Kristin Boldon

Great Grains: Is Millet Just for the Birds?

This is the second post in the series “Great Grains” highlighting unusual whole grains and easy ways to incorporate them into your diet. The first post in the series, “The Beat on Bulgur” can be found here


Struggling to decide what’s for dinner? How about a stop in the bird seed aisle on the way home? Tonight, millet is on the menu. 


What is millet? 

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"Make the Bread, Buy the Butter" by Jennifer Reese

When Jennifer Reese lost her job, she decided to economize in the kitchen, something she'd been writing about already on her popular food blog, Tipsy Baker. She started the blog to test and review the many cookbooks in her home. Along the way, though, that testing made her curious about what can be made better and less expensively at home.

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Greening Your Holiday Table

As I looked out over the bounteous spread at Thanksgiving this year, I saw all the colors of fall and winter: red, orange, yellow, brown, and white. But there was a distinct lack of green.

Oh, OK, there was a green bean dish on the table, but it was the baked one topped with fried onions, and we can all agree that it doesn't count as a green vegetable, right?

The turkey and all the starches were delicious, but they weighed heavily in my stomach. For December's holiday gatherings, I wanted to put some green on the table, to add color, vitamins, and fiber.

When I tested the first recipe, for roasted Brussels sprouts, my sprouts ended up a little more brown than green in color. I had small sprouts, and left them in a little long. If you're a more attentive roaster than I was, you'll end up with a greener dish than I did.

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The Last CSA Box of the Season: Savory Autumn Stew

Delicata Squash

I deliberately didn't write "the last CSA of 2011" (CSA stands for community supported agriculture, where individuals can subscribe to a farm and in return receive shares of produce). Many farms offer winter shares of root vegetables, storage crops, meat, or prepared foods.

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Your CSA: Warm Flavors in a Cool Melon Soup

I hesitate to celebrate the recent drop in temperature that September brought. I don't want to jinx us. It was a rough summer in the Twin Cities this year, with weeks of scorching temperatures right in the middle of outdoor entertaining season. MPR even nicknamed it Humigeddon 2011. During one of the heat waves, I enjoyed a chilled melon soup made by chef Joe Hatch-Surisook, of Sen Yai Sen Lek. On one of the hottest, more airless days of summer, he brought a sweet, cold, cantaloupe soup to a potluck and served it in cups for spooning or sipping.

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Healthful Fair Food? Yes!

The Minnesota State Fair opens today. Scores of visitors, including me, will flock to see animals, listen to music, admire crafts, and, perhaps most famously, eat food, much of it on a stick. Since State Fair visits are an annual treat, I give myself leeway for things like draft root beer, sugared mini donuts and fried cheese curds not normally on my menu.

This doesn't mean that I eat huge amounts of whatever I encounter at the fair. Moderation at the fair is different from moderation every day, but it's still possible. If there's a choice of sizes, I always order the small, and share it to have money and stomach space for more throughout the day. I can sample lots of different foods, some healthful, many not. Sharing is one of the benefits of going with friends and family.

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Your CSA Box: A Cool Potato Salad with Pickles

I had a potato convergence last week. There were potatoes in my community-supported agriculture (CSA) box; we have a share at Foxtail Farm. A friend gave me some potatoes from her grandmother's farm. We visited our CSA farm and got to dig potatoes. All of a sudden, I had a LOT of potatoes. Fortunately, I also had a potluck to attend, and a potato salad would be perfect to bring.

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Cooking from Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Every Day"

Heidi Swanson has one of the most popular and well-regarded food blogs on the web, 101 Cookbooks. Her simple, whole-food, vegetarian recipes and lovely photographs garnered such a following online she published a book in 2009, Super Natural Cooking. Now she's following that up with a companion volume, Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen.

From the introduction:

This book is a glimpse into my everyday cooking, wtih the hope that some of what inspires me will inspire you as well.

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Feeding the Family: Spring Asparagus Recipes

It's been a rough "spring" here in Minnesota. There have been a few peeks of sunshine, followed by gray rainy days, and even snow. While we're fortunate not to have tornadoes, everyone looks a little glum, save on those few, lovely days that have been far too infrequent of late.

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Feeding the Family: Simple Good and Tasty Oats

McDonald's recently added oatmeal to their breakfast menu. Behold, the ingredients of a "simple" bowl of McDonald's oatmeal:

Oatmeal: whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.

Diced Apples: apples, calcium ascorbate (a blend of calcium and vitamin C to maintain freshness and color).

Cranberry Raisin Blend
: dried sweetened cranberries (sugar, cranberries), California raisins, golden raisins, sunflower oil, sulfur dioxide (preservative).

Light Cream: milk, cream, sodium phosphate, datem, sodium stearoyl lactylate, sodium citrate, carrageenan.

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