It’s National Whole Grains Day! I know, I know… there is a day for everything. But the good news is a special day gives us a reason to pause and consider an idea or event in more intimate detail. I’m celebrating National Whole Grains Day because… drumroll… I am writing my first ebook on Clean Eating! In doing my research, I found the Oldways Whole Grains Council! I believe the WGC came up with the idea and the day to celebrate their cause and I support it. Why? Because there is reason to support knowledge and research into the nutritional and health benefits of eating whole foods – and especially whole grains.
Spring! It’s almost here and we are ready for a shift on the dinner table! This salad does just that. Serve this beautiful spring salad alongside a roast chicken and some roasted baby new potatoes with rosemary and you have a classic farmer’s market menu. Have you heard the expression “spring chicken”? It refers to a smaller size bird that used to only be available in the spring.
Roasting beets could not be easier. Wash and wrap in a parchment lined foil pouch (I like to avoid having food in contact with aluminum foil if I can). Roast the beets at 350° until a fork-resistant tender – depending on size it should be about 25-30 minutes. Cool and the skin will slip off easily with the edge of a spoon. Go ahead and roast a few – they are great all week in your menus.
It seems I have a bit of a ying/yang situation going on with my food cravings during this time of year. I really look forward to the season that draws us close in to comfort foods and foods that are a celebration in and of themselves. Thanksgiving with the roast bird, creamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, pumpkin pie. We love these foods so much.
But to set them apart, it’s nice to balance the celebration with foods that nourish.
It’s officially spring and “From the garden to the plate” found here. STRAWBERRIES ABOUND! As does KALE AND BEETS! If you are lucky enough to be near a year round farmer’s market, then you will come face to face with all of these farm fresh foods! If you are shopping at the market, then no worries – they are going to be the foods your nearest farms are producing in early spring. We all want to “eat local”, yes?
Spring kale is the backbone of this healthy and nutrient rich salad. Contrary to what you may think, it is both tender and crisp and holds up perfectly to the rest of the salad.
Prepping for this beautiful salad couldn’t be easier!
- Roast beets in the oven wrapped in foil at 350, then peel and slice.
- Wash, hull and slice strawberries.
- Slice red onion as thin as possible then add white vinegar to pickle.
- Peel and slice the oranges (colorful blood or cara cara oranges are beautiful!)
- Soak the kale in cold water, then drain, coarsely chop and squeeze fresh orange juice on the kale. Massage the kale to further tenderize before assembling the salad.
Pickled red onions are a great staple in the refrigerator for adding crunchy goodness to any salad. A mandolin slice makes this a breeze, but it’s not necessary.
A simple vinaigrette in a mason jar will dress this salad perfectly to accompany any main protein, or top the salad with your protein… shredded roast chicken, grilled shrimp, poached or smoked salmon.
Change it up and let this salad be your go-to spring substrate to a healthy meal again and again.
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- 1 juice of one lemon or orange
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- salt and pepper
- Place all ingredients in a small canning jar with lid and shake, shake, shake!
It’s definitely too hot to be in the kitchen! Well, in the lowcountry, it’s hot outside too, but the sultry warm evening air is somehow the most relaxing thing on earth. However you spent the day – building fences or working at your computer – the warm evenings beckon us all outdoors.
If you could walk through the farmers market on your way home (or your garden before you go inside – even better), what would you find in July? Peaches, corn and tomatoes, of course! And they go together perfectly on the grill!
Just a touch of that fire (not too much!), provides a slight smoky silkiness to the bite of fresh vegetables, releasing their bursts of flavors to combine for a summer savory explosion!
That lonely plate is bustling with companionship now! My suggestions for getting the most of your summer grill? Take what is happening in the garden and put it on the grill. Add it to your dinner plate in one of many possible ways – Brick Chicken, Grilled Shrimp Skewers, Grilled Mahi or other fresh fish filet to name a few!
And here is a pic of the fence gate that was built in 95 degree heat today – gotta get the next pasture ready for our beautiful girls to farrow a new litter!
- 2 medium Carolina Peaches
- 1 or 2 large Heirloom Tomatoes
- 2 Ears Farm Fresh Corn
- 1 can Black Beans
- ¼ cup Vidalia or Sweet Onion
- 1 medium Fresh Lime
- ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro
- 1 small Clove Garlic
- salt and pepper
- Combine ingredients! Allow to sit and blend flavors!