats and one cup water per person. Use less water next time if you like drier oatmeal. Bring to a boil, then simmer “actively” - keep temperature where the oatmeal will bubble a lot but won’t start rising up the pan. Keep pan uncovered and stir every 5 minutes or so. Meanwhile, core and chop apples into four microwave uncovered bowls on high for 4 minutes. When the oatmeal has thickened as much as you like (takes about 15-20 minutes), spoon it into the four cereal bowls, right on top of the apples. Sprinkle with nuts, add milk as you eat it, to keep the thickness just the way you want it. Makes 4 servings.
SWEDISH APPLE PIE
1 large or extra large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
‘1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teapoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 medium-size apples cored and chopped, but not peeled
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts and pecans are good)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch pie pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat egg thoroughly with a fork, until it forms a ribbon. Add everything else except apples and nuts and mix thoroughly. Add apples and nuts and mix as well as you can. You’ll wonder if you’ve done something wrong, as it’s a very lumpy mix. But keep going, and mix the best you can. Soon it will all be a very lumpy mix. Soon it will hang together somewhat. Spoon it all into the pie plate and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until lightly brown. McIntosh, Cortland and other pie apples are best. Mix pears and apples if you like. So much quicker than traditional apple pie - no crust to make or apples to peel.
Serve plain and warm or with a dollop of vanilla frozen yogurt or with plain yogurt mixed with a little maple syrup Serves 6 t0 8.
This salad is best with fresh tomato and corn. If you use quinoa, rinse it first in a strainer to remove any traces of saponin, a bitter coating found naturally on quinoa.
QUINOA CORN SALAD
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of one small lemon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley ,chopped
2 stalks scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed under water, or bulgur (brown rice)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup fresh or frozen corn (use three ears if fresh corn)
Cook quinoa or bulgur in broth for 12 to 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. While grain cooks, mix dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add drained and rinsed beans, tomato and corn. Cool grain to room temperature, then mix with other ingredients; chill until ready to eat. Makes 4 servings.
MUSHROOM BROWN RICE PILAF
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms (4 to 5 mushrooms)
1 tablespoon olive or Canola oil
1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown onion and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup brown rice and stir to coat grains in oil. Add 2 cups broth, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Cooking time for whole grain rice varies according to the variety of rice; check package directions.
APPLE BLUEBERRY CRISP
2 cups blueberries
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup regular rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons Canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 dish with cooking spray or rub with butter. Wash, core and chop apples. No need to peel them. Put in cooking dish with blueberries. In another small bowl, mix flour oats, sugar and oil until crumbly. Spread evenly over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until bubbly. Serve as is or with low-fat frozen yogurt.
Barley is not just for soups. You can add shrimp, chicken or other lean protein to this recipe; as a one-dish entree served with a salad, it makes a healthy complete meal.
CURRIED BARLEY & RAISINS
1/2 cup lightly pearled barley
2 cups broth or water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion (about 2 cups) in thin slices
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
Cook the barley in the broth or water for about 45 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. While the barley cooks, saute the onion in the oil in a very large skillet for about 15 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and curry powder, mix and cook one more minute to blend spices. When barley is done, add it to the skillet and mix thoroughly so barley gets coated with delicious spices and oil. Turn off heat and add raisins, parsley and almonds. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Contact Eleanor Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 719-1933