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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

A Beginner’s Guide to Foraging



Perusing the aisles of the grocery store, it’s easy to disconnect from where our food comes from, and forget the processes that bring it to our plate.

Throughout history, 30,000 different plants have been used by humans for food and medicine, but now, only three plants – maize, rice, and wheat – account for half of all calories we consume. In recent decades, Western countries have had a renewed interest in foraging – the act of collecting food resources from the wild – although many non-Western cultures have engaged in the practice for centuries. Accomplished chefs too are going back to the basics and cooking with foraged materials.

Instead of picking packaged groceries off the shelf, foraging implores us to consider the sources of our food as we slow down and look at our local ecosystems and what they can yield to us. As grocery prices rise, why not turn to our own yards and neighborhoods for sustenance?

The Roots of Foraging

The practice of foraging harkens back to our roots as hunter-gatherers. While it’s become more popular in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic – while consumers were apprehensive to enter public spaces and sought to become more self-reliant – the practice has deep roots in Black and Native cultures.

But, the history of foraging is fraught. Native tribes that subsisted on foraged foods were forced from their lands by white settlers; the territory of the Powhatan tribe, for one, was stolen in the 17th century by English colonists settling in what is now Virginia. Forcing Indigenous people to live on reservations also took away their ability to forage for food as they had before. Enslaved Black people in the United States also foraged for food to survive, but Southern states reversed laws permitting public access to unfenced lands during Reconstruction, reports the Sierra Club, which kept newly-freed slaves from providing for themselves. Many cities still uphold anti-foraging laws, especially in places with low-income and majority Black and POC neighborhoods; New York City, for example, prohibits “destruction or abuse” of plants in city parks.

Activists and experts within the foraging community, however, are advocating for greater acceptance of the practice. Modern forager like Alexis Nikole Nelson (@blackforager on Instagram), Lady Danni Morinich, and “Wildman” Steve Brill share their expertise and tips for living off the country with their followers, and teach about the cultural and historic importance of the practice.

safety concerns

When foraging for food in the wild (where it doesn’t come with nutrition labels), knowing what’s safe to eat is imperative. Before heading out on your first excursion, start by researching both edible and poisonous foods in your area, including lookalikes that are easily misidentified. Read up with books like The Forager Handbook by Miles Irving, Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons, or regional- and species-specific guidebooks and blogs by experts. Better yet, join a club, learn from someone in your community that knows the area and species well, or take an online or in-person course with a naturalist, foraging expert, or group.

However you educate yourself, be 100% certain of your identification before eating anything, and always carry a guidebook or other information on your escapades. It’s best to eat a small amount of something before digging into a whole meal, but if you have any uncertainty, leave it be.

Also consider whether your foraging location might be contaminated. Avoid areas where dogs tend to relieve themselves (public sidewalks, popular hiking trails, etc.), cultivated lawns or other areas treated with pesticides, busy roads where plants are exposed to exhaust or litter, and anywhere else that might be subject to environmental contamination (alongside rivers downstream from factories, for one).

Beyond personal safety, always protect the land and ecosystems you are entering. Keep LNT (leave no trace) principals in mind: will getting to the plant impact the protected land? Will these resources to be able to replenish themselves? Are these endangered species, or a food source for threatened wildlife? Taking no more than 5% of what is available is a good rule of thumb when foraging.

Plants and Flowers

Even in your own backyard, you might find a wealth of edible items you’d never thought of as more than weeds.

In late March, wild garlic (also called ramsons) is abundant. Crush the young leaves in your hard to identify its iconic garlicky smell, then use to make pesto or other recipes that call for traditional garlic cloves. harvesting dandelion – which are invasive in the United States – is actually beneficial to the ecosystem. Eat the young leaves and flowers raw in salads, or cook the less-tender leaves in a stir fry. In the late spring, look out for lamb’s quarters (or “wild spinach), which is found in all 50 US states and can replace plastic containers of store-bought greens for cooking.

In the early spring, harvest elderflower blossoms, and later, their black and blue berries for a homemade cordial or jam. Mint can be found in lots of places, but look especially in shady areas along the borders of woodland or alongside bodies of water. Brew the leaves in a tea to help with digestion, stir in to cocktails, or use to add some brightness to a summer pasta recipe.

Identifiable by its small, star-shaped white flowers, chickenweed grows practically all year round, but is best in the early spring and mid-fall. The whole plant (expect the roots) is edible, and perfect for soups, salads, and sandwiches. Another common backyard resident is the plantain weed. The low-lying leaves – from which rise a long spike adorned with small flowers – are slightly bitter, which can be solved by blanching. Plantain has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties as well, and can be applied to scrapes and bug bites for some relief.

Check out your garden for amaranth (or pigweed), which was once a part of the Aztec diet. The seeds can be used to make gluten-free amaranth flour, but the leaves are easier for a beginner to forage. The plants can grow to over six feet tall, and the smaller leaves are tender and packed with nutrients.

Hit the trail to find nice (also called “stinging” nettles for their painful prick). Use gloves to collect the plants in the early spring when they are young with pale green tops and the plant is less than a foot tall before they get too tough or grow flowers. Eat them just like spinach: sauté for a side, or add to a pasta dish or soup. fiddleheads are a common goal for foragers as well. These early-spring, coiled fern tops are tender with a mild flavor, and are very expensive in grocery stores. They only emerge for a short period in the mid- to late spring or early summer, depending on location. Only pick fiddleheads from ostrich ferns when they’re still tightly coiled. Fiddleheads are considered toxic when uncooked, so blanch the coils before eating by putting them in boiling water for a few minutes, then transferring to an ice bath, which will keep them a little crisp.


After a warm spring rain, the emerging caps of wild mushrooms are a welcome site to foragers for their health benefits and other diverse uses.

While deaths from toxic mushrooms are rare – only about three per year – incorrect identification could easily result in sickness, so it’s important to be extremely careful and knowledgeable before collecting. Varieties vary widely by region, so in addition to courses and community knowledge, consult a region-specific guidebook for instruction. Apps like iNaturalist are also helpful and crowdsource information from other users. Rather than pull up a mushroom by the roots, cut it from the base with a sharp knife so it can regrow, then remove the dirt with a small brush before placing in a basket to carry home.

boletes are relatively common, and are identifiable by their spongy, gill-less undersides. Know how to identify edible varieties before picking, but automatically ignore those growing on wood or displaying a red hue. Chicken of the woods (also known as maitake) is easy for beginners to identify with its iconic yellowish-orange color. The caps grow on trees or wood, arranged in tiers like a shelf, and are loved for their meaty texture. Advanced foragers might look for fuzzy lion’s mane other Oyster mushrooms. Morels too are a prized find, costing upwards of $30 per pound at the grocery store. They’re distinctive for their wrinkly skin and conical shape, and are found on the edge of woodlands in the spring, especially on south-facing slopes.

While many mushrooms can be eaten raw, it’s best to cook them. Sauté in butter and garlic, or add to your favorite mushroom dishes.

Nuts and Berries

From late spring to early fall, berries are abundant: raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, currants, cranberries, lingonberries, and cloudberries, to name a few. Many berries are pretty distinctive, but make sure you identify them thoroughly, as there are lookalikes abound. rose hips – the small red or orange fruits growing on some rose plants – are easy to identify, but lesser known. Don’t miss the chance to brew fresh rosehip tea or jam!

Nuts are also relatively easy to find and identify. Pecans, hazelnuts, black walnuts, other beechnuts are all found in the US. Pine nuts also hide inside the pinecones of the pinyon pine, and while American chestnuts are less common after the blight of the early 20th century, chestnuts fall from their clusters in the autumn months. Gather up the fallen nuts and remove them from their burs to make Thanksgiving stuffing, pesto, or to roast and eat them on their own (horse chestnuts, however, are poisonous, so be sure to identify correctly). acorns too are edible and surprisingly versatile; just check out Alexis Nikole Nelson’s acorn bacon to see their many uses.

Linnea graduated from Skidmore College in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Environmental Studies, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Most recently, Linnea worked at Hunger Free America, and has interned with WHYY in Philadelphia, Saratoga Living Magazine, and the Sierra Club in Washington, DC.

Linnea enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors, reading, practicing her German, and volunteering on farms and gardens and for environmental justice efforts in her community. Along with journalism, she is also an essayist and writer of creative nonfiction.

Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Guiding the way to thrive



Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.

That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.

Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.

Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.

Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.

14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.

“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.

“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.

“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”

Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.

“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.

The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.

“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”

The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.

“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.

“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”

The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.

So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?

“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.

“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”

The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.

Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.

“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.

“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.

“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?

Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.

“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.

“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.

“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.

“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”

To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.

Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.

Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.

She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.

“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.

“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.

“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.

“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.

“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”

14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains



By Casey Barber, CNN

Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.

The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.

What’s a whole grain?

The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.

On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.

“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”

So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.

And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.

“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.

“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”

Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.

Some whole grains to get to know

amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.

Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.

Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.

Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.

kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.

millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.

How to cook any whole grain

While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.

Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.

If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel



I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.

The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.

It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.

After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.

Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.

This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).

My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.

I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.

After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.

An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.

After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.

It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.

They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.

There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo ​​and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.

All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.

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