Get Your Grains On!

September is National Whole
Grains Month — a great time to
look at your family's diet...

read more

Serve Some Quinoa Tonight

Everything is tastier when cooked
into a crispy little patty and that is
definitely true with this recipe...

read more

Make Pizza Night Healthier

Making pizza at home is a fun family
activity and using whole wheat flour
in the dough is a great way...

read more


Get Your Grains On!

September is National Whole Grains Month — a great time to look at your family's diet and find ways to get more grains onto their plates. Studies show that eating more whole grains can greatly reduce your risk for many chronic diseases. And while three servings of whole grains is the recommendation, even adding just one serving a day has been shown to provide health benefits. This month we're sharing some tasty ways to get more grains onto your dinner table. Here is a an easy weeknight recipe that can be partially made ahead.

Barley Stuffed Bell Peppers

Recipe courtesy of National Barley Foods Council

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 
3 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 
1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked whole grain barley kernels, cooking directions below

  • 3 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
  • 2 jars (26 ounces each) prepared pasta sauce
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:

In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup whole grain barley kernels (also called hulled or hull-less barley) and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 50-55 minutes or until barley is tender and most of liquid is absorbed.

(NOTE: Whole grain barley tends to absorb less moisture than pearl barley and it may be necessary to pour off any unabsorbed liquid after cooking.)

Place any extra cooked barley in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for up to a week. Add to soups, stews, casseroles and salads for extra flavor and fiber. For best results, bring frozen or refrigerated cooked barley to room temperature before using.

Preheat oven to 375° F. In large bowl, combine ground meat, onion, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and cooked barley. Divide meat-barley mixture into 6 portions. Press each portion into a bell pepper half, forming mixture to the shape of the pepper.

Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place filled pepper halves in dish. Pour pasta sauce over peppers. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake peppers for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

To serve, arrange peppers on platter, spooning a portion of sauce over each pepper. Pour remaining sauce from baking dish into container to serve at table. Sprinkle additional grated Parmesan cheese over peppers, if desired, and serve.

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Serve Some Quinoa Tonight

Everything is tastier when cooked into a crispy little patty and that is definitely true with this recipe — a delicious way to work quinoa, a protein-packed whole grain, into your diet. September is National Whole Grains Month — a great time to look at your family's diet and find ways to get more grains onto their plates. Studies show that eating more whole grains can greatly reduce your risk for many chronic diseases. And while three servings of whole grains is the recommendation, even adding just one serving a day has been shown to provide health benefits. This month we're sharing some tasty ways to get more grains onto your dinner table. For added convenience, make these patties ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to cook them.

Little Quinoa Patties

Courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup finely crushed saltine or Ritz crackers or bread crumbs, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Combine the quinoa, eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in the parsley, cheese and garlic. Add the cracker or bread crumbs. Stir the mixture until combined.

Let it stand for about five minutes so the liquid can be somewhat absorbed. Take small handfuls of the mixture and form into little patties, about 1-inch thick, yielding about 11 or 12 patties.

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until it is hot. Add a single layer of patties (about half of them if you are using a 12-inch skillet) and cook until the bottoms are well-browned, about 5-7 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning (or increase heat if the patties aren't browning well).

Flip the patties and cook about 5 minutes more until the second side is golden brown. Remove from the skillet and repeat with the remaining patties (adding a bit more olive oil, if needed). Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Make Pizza Night Healthier


Making pizza at home is a fun family activity and using whole wheat flour in the dough is a great way to make this dinner time staple a little healthier. September is National Whole Grains Month — a great time to revamp some of your recipes by using more whole grains. Three servings of whole grains daily is the recommendation however even adding just one serving a day has been shown to provide health benefits. This month we're sharing some tasty ways to get more grains onto your dinner table. To keep this pizza healthy, use cheese sparingly and top with veggies.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C). Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings.

Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on the top.

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