Tag Archives: Whole Grain

Tuna and Red Pepper Penne for One

These days, a quick, easy and nutritious lunch is needed!  Since our fence project is finished, the pooch has been enjoying his new found freedom a lot!  He likes to run around in the yard, but mainly, he just wants to eat the grass.  It’s hard to get good pictures of him, because he is absolutely not photogenic, but I managed to get a few:


Pooch 2

Let the summer commence!  Today’s recipe is perfect for summer.  It goes together quickly, so you can get back to all your summer fun sooner!  It’s also a nice light meal, despite having pasta in it.  Proof that pasta doesn’t always have to be heavy and calorie-laden!  This meal has only 350 calories, but includes fiber, lean protein, healthy carbs, healthy fats, and vitamins A and C. It’s made for one, but can be easily doubled or tripled if needed.  So enjoy with your family, or revel in some alone time!  All flavor ahead!


Tuna and Red Pepper Penne

Serves 1


1 cup whole wheat penne pasta, cooked

1 tsp olive oil

½ large red pepper, sliced thin

3 oz tuna, canned in water, drained

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp lemon pepper seasoning

1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp chopped chives


1.  Sauté red pepper with garlic powder in olive oil until soft.  Add tuna, and cook until warmed through.

2.  Place whole wheat pasta on plate, and add tuna mixture.  Sprinkle with lemon pepper.

3.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and add chives just before serving.

Happy, healthy eating!



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Update, Memorial Day Recap, and Wheat Berry and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette

Wheat Berry Salad

It’s been a little longer than I’d like since my last post. How busy it’s been! With the weather finally cooperating, we’ve been spending a lot of time in the yard working.  My garden is finally sprouting!  It’s small this year, but I have big hopes for the future!


It’s a little late, but hopefully you all enjoyed your Memorial Day!  Hopefully you also had a moment to stop and remember all the men and women who make that day possible and keep us all safe; past, present, and future.

We spent the day with family.  It was great!  It drizzled most of the day, but that didn’t stop us from having a camp fire to roast hot dogs on!


All those things on the ground around the fire are ears of corn.  THE. BEST. WAY. TO. EAT. CORN. EVER.  Seriously, if you’ve never had roasted corn on the cob on a camp fire, do it.  Now.  I’ll wait.

Besides hot dogs and corn on the cob, we also had baked beans, sweet potato tortilla chips, blue corn tortilla chips, hummus, homemade green tomato salsa, and a cake my sister-in-law with fresh strawberries.  Yum!  And today’s delicious recipe: Wheat berry and grilled vegetable salad with lemon thyme vinaigrette!  This was good yesterday when I made it, and even better today!  I definitely recommend making this the day before, and allowing the flavors to combine, if time allows.  This salad is light and refreshing.  The dressing adds virtually no calories, and so much flavor, and the thyme finishes it perfectly.  It’s worth using fresh lemon juice, if you can.  Grilling the vegetables adds another element of yumminess.  I had to do it in two batches because there were so many!  And those mini peppers?  Amazing on the grill!

Grilling Vegetables


 Close up

Serves: 8


1 cup dry Wheat Berries

4 cups Water

1 small Eggplant, sliced

2 small Yellow Squash, sliced

1 bunch Asparagus

1 bag Mini Peppers

5 stalks Green Garlic (or green onions)

5 Green Onions, most of green removed

¼ – ½ cup olive oil

Lemon slices to grill for garnish, if desired

For Dressing

1/3 cup Lemon Juice

2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar

1 ½ Tbsp Fresh Thyme, stems removed


1.  In a medium sauce pan, boil water and wheat berries over medium-low heat for about an hour, until wheat berries are soft (they will not absorb all the water, and will not split open).  Drain and rinse wheat berries.  Set aside.

2.  Brush vegetables with olive oil, and grill over medium heat until softened and grill marks appear; about 5-10 minutes on each side.

3.  Combine vegetables and wheat berries in a large bowl.

4.  Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar and thyme.  Pour over vegetable mixture.

5.  Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until cold.  Serve cold, garnished with grilled lemon slices, if desired.

Happy, healthy eating!

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How to Cut a Fennel Bulb, and Apple Fennel Farro Pilaf

Apple Fennel Farro Pilaf

Today is Food Revolution Day!  This is the worldwide result of Jamie Oliver’s campaign to help people connect with their food, celebrate the diversity of food, and enjoy great, fresh food.  Events are widespread.  I will, in fact, be attending an event later today here with my employer!  The event is free to the public, but donations are accepted.  We’ll be there from 3pm – 6pm, so make sure to stop by and say “Hi!” and revolutionize your food!

Do you know how to cut fennel?  It’s not too difficult, but if you don’t know how to do it, you may never cook with it!  Let’s remove some of the mystery, shall we?

First, scrub the bulb to clean of any dirt.  Cut off the top (fronds).  These are edible, but typically not called for in recipes.  They make a nice garnish!

Cutting Fennel 1

Next, cut the bulb in half.

Cut the bulb in half

Remove the core from each half.  This is tough and woody, so you don’t want to add it to your recipes.

Remove the core

Now, slice the bulb thin, or chop into even smaller pieces; whatever you need for your recipe!

Slice thin

Not too bad, right?  Now, let’s get cooking with it!  This recipe is a slightly different take on a pilaf.  Here, I used farro, which in an ancient form of wheat.  It is sometimes also called emmer wheat.  It is a whole grain that is grown in Italy.  You cook it just like you do brown rice, so if you don’t have farro, feel free to use that.  This pilaf is slightly sweet and licoricy because of the apple cider and fennel.  The fresh mint finishes the dish perfectly.  You will want to make this today!


Apple Fennel Farro Pilaf

Serves: 6


2 cups Apple Cider

1 cup Farro, uncooked

1 tsp Olive Oil

1 medium Onion, diced

1 medium Fennel Bulb, diced

1 Tbsp chopped, fresh Mint

Fresh Fennel Fronds to garnish if desired


1.  Bring apple cider to boil on high heat and add Farro.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until grain is done; about 45-60 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium pan and sauté onions and fennel until onions are translucent and fennel is soft.

3.  Add farro to fennel mixture and combine.

4.  Turn off burner, and mix in mint.

5.  Serve hot, garnished with fennel fronds.

Happy, healthy eating!

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Our First CSA Box, and Minted Green Radish and Spelt Salad

Yesterday we picked up our very first CSA box of the spring!  I am totally stoked!  I love Penn’s Corner CSA deliveries!  Here’s my haul:

Penn's Corner CSA Delivery

The greens all go into my daily lunch salads.  This week, we got French Sorrel, which I’ve never had before.  It’s lemony and delicious.  It would be amazing on a grilled pizza or as a bed for poached white fish.  It’s hard to see, but in the back are apple cider and honey puffed spelt (they look like honey smacks cereal).  We also got a dozen farm fresh eggs, a red onion, and fresh rosemary.  In the front, those are green radishes.  They are obviously much larger than the traditional red radishes we know from our grocery adventures.  They taste a lot like regular radishes, only they are juicier and a little more mild.  They are the inspiration for my salad below!  I love that we support local agriculture and get to try all these great foods!

This salad is so refreshing, and just perfect for the spring weather we’ve been having.  I could actually imagine having this salad at an Independence Day picnic when it’s so hot a humid.  It would be perfect then, too!  There’s a wonderful blend of textures in it, and the combination of a little spicy and a little sweet is delightful.  I used spelt, which I actually received in one of my CSA boxes last spring, but feel free to use any grain you like.  Brown rice would work great here.  (My picture didn’t come out quite as colorful as the salad actually is.  I hope to have that remedied soon!)


Minted Green Radish Spelt Salad

Serves:  6


1 cup cooked spelt grain

3 small green radishes, grated

2 carrots, grated

1/8 large red onion, diced

½ cup golden raisins

¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tsp ground coriander

Salt to taste


1.  In a large bowl, mix spelt, radishes, carrots, red onion, raisins, and mint.

2.  In a separate bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, coriander, and salt until combined.

3.  Pour dressing into salad, and combine.

4.  Refrigerate for a few hours to overnight to allow flavors to blend.

5.  Stir before serving.

Once everything is prepped, this salad is a breeze to throw together.  And because it can be made the day before, it’s perfect for taking to a potluck or for when company comes!

Happy, healthy eating!


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Mediterranean-Style Chicken Pizza

I absolutely love pizza!  All the cheesy, salty, greasy deliciousness!  And I’m not the only one.  America has a love affair with pizza dating all the way back to 1905, when the first pizzeria was established in New York City.  Today’s pizzas bear little resemblance to what they started as.  They come in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of toppings.  Most all, though, have one thing in common: CHEESE!  A lot of it.  Now, I love cheese just as much as the next guy, but that got me thinking.  Is it still a pizza without cheese?


My results of this self-appointed challenge are delicious!  Handsome Husband and I both agree, we didn’t miss the cheese at all.  This pizza has all the flavor and all the good stuff.  I had a homemade whole wheat pizza dough in the freezer that I used (that’s why mine isn’t really round), but you can buy a premade crust at the store to save on time.  Look for a 100% whole wheat crust to dial up the nutrition!


Mediterranean Chicken Pizza

Makes 8 inch pizza (serves 2 realistically)


8 inch Pizza Crust

6-8 oz Chicken Breast, diced small

1 ½ tsp Olive Oil

½ tsp Lemon Pepper Seasoning

½ cup Hummus (or a little less)

9 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped

¼ cup sliced Black Olives

2 Tbsp Capers

1/3 cup tomatoes, diced small

1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped


1.  In a small skillet over medium heat olive oil and sauté chicken breast in lemon pepper seasoning, until just done.

2.  Meanwhile, spread the hummus on the pizza crust; it will be thick.  Evenly distribute the chicken pieces, garlic, olives, and capers on the pizza.

3.  Bake in 450 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes, until crust is crispy and lightly brown.

4.  Before serving, sprinkle diced tomatoes and chopped parsley over pizza.

Serve with a tossed salad for a complete meal!

Mediterranean Chicken Pizza Slice

The great thing about a pizza is that it can truly be anything.  Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you come up with!

Happy, healthy eating!


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