Tag Archives: grain

Ancient Grains: Spring Farro Salad

Written by Chris

Spring Farro Salad Recipe

Farro is an ancient wheat grain that can be found in specialty foods stores, natural foods stores, and Italian markets. It’s sold whole (which is the most nutritious), semi-pearled, or pearled, all of which can be used in place of barley and other grains in salads. In Italy, where most farro is grown, the grain is often added to soups. It can be substituted for rice in risotto as well. And it’s fabulous for breakfast.

Farro has a hearty texture and nutty taste, making it the perfect base for this spring salad. I chose to use pearled farro because it can be prepared quickly. Since it’s hulled, the cook time is reduced to 15 to 20 minutes. If you prefer to use whole grain farro, plan on cooking it for about 45-60 minutes.

 Spring Farro Salad Recipe Package and Heart

Grain salads make a satisfying lunch, simple side or nutritious snack. Use whatever vegetables are in season and you really can’t go wrong. I chose fresh English peas, English cucumber, green onions, dill, micro greens and avocado. I didn’t plan to have everything green in color; it’s just what I had on hand. Fresh lemon vinaigrette brings it all together!

Spring Farro Salad Recipe

Spring Farro Salad

Ingredients needed for four 1-cup servings:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 1 ½ teaspoons MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup English peas, blanched* (these are super tasty raw too!)
  • ½ cup sliced and quartered English cucumber, seeded if desired
  • ½ cup micro greens or wild arugula
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
  • ½ cup diced avocado


COMBINE water, farro and bouillon in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook for 15 to 20 minutes or just until farro is tender (it will not absorb all the water). Drain and set aside to cool.

WHISK together oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, vinegar and pepper in large bowl. Add farro; toss to coat. Add peas, cucumber, micro greens, green onions and dill; toss gently to coat. Taste and season salad with sea salt, if needed; fold in avocado. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

*Set aside a bowl of ice water and slotted spoon. Bring a pan of water to boil over high heat. Add a teaspoon of salt and the peas and boil just until bright green (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Quickly remove the peas with the slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice.


Related recipes:

 Whole-Wheat Couscous Salad Recipe
Whole-Wheat Couscous Salad
Apple Quinoa Salad Recipe
Apple Quinoa Salad

Celebrate National Milk Day: Baked Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes, Creamy Risotto

Written by Nick – 

January 11, 2011 is National Milk day! It’s time to break out your milk-stache and rejoice. National Milk day might feel like an odd holiday to celebrate, but every once in a while we all need a good reason to have an ice cold glass of milk (and cookies). But if you’re like me, you don’t always have a well-stocked fridge and milk is often the first thing to disappear. One thing I always have in the pantry is evaporated milk. Now, I’m probably not going to drink it with a cookie, but it’s great for baking anything! I like to use evaporated milk to give recipes that creamy and rich taste.

Here are some of my favorite “milk” recipes. Each uses Carnation evaporated milk, making it a perfect way to celebrate National Milk Day.

Crispy Baked Dijon Chicken

Crispy Baked Dijon Chicken 

This dish above is super simple to put together. In less than 30 minutes you’ll be enjoying some zesty, crispy chicken. Keep the evaporated milk in the cupboard, the chicken in the freezer and the parmesan cheese on hand… you’ll have most of these ingredients already so it’s a perfect meal to whip up after a long day.

Scrumptious Cheddar Bacon Scalloped Potatoes

Scrumptious Cheddar Bacon Scalloped Potatoes

This side dish is great for entertaining. You’ll want to make enough to have leftovers, because who wouldn’t want some more tomorrow or the next day or the next day?

Simple Risotto with Peas & Parmesan

Simple Risotto with Peas & Parmesan

Another quick and simple dish you can whip up in a hurry, shown above. It’s a staple at any bachelor’s house. This risotto always comes out looking and tasting professional but it’s so simple to put together.


More Evaporated Milk recipes :

Crustless Broccoli & Cheddar Mini Quiches
Crustless Broccoli & Cheddar Mini Quiches
One-Dish Fiesta Casserole
One-Dish Fiesta Casserole

Secret Recipe Club: Baking Healthy Oats into Desserts

Written by Liz –

Pumpkin Oat Streusel Muffins recipe

This month, I had a fun new assignment called the Secret Recipe Club. Food bloggers sign up, then we are each given a secret assignment to make one recipe from another member’s blog. And today is the reveal!

Don’t these Pumpkin Oat Streusel Muffins above look good? I’m glad I got Delicious Existence so I could choose another baked-oat-dessert: Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Pie with Dark Chocolate Drizzle. Danielle is a passionate holistic health counselor and dedicated vegan and gluten-free cook…something I’ve never tried. I thought this would be an interesting test:  can I successfully make this recipe, only shopping at my local grocery store?

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Pie w/ Dark Chocolate Drizzle recipe

Some of the ingredients were hard to find, so I substituted agave nectar + organic sugar for sucanat, dried cranberries for raisins (just for fun) and I couldn’t find oat flour that was gluten-free. I also added a quarter cup of organic sugar and a teaspoon of sea salt before pouring it into the baking dish, above.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Pie w/ Dark Chocolate Drizzle recipe

After baking, the consistency more resembled scones, which Danielle does mention in her recipe. These would be great with no topping, just served warm topped with a little butter.

I did have some trouble with her recipe for the glaze, so I ended up using our technique for Toll House morsels, melted in a baggie and squeezed out in a drizzle, as shown in the video above. Watch here to see how it’s done.

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Pie w/ Dark Chocolate Drizzle recipe

It was still a very healthy recipe that I can feel good about for a treat or for breakfast, above. And it’s pretty!

This got me thinking about our own recipes, so i found some healthier dessert options with oats. One is Pumpkin Oat Streusel Muffins, shown at top.

Good-For-You Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies recipe

Another is this recipe for Good-For-You Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies, above.


Related Oatmeal Dessert Recipes:

Pumpkin Oat Streusel Muffins recipePumpkin Oat Streusel Muffins Good-For-You Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies recipeGood-For-You Choc-Oat-Chip Cookies

Thanksgiving Sides Made Easy & Healthy: Morrocan Quinoa & Apple Ginger Brown Rice

Moroccan Quinoa Recipe

Thanksgiving dinner is one of the most important meals of the year. While turkey is usually the main dish, the sides are what contain the majority of the calories. As well, it’s hard to please everybody around the table. A wide array of different side dishes can solve this problem, and make your Thanksgiving dinner complete for everyone on your guest list. Your Thanksgiving sides can be easy and healthy for all of your guests and still be delicious.

In a previous post, I shared my favorite Quinoa recipes, including this Moroccan Quinoa. This simple side features a flavor-rich combination of quinoa, cilantro, pine nuts and dried fruit. Since it pairs so well with turkey, I wanted to highlight it again for the holidays.

Apple Ginger Brown Rice

Apple Ginger Brown Rice is another very simple but flavorful and healthy side that will work well on your holiday table. Unlike white rice, brown rice retains the nutritious bran and germ covering of the rice grain. This gives it a chewy texture, a nutty aroma, and plenty of essential nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc. Brown rice also contains three times the amount of fiber as white rice (fiber also makes you feel full really fast, so you will likely eat less). In this recipe, the rice is cooked in water and apple juice. The apple juice sweetens it up just a touch and the fresh ginger adds just the right bite.

Watch the video above to see how to make this Moroccan Quinoa recipe step-by-step. Another favorite side dish isn’t my recipe, but it’s from Mr. Bobby Flay. I love his garlic-roasted green beans with shallots and hazelnuts because it is so easy and healthy. I usually add more garlic to mine, but only when other garlic-shy family members aren’t around for dinner.


More easy & healthy side dish recipes:

Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes
Apple Glazed Carrots Recipe
Apple Glazed Carrots

The Many (Delicious) Faces of Quinoa

Moroccan Quinoa Recipe

This week’s post is all about quinoa. Nutritionally speaking, quinoa is considered a “super grain” – although it’s really not a grain, but the seed of a leafy plant that’s distantly related to spinach (though it is treated as a grain in cooking). Quinoa has a light, delicate taste, and can be substituted for almost any other grain in recipes. It cooks quickly to a light, fluffy texture. It’s a staple in my household!

You can cook quinoa in a number of ways. The way you choose will depend on what type of recipe you are using it in. The most basic way to prepare it is by cooking it in water. The standard is one part quinoa to two parts water. For a nuttier taste, quinoa can be toasted in a hot dry pan for about 5 minutes before cooking.

I have created a lot of quinoa recipes for personal and professional use. My personal favorite just happens to be a recipe I created for Nestlé. This Moroccan Quinoa features a flavor-rich combination of quinoa, cilantro, pine nuts and currants. You can serve it as a side dish or add cooked meat or fish for a delicious entrée.

The secret to this recipe is that apple Juicy Juice is replacing half of the water. That’s right, Juicy Juice is not only a nutritious addition to your child’s lunchbox, it can be added to some of your favorite savory dishes!

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to put together.

  1. Sauté shallots and garlic in a little oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add water, Juicy Juice, quinoa, bouillon and cumin. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook for 15 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in currants. Cover; let stand for 5 minutes. Add cilantro and pine nuts; fluff with fork and serve.

Here are a few other ways I love to use quinoa:

Quinoa Taco

Tacos – Add prepared ivory quinoa to cooked lean ground turkey or red quinoa to cooked lean ground beef to make filling for tacos. This is a nice way to boost nutrition and stretch the dollar. Quinoa is less expensive than meat, but more expensive than most grains. However, during cooking, it increases about three to four times in volume, so you get reasonable value for your money.

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Stuffed Bell Peppers – Use cooked quinoa in place of rice in your favorite stuffed bell pepper recipe. My daughter and I love to prepare this recipe together.

Apple Quinoa Salad Recipe

Apple Quinoa Salad – Quinoa is wonderful in a cold salad. Here it’s cooked in apple juice, water and cinnamon. Fresh apples, celery, dried cherries, fresh mint and lemon are then added.

Tomato Quinoa "Risotto"

RisottoOur contributor Liz likes to make Tomato Quinoa “Risotto.” She sautées garlic and onions in butter, then cooks the Quinoa in the same pan, according to package directions, replacing the water with creamy organic tomato soup and adding a little seasoning/bouillon. It’s easier, faster and more nutritious, plus you don’t have to stand over it stirring. Freshly grated Parmesan tops it off.

You can even have Quinoa for breakfast, I love this… hmmm. I’ll have to work on a breakfast Quinoa recipe next!


Picnic-Perfect Couscous in a Curry: Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

Easy summer salads are a must in my household. This Mediterranean Couscous Salad packs a flavorful punch, plus it’s nutritious and so easy to prepare! Like pasta and rice, couscous makes a delicious base for a salad. Couscous salads can easily be made in advance – plus they hold well, making them picnic-perfect. I used Near East Mediterranean Curry Mix for convenience (it already has the curry seasonings as well as sweet carrots and peas). If you can’t find Mediterranean couscous, use whole-wheat couscous and add 1 tablespoon ground curry powder (my favorite is Penzeys Sweet Curry Powder), 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Place couscous and cherries or cranberries in a large bowl.  Add boiling water along with apple juice. The secret to this recipe is the apple juice. Apple complements curry so well; it adds just the right amount of sweetness, so don’t skip this step! Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad - Preparing Couscous

I wanted complementary flavors and textures in every bite, so I added nuts for crunch. If you don’t like nuts, add a little chopped celery. Tip: Toasting the nuts really brings out their flavor, so this is another step you don’t want to skip. Since a small amount of nuts are used, they can be toasted in a medium, dry skillet over medium heat. Be sure to keep stirring them until toasted, about 3-8 minutes total (if you’re toasting a lot of nuts, you’ll want to do it in the oven. To do this, place the nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in a preheated 350 degree oven, stirring every 2 minutes, for a total of 5-10 minutes).

Mediterranean Couscous Salad - Toasting Nuts

Stir in green onions, oil, parsley and lemon juice. Season with ground black pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled and enjoy.

Mediterranean Couscous Salad - Ready to Eat


Related summer salad recipes:

Apple Quinoa Salad recipe
Apple Quinoa Salad
Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad recipe
Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad
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