September 2012

Wheat Berry Salad with Corn, Asparagus, Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette

September 23, 2012
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Here in Southern California, summer is not quite over. We’ve been pushing temperatures in the 90′s for the last two weeks and it certainly doesn’t inspire any cooking which requires slaving over a hot stove or even turning on the oven. That’s why I’m so enamored lately by cold salads which can do double duty. They can serve as a side dish or the main course later in the week (assuming you have leftovers!).

What is a wheat berry?

This is wheat in its whole grain form. According to Grain Mains wheat berries are one of the most common whole grains and appear in many forms; hard red wheat berries (hearty and firm in texture and flavor), soft white what berries (often used to grind into flour), whole grain farro, spelt berries, kamut, and whole grain bulgar (not the processed kind which removes the bran).

The book recommends pre-soaking the …

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Quinoa and Black Bean Burger and a “Grain Mains” Book Giveaway

September 10, 2012
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The media is awash in the benefits of “whole grains” these days. So much that the big food companies have jumped on board touting “whole grains” in everything from cookies to crackers to Cheerios. While my guess is that those products might be slightly better for you than their more processed counterparts, I can’t help but feel this is a bit akin to greenwashing.

This is why I find myself trying to cook with whole grains in their original form more and more. The benefits are clear; whole grains are good for the body. They fill you up with soluble and non-soluble fiber which encourages you to eat less and aids in digestion. They are a heart healthy food, scouring the body of cholesterol and can help cut the risk of diabetes. In addition, not only do they taste good, but they are easy on the wallet, especially when …

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Garden 2012 update

September 1, 2012
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This year’s garden was a massive failure and disappointment. I’m not saying this to whine about it. Really, it’s more along the lines of  “What the $#@!??” and my ever growing frustration. I’ve had big gardens and small ones. I’ve had very successful ones and this one, not so much. It started well, but while a bunch of big green plants might be pretty, if they don’t provide the vegetables you plant them for, is it worth it?

Tomatoes are the primary reason I plant a garden. It’s true “there’s nothing like a homegrown tomato”, and the photo above notwithstanding (that was the garden’s best day, photo taken with my cell phone, sorry), my tomato yield this year was paltry. You might have seen the giant tomato I picked and posted on Facebook. I got about ten that size, but out of nine tomato plants I don’t …

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