April 1st was also National Whole Grain Sampling Day. Actually health experts advise everyone—men and women, young and old – to make grains a part of their daily diet, and that it’s important to make at least half the grains “whole grains.” I made a super Southwestern-style Stuffed Pepper with Qunioa and Turkey. The Hy-Vee Select Roasted Salsa Verde Sauce was very popular, we actually sold out. Lemon juice, onions,spices and garlic infused into grill-roasted peppers is sure to please. Hope you get to try it sometimes. Here is more on whole grain goodness.
But what IS a whole grain? And why does it matter?
Whole grains include grains like wheat corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye – when these foods are eaten in their “whole” form. You probably already eat whole grains – popcorn in the theater, Cheerios for you toddler, or a bowl of hot oatmeal.
You know fruits and vegetables contain disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants but are a much better source of key nutrients. Whole grains contain antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables, as well as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Look for the whole grain seal.
Try some of the newest grains with Hy-Vee’s Select brand and other familiar brands:
Hy-Vee Select Ruby Wild Rice Blend
Hy-Vee Select Lentil Blend
Hy-Vee Select Kansas Medley
Hy-Vee Select Black Pearl Medley
Hy-Vee Select Golden Jewel Blend
Hy-Vee Select Jasmine Blend
Hy-Vee Select Sunrise Blend with Quinoa Flakes
Ancient Harvest Quinoa
Ronzoni Whole Wheat Pasta
Success Brown Rice
Go Free Cookies
Go Way Better Chips—Sweet Chili
The Kansas Medley is a multi-grain blend of white rice, wheat berries, and wild rice. One way to prepare it is in a pilaf with cranberries, butternut or acorn squash and pecans.
The Ruby Wild Blend is a blend of wild grain brown rice, sprouted brown rice, sprouted red rice, Colusa red rice and wild rice. Sprouted grains are used because they are more easily absorbed by the body.
Sprouted grains may also be less allergenic to those with grain protein sensitivities and more readily digested with lysine, an essential amino acid.
Studies document a wide range of health benefits for different sprouted grains. Here are just a few:
• Sprouted brown rice fights diabetes (Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, April 2008; 54(2): 163-8)
• Sprouted buckwheat protects against fatty liver disease (Phytotherapy Research, July 2009; 23(7):993-8.)
• Cardiovascular risk reduced by sprouted brown rice (Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2007; 51(6):519-26. Epub 2007 Dec. 20.)
Ruby Wild Mandarin Bowl
Yield: 4 (1 ½ cup) servings
All You Need:
2 ½ cups lightly salted water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
8 oz. Hy-Vee Select Ruby Wild Blend
6 oz. cooked diced chicken (Hy-Vee strips)
1 ½ cups steamed, chilled broccoli florets
1 ½ cups drained mandarin orange segments
¼ cup Hy-Vee select light Lemon Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette
Cashews, as needed
All You Do:
1. On the stovetop, bring the water or stock to a boil. Add Ruby Wild Blend. Simmer, covered, for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and chill.
2. Add the chicken, broccoli, orange segments, and dressing. Mix well.
Nutritional Information: 358 calories; 8.6 g fat; 1.2 g saturated fat; 26 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium; 58 g carbohydrates, 5.5 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 17 g protein; 9% Iron; 23% Vitamin C
Becky’s Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa and Turkey
Yield: 8 servings
All You Need:
1 pound Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey
1 cup Ancient Harvest Quinoa, red or white
2 cups water
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp garlic powder, or two garlic clove, minced
½ cup Hy-Vee grated cheddar cheese
8 oz. Hy-Vee Select Roasted salsa verde or favorite
¼ tsp Salt for Life (TM) and pepper
4 red or green bell peppers, cut in half, seeds removed
All You Do:
1. In a skillet, add ground turkey and cook until 165 degrees or clear juices and no pink.
2. Add chopped onion, oregano, garlic, pepper, salt and ground pepper.
3. In a saucepan add quinoa and water. Follow package directions. Simmer for 12-15 minutes until small circles form on quinoa. Add to ground turkey mixture with salsa.
4. Cut peppers in half. Fill each pepper with meat and quinoa mixture. Place in baking dish and place in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
5. Garnish with cheddar cheese and return to oven to melt cheese. Cook 5 minutes.
Nutritional Information: 268 calories; 6.7 g fat; 1.7 g saturated fat; 53 mg cholesterol;