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Posts Tagged ‘Grains’

This year I was determined to have a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. Usually I get all wrapped up in Freshers’ week activities and forget that Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up. Everyone always asks me why us Canadians have Thanksgiving on a different day than the Americans. So here goes..

In Canada we celebrate on the second Monday in October and unlike the Americans who remember the safe arrival of the Pilgrims, we give thanks for a successful harvest. More detailed explanations can be found on Wikipedia and here.

Since Thanksgiving is a harvest festival, I wanted to make use of as many locally sourced products as I could. I bought a locally grown free-range organic chicken from a new deli and shop in Cambridge called Origin8 which specializes in local, organic meat, game and produce. From the market in the city centre I got local onions, celery, potatoes, carrots, apples, parsnips and a little pumpkin for a homemade pie, and from the garden outside I picked fresh sage. The wild rice was imported (by me!) and was my token representative of the Canadian harvest.

I stuffed a 1.6kg chicken (the biggest they had) and had lots of stuffing left over that I baked in aluminum foil alongside the chicken. I roasted potatoes, carrots and parsnips drizzled in olive oil and minced garlic. Unfortunately fresh cranberries are only available at Christmas in the UK, so I had to settle for cranberry sauce from a jar, but all in all, it was a fabulous dinner enjoyed with good friends.


Wild Rice Stuffing

Preparation time: 20 mins.
Makes about 6 cups.

2 1/2 cups dried multi-grain bread, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups wild rice, cooked
1/4 lb butter, melted
1/2 cup water or stock
2 small apples, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/8 cup walnuts

1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the bread, onion, sage, celery and wild rice.

2. Combine the melted butter with water or stock and gently mix into the bread mixture.

3. Add the apples, raisins and walnuts and toss.

4. Carefully stuff the chicken or turkey taking care not to pack too tightly – otherwise it will get sticky. If you don’t want to stuff the bird, or have extra stuffing that doesn’t fit, bake it in a covered casserole dish or aluminum foil for about an hour.

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Delicious Big Bowl – Quinoa

I’m moving out of my flat in a few weeks and I’ve been trying to use up some of my many opened bags of grains in the cupboard. I have paella rice, risotto rice, wild rice, basmati rice, long grain brown rice, buckwheat groats, quinoa, millet and bulghur. I made kasha for breakfast the other day and today I decided it was a day for quinoa so I had a quick search on 101cookbooks.com for quinoa. I have previously made Heidi’s Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad and it was fab so I had high hopes for the Delicious Big Bowl – Quinoa. And let me say, it did not disappoint.

I substituted some green beans and a courgette for the asparagus, toasted some pine nuts and for the dressing I used lemon juice, parmesan and freshly ground pepper. I wouldn’t normally think to put potatoes with quinoa, but the textures and flavours in this recipe combined wonderfully. I’ve just eaten a big bowl for supper and am looking forward to eating the rest for tomorrow’s lunch. It was one of those meals where I constantly thought” wow how good is this”. Thanks Heidi for another great recipe. You’ve really perked up my day.

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Tabouli

Another one of my favourites from my mom’s cookbook. I often put in more garlic and add about a third of an English cucumber. Great to take to a BBQ or picnic. I almost always get asked for the recipe when I bring it to a pot-luck. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

A salad with grain. Can be a meal in itself. Take your time. Chew slowly while reading a magazine if eating solo.


Tabouli

Serves 4.
Make at least 3 hours before serving.

Bulgur are wheat kernels that have been steamed, dried, and crushed. So, it is pre-cooked and easy to prepare, but also perishable. Store in fridge for months or freeze for up to a year.

1 C bulgur, medium grind
1 1/2 C boiling water
1 tsp salt
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 tsp dried or 1 TB fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced 2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 C fresh parsley, chopped (packed)
1/3 English cucumber, sliced and cut in half

1. Combine bulgur, water, and salt in a medium glass or pottery bowl. Cover and let stand 1/2 hour. Liquid should all be absorbed. If not, drain it and put it back in the bowl.

2. Add lemon juice, garlic, mint and oil. Mix thoroughly (even with your hands). Refrigerate 2 hours.

3. When serving, add vegetables. Toss together gently. Taste for seasoning. Fresh ground pepper and/or crumbled feta cheese can be sprinkled on top.

Keeps for a few days in the fridge.

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