Whole Grain Berry Good “Rice” Pudding


Here’s another way to get your whole grains. Delicious in the morning or during any part of your day. This one is made with a whole grain medley from Bob’s Red Mill called “Grains of Discovery.”

Whole Grain Berry Good “Rice” Pudding


Serves 4-6

1 cup Whole Grain Medley* (Bob’s Red Mill “Grains of Discovery”)
3 cups whole milk, almond or coconut milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4  cup cane sugar

1/4  cup date sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. cardamom

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Zest from one (1) lemon

1-2 cups strawberries (chopped) or blueberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)

  1. Add grains, milk, salt, sugar and spices to a medium pot; stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or more until most of the liquid has absorbed and grains are tender, stirring occasionally.

  2. Remove from heat and stir in berries, vanilla, lemon zest and nuts, if using. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Your own mix of grains can be substituted, e.g. quinoa, brown rice, whole grain oats, barley, buckwheat, etc.

Enjoy!

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Green Chef Press Newsletter: April 2016

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Greetings from Placerville, California and welcome to the Green Chef Press newsletter!

This month, Green Chef Press launched its new blog on WordPress. I am excited to share my passion for farm-to-table cuisine, health, nutrition, wellness, and recipes that will get you cooking in your kitchen. I look forward to meeting you and welcome any of your questions. I want to hear from you!

The Latest News from the Blog:

Spring is in the Air!

While we wait for cherries, berries and other spring bounty, our garden is in grow mode. Don’t forget to keep your roots moist so plants can access nutrients. It’s such a beautiful season with the scent of blossoms fresh in the air. Find out here how to recognize the blossoms you see.

Celebrate Spring with Asparagus

3443126ASPARAGUS! The spring veggie loved by many, or few? We Italians love it every which way and, from the excitement this past weekend at the San Joaquin Asparagus Festival in Stockton, California, we know many enjoy this wonder veggie.

It’s not surprising since this is the biggest festival of its kind in the west! San Joaquin County grows the most asparagus of any place in the U.S.

Did you know asparagus is rich in vitamins B and E, is great for your immunity, and slows the aging process?

Celebrate spring’s first green vegetable with these recipes: Fried Asparagus with Dipping Sauce or mixed with spinach into a fabulous Asparagus and Spinach Frittata. Check out the wild asparagus notes from my friend Anne in Italy!

Placerville in the News

Spring is the season for festivals and I just happened to be in Placerville when our local news station was in town interviewing the Fausel family, the proud owners of the oldest hardware store west of the Mississippi, Placerville Hardware. They shared their preparations for the Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit and the next big event, the World Gold Panning Championship at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds which will take place in September 2016. More on that to come.

Whole Grains

Are you eating enough whole grains? Whole grains are an excellent way to nourish your body and boost your intake of protein and fiber. Combine whole grains with vegetables in this Multi Grain Pilaf that will satisfy even your pickiest eaters. Remember brown rice pasta is another way to get your grains. Try this Brown Rice Pasta and Shrimp Entree for a quick and healthy meal.

 

For a sweet treat, use whole grains to make this delectable gluten-free Vanilla Coconut Pound Cake.  I recommend using products from Bob’s Red Mill, which are available in most grocery stores, outlets and health food stores.

From the Green Chef Press Kitchen:
Recipes for April

Poppyseed Muffin

Artichoke and Sun-dried Tomatoes Pasta Dinner
Asparagus with Quinoa
Asparagus and Spinach Frittata

Fried Asparagus with Dipping Sauce
Brown Rice Pasta and Shrimp Entree
Eggplant, Tomato and Feta Salad
Lemon Blackberry Pie
Multi Grain Pilaf
Orange Poppyseed Muffins
Vanilla Coconut Pound Cake

Until next time, be well and bon appétit!

About the Author
Betty Albert is a native Californian and resident of Placerville since 2003. She is retired from her own Health Nut Products company where she worked as a baker, caterer, personal chef, and served on the board of the Placerville Natural Foods Co-op. She recently published an ebook, “Lost in Italy and Loving It!” Her latest endeavor will be a “Farm to Table” series, reflecting her admiration for the farms and their owners, and in celebration of food everywhere.

One More Time with Asparagus

From “TRAVEL TIPS from SeeCalifornia.com” comes this Festival Feature in Fresno, April 15-17:

San Joaquin County grows the most asparagus of any place in the U.S.
Top 3 California Asparagus Counties:

San Joaquin 42.2% | Fresno 28.6%  | Monterey 27.4%

  • Asparagus is planted in the ground three years before it can be harvested for the full season; the plant grows for 15 to 20 years.
  • Short growing season February – June
  • Watch it grow! Can grow 7″ in a day when the temperatures reach 90 degrees.
  • #66 California farm commodity

Fried Asparagus with Dipping Sauce

Breaded asparagus is fried in coconut oil then served with a healthy chili ranch dipping sauce.

  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, seasoned
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs, seasoned
  • use half panko crumbs, if desired
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil for frying, or as needed
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ¼-½ cup almond milk
  • 2-4 T mayonnaise
  • 1 4-oz can chopped green chili peppers
  • dashes hot pepper sauce (such as Siracha), or to taste
  • 2 T Seasoning Mix (2-4 tsp. EACH onion flakes, parsley leaves, basil, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper)
  1. Dampen asparagus lightly with water. Coat with flour; trying to avoid coating the tips.
  2. Dip asparagus in beaten egg.
  3. Roll and coat asparagus in a layer of breadcrumbs.
  4. Place coated asparagus on a plate and refrigerate, allowing coating to stick, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Stir mayonnaise, milk, yogurt, green chilies, seasoning mix and hot pepper sauce together in a small bowl for dipping sauce.
  6. Heat coconut oil in a fry pan over medium heat.
  7. Fry coated asparagus in the hot oil until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Placerville in the News

Channel 10 visited Placerville Hardware early Friday, April 8 while Walt Gray was at Sweetie Pies interviewing an El Dorado County favorite. It’s the April 15-18 2016 Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit that is highlighting Placerville’s history prior to the September 2016 World Gold Panning Championship event at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.

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The Fausel family’s fourth generation was present in Albert Fausel’s 3 yr old son, AJ, who busied himself on the floor with gold panning activity.

Third generation Albert Fausel showed the camera crew the Superchamp gold panning dish the hardware store carries ($150) is the favorite among local and worldwide enthusiasts. “It’s the Ferrari of gold panning dishes,” he explained. “Panners want to get their time under a minute without loosing gold, and this pan is the speediest.”

Albert went on to show his gold nuggets, siphoned out of the American River, a technique he recommends as quick and easy. The store sells the tiny vials of gold nuggets and red garnets in a pouch for $10. The oldest hardware store west of the Mississippi is reputed to “have everything—you can find it there, whatever it is.” Amy Carabba, reporter, and Adam Christy, cameraman, followed Albert and his father, David Fausel about the store while they showed historical photographs of the store’s founder, Emil Fausel, who bought Placerville Hardware from Al Kiebers in 1952.

The last world championship panning event took place in Coloma in 1998, attended by throngs on visitors, including Pete Wilson, then California Governor. This years championship occurs during “Gold Week”, Sept. 11-18 and glitters with activities that are expected to attract thousands. The California Federation of Mineralogical Societies’ Rock and Gem Show Convention Sept. 16-18 will bring its own enthusiasts to participate in the dozens of activities and events planned in the city and surrounds.

Celebrate Spring with Asparagus

ASPARAGUS! The spring veggie loved by many, or few?

We Italians love them every which way, especially found wild and wrapped up in some farm fresh eggs as a frittata. You can roast them, sauté them, put them in a pie, use in a cheese fondue. I’ve found them on a pizza, in a salad, wrapped in prosciutto, speared through a hot dog or sausage and toasted on the grill. If you want to really appreciate asparagus wild, take a look at Anne Robichaud’s article from Italian Notebook.

Asparaguslineup

Asparagus with Quinoa

Saute two sliced shallots in 1 T each butter and olive oil until softened. Add a bunch of asparagus sliced on the diagonal and season as desired. Cook on lowered heat, covered, until softened, but still firm to the bite.

To serve, portion over cooked quinoa with a squeeze of lemon. Drizzle with bacon bits, or Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Asparagus and Spinach Frittata*

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Ingredients:
1 lb each spinach and fresh asparagus, washed, drained, tough ends discarded
8 eggs
3 T whipping cream or water
s/p to taste
¼ c Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cut asparagus into 1-inch lengths, cook in boiling, salted water until tender to pierce, about 3 minutes. Drain, immerse in cold water and drain again. Cook spinach in a covered pan until wilted, stirring. Drain, cool, coarsely chop. Set aside.

Beat eggs, cream, salt and pepper, cheese. Set aside.

In a large on-stick skillet, place olive oil, and garlic cloves over medium heat until just beginning to brown, do not scorch! Add spinach and asparagus, and sauté 2 minutes. Pour egg mixture over asparagus and cook until eggs begin to set. Sprinkle with cheese and reduce heat to medium-low. When almost set, place skillet under broiler until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let frittata stand 4 minutes before loosening, and sliding onto a plate.

*Optional ingredients

  1. Omit spinach, add 1 seeded, diced tomato and Fontina cheese instead of Parmesan.
  2. Use spring onions in addition to or instead of garlic, and Gruyere or Swiss cheese.
  3. Cut unpeeled red potatoes 1/8” thick and sauté w/green onions 6-8 minutes, covered, then uncover, brown well another 7-8 minutes. Add to asparagus/egg mixture.

Whole Grains Means Brown Rice Pasta, Too!

Whole grains mean brown rice pasta, too!

If you want a lighter version than a grain pilaf for example, try these recipes using rice pasta. It comes in all styles: fettucine, spaghetti, spirals, elbows, fusilli, shells, and penne! This pasta adds 4g protein per 2 oz serving and 3g fiber. Continue reading

Brown Rice Pasta and Shrimp Entree

Made quick and healthy with whole grain rice, and fresh veggies cooked all together. Make it tasty with a toss of basil/garlic pesto, lemon and evoo. Add a few options of your own, like cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, olives or homemade croutons. A bit extra makes lunch next day! Continue reading

What is Gluten-Free?

I keep emphasizing that I cook gluten-free products and came to realize that maybe I should talk a little bit about what being gluten-free is really about, and why people need, or choose this kind of diet.

Before we delve into what gluten-FREE is, it might be best if I define was gluten is. From my research, Gluten is essentially a protein found in many grains and most specifically wheat and its by-products. In addition, it provides a lot of elasticity to many wheat products, allows breads to stay together and for leavening.

So what does it mean to be free of these proteins?

Well here is a list of foods one cannot eat on this regime.

WHEAT! or anything that says “wheat”…What do you know?! This includes wheat starch, wheat protein, cake flour, durum, farina, semolina, matzo, spelt, kamut, cousous and rye. However, buckwheat is safe.

BREADED foods… Fish N Chips, Chicken Tenders, huge no, nos.

Barley and Malt: Yup, no more malt shakes, malt balls, malt BEERS or just BEER in general!

MARINADES, believe it or not there are a lot of marinaded that contain gluten. First things first, soy sauce had gluten, be aware of wheat ingredients when you peruse through the ingredients list.

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Now that I have made it seem like you’re going to be eating steamed vegetables and boiled meats with salt and pepper for the rest of eternity, let me tell you what you CAN eat. And that delicious chocolate cake you see here is one of those things!!! The list is much longer, and more delicious!

Gluten-free grains: Rice, amaranth, quinoa, sorghum, soy, buckwheat, corn and its products, millet.

Dairy: Milk, Cheese (un’processed’), plain yogurt, butter, eggs

Oils: margarine, vegetable oils (That includes Canola Oil), nut oils.

Meat

Vegetables, legumes, and flours made from them: garbanzo flour for example.

Fruits!

Distilled Vinegars and Alcohol: remember no beer! Distilled alcohols are gluten-free, even your whiskeys and scotches because the distilling process removes the gluten.

Spices: As long as there are none of the listed No-Nos in special spice blends. Otherwise stick to individual spices and make your own gluten-free blends!

Why gluten-FREE?
Approximately 1% of the American Population suffers from Celiac disease, a condition that deteriorates the lining of the stomach. People who suffer from Celiac disease instigate and irritate the villi in the intestine when they consume gluten. For unknown reasons, gluten attacks these villi and over time can cause serious damage to the lining of the intestine and stomach. Symptoms range from stomach aches, and discomfort and diarrhea to depression, fatigue, and may even progress to seizures.

If you need help with any breads, cakes, muffins, etc. I do special orders of home-baked gluten-free goods.

Good luck and eat well!

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Gluten-free recipes to try:

Orange Poppyseed Muffins