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Grain Foods Foundation

Posted May 23 2010 6:59am

Here is a truly worthy cause and a great way to get some of those delicious, whole-grains into you and your kids.  These few recipes from Melissa d’Arabian should jumpstart you on your way to to grains.  Enjoy the food and please visit the Grain Foods Foundation website for more information.

Melissa d’Arabian Tips – Developed for Grain Foods Foundation :

My kids like sandwiches without crusts, so I am constantly cutting them off sliced bread.  Instead of throwing them away, I save them in resealable freezer bags.  I turn them into “dippers” which my kids use for dunking in jam (crusts are apparently completely delicious, just not on a sandwich when you are five), or I use the crusts to make fresh and fluffy breadcrumbs.  And the color of the crust makes for nice browning when I cookwith the breadcrumbs.

Don’t overlook bread as a base for sweet snacks!  My husband is French andhe grew up eating bread and chocolate together.  Try it – it’s a deliciousdessert or snack.  Just spread a baguette with a smear of butter and add a small piece of chocolate.  Or, make an “apple pie sandwich” by spreading aslice of sandwich bread with a bit of butter and filling it with sliced apples.

For parties, go to the day-old bread rack and stock up on a bunch of bread– the more varied the better!  If it is not sliced already, slice the breadthinly and brush olive oil on all the exposed cut edges.  Grill, roast orsauté the bread until golden and serve in a large basket with dips, spreads, grilled veggies, cheeses, garlic-infused olive oil or even simply alone.  It’s a festive and inexpensive side item to feed a crowd, it looks beautiful, and it goes with everything!  Plus, an interesting bread basket can double as table décor.

Keep different varieties of pasta in your pantry for weeknight meals that are as nutritious as they are quick.  Your weeknight strategy: get the pasta started and while it’s cooking, pull out a large sauté pan.  Add a little olive oil and then check your crisper drawer, freezer and pantry for aromatics, herbs, veggies or meats to sauté in the olive oil.  You canalways go simple with just minced garlic, red pepper flakes and some slivers of broccoli, for instance.  Once the pasta is cooked, toss it into your sauté pan, adding a little of the pasta water and some parmesan cheeseto make a light sauce.

Check the bulk aisle for more unusual grains to try when they go on sale. Quinoa is uber-hip right now.  It is a complete protein and the crunchy,nutty taste is crave worthy.  In addition to rice, mix things up by tryingbulgur, millet or couscous. When it comes to being prepared on-the-go, don’t forget that pretzels and crackers are great snacks for kids, and easily portable in a zippered plastic bag or container.

Melissa d’Arabian Recipes – Developed for Grain Foods Foundation

Crispy Ham, Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich
Recipe developed by Melissa d’Arabian for the Grain Foods Foundation

2 T olive oil plus 1 teaspoon, divided
1 t dried basil
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
4 thin slices ham
4 slices sandwich bread
4 slices mozzarella cheese
½ tomato, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, mix 2 T of the olive oil, basil, smashed garlic clove and salt and pepper with a fork to release flavors and let sit while preparing the rest of the sandwich (at least five minutes).  In a small sauté pan, cook the ham in a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat 2-3 minutes per side, or until beginning to crisp.  Toast the bread.  Lay the cheese on one slice of the toast and brush generously with the flavored olive oil, using a pastry brush.  Add the ham, and top with tomatoes.  Brush the tomatoes with the olive oil, and top with the second piece of toast.  Repeat for the second sandwich.

Yield: 2 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

BLT Tartlets
Recipe developed by Melissa d’Arabian for the Grain Foods Foundation

8 slices white bread
3 T light cream cheese, softened
1 T light mayonnaise
1 t garlic powder
1 t dried oregano
2 medium tomatoes, chopped and lightly salted
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
¾ cup red or green leaf lettuce, chiffonade (roll and cut into ribbon-like
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for drizzling

Heat oven to 375°.  Remove crusts from bread and, using a large spoon, gently press the slices of bread down flat until thin and almost doughy. Brush with olive oil on both sides.  Place the slices in the muffin tin, pressing them into the muffin shape, to create a tartlet shell.  Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until golden and crusty.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, use a fork to mix the cream cheese, garlic powder, mayonnaise and oregano with salt and pepper until smooth andcreamy.

Once the bread is golden, remove the shells and place them on a cooling rack to assemble.  To make the tartlets, place a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture on the bottom, followed by the bacon, tomatoes and the lettuce. Top with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Yield: 4 servings (2 tartlets per serving)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ease of preparation:  Easy

Fluffy Bread Crumb Crusted Chicken Breast Cutlets
Recipe developed by Melissa d’Arabian for the Grain Foods Foundation

3 chicken breast cutlets
4 slices sandwich bread, white or wheat or mixed (or large baggie of
reserved bread crusts)
½ c grated parmesan cheese
½ t paprika
1 t dried basil
¼ cup flour
3 T vegetable oil
2 T butter
1 large egg
2 T water
Salt and pepper

Cut cutlets in half.  Place each slice between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with meat mallet until chicken is about ½”.  Pulse the bread in food processor into large breadcrumbs (do not toast bread before processing; stale bread is fine).  Add parmesan cheese, basil, paprika, salt and pepper, and pulse a few more times.  Keep crumbs large and fluffy.

Prepare a breading station:  In a shallow bowl or plate, place the flour along with salt and pepper.  In another shallow bowl, beat the egg with 2 T of water, until the egg is no longer stringy (about one minute).

Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat, and add vegetable oil and butter.  Dip the chicken in the flour to dust lightly, then in the egg and finally the crumbs.  Cook the meat about three minutes each side. Once cooked, remove and place on a plate covered with paper towel to blot excess
oil.  Salt and pepper and serve.

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

White Bean Bruschetta
Recipe developed by Melissa d’Arabian for the Grain Foods Foundation

1 baguette, sliced thinly along the bias
¼ cup olive oil, divided
2 T unsalted butter, divided
½ white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t dried basil
1 t dried oregano
¾ cup canned navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, cored and cubed
2 T balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
Olive oil for drizzling

For the bread, slice the baguette on the diagonal into thin slices (about12 for a baguette).  In a large sauté pan, heat 1 T of the olive oil and 1 T of the unsalted butter on medium heat.  Place the bread slices in the pan and cook on medium high heat until sizzling and golden.  Just before flipping the bread, add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and butter tothe pan.  Flip the bread and cook second side until golden.

For the topping, cook the onions and 2 T of the olive oil over medium heat in a medium sauté pan until the onions are very soft, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic, basil and oregano and cook another minute or two, until fragrant.  Add the beans and continue cooking for another five minutes on low heat and season with salt and pepper.  Add the tomatoes and turn off the heat, allowing tomatoes just to take on the warmth of the pan without cooking.  Drizzle the balsamic vinegar into the pan and gently stir.

To serve, scoop heaping spoonfuls of the tomato-bean mixture onto the grilled bread, sprinkle with kosher salt, and drizzle with additional olive oil.

Yield: 4 servings, 3 slices each
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

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