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Carol's latest book, Gluten-Free Cooking for Two, is now available. Designed for small households, each perfectly-proportioned recipe serves two people. You will eliminate unwanted leftovers and reduce waste when you cook right-size meals with the 125 recipes in this book. Enjoy!! Celebrate with me!!! Gluten-Free Cooking for Two has won two awards: named one of ten "Best Gluten-Free Cooking Books in 2017" by Healthline.com and won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Living Now Book Awards in the "Natural, Nutrition, Organic, Vegetarian" category.
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Carol's in the kitchen, cooking up recipes for her next cookbook and www.CarolFenster.com

Watch for Carol on "Creative Living with Sheryl Borden," a PBS-TV show airing on your local PBS station during 2017-2018.

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Enjoy The “Dark” Side of Whole Grains

As our gluten-free world evolves, I’m delighted to see new and different grains come on the market. I am particularly excited about the dark grains that are increasingly available. I’m thinking of black and red quinoa, black or purple rice (and black sorghum, if you can find it). Throughout March, I am focusing on gluten-free whole grains in celebration of March as National Nutrition Month.

Whole Grain Salad Using Dark Grains

Whole Grain Salad Using Dark Grains

Why Are Dark Grains Important?
All whole grains are good for us because they contain the three necessary parts to qualify as a “whole” grain—that is, they have a germ, bran, and endosperm. This means that nothing has been milled or polished away and you consume all their nutrients when you eat them.

In contrast, white rice has been polished and milled to strip away many of the important parts, such as rice bran and rice polish, so white rice is not nearly as nutritious. (You can learn more about gluten-free whole grains at the Whole Grains Council website.)

When grains are dark—as in black, brown, purple, or red—they contain anthocyanins which are flavonoids and pigments that give food its dark color. They provide more antioxidants than white, tan, or light brown grains. However, in any recipe you can use the light-colored version of the whole grain and still have a very healthy dish.

Dark Grains are Beautiful
Aside from their health benefits, I like using these dark grains because they are so beautiful and provide a dramatic contrast again the plate they are served on AND the foods they are served with. Since we eat with our eyes, these lovely contrasts are especially enticing. In the photo, I have used black sorghum to show you what it looks like (mine was a gift from a farmer friend) with very colorful fruits and vegetables such as mandarin oranges, pomegranate seeds, parsley, and sliced almonds. The overall effect is stunningly colorful, don’t you think?

Dark Grain Salad©
Recipe by Carol Fenster
Any gluten-free dark grain will work in this colorful salad, so use what you have available. You can also use the light-colored version of these grains instead, but the salad will be less colorful. It is good served slightly chilled or at room temperature, rather than hot.

SALAD
2 cups cooked dark grain (black or red quinoa, black or purple rice, or black sorghum)
1 cup chopped celery (or diagonally-halved snow peas or thinly sliced fresh fennel)
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup pomegranate seeds (or dried cranberries or chopped dried apricots)
¼ cup chopped green onion
¼ cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh dill or cilantro
¼ teaspoon salt

DRESSING
¼ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

[1] In a large bowl, combine the cooked grain, celery, parsley, pomegranate seeds, green onion, mint, dill, and salt and toss well to thoroughly combine.

[2] In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the orange juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and black pepper until thoroughly blended. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it thickens. (Or, shake all the ingredients together in a small glass jar with a tight-fitting lid until thickened.)

[3] Toss the grain mixture with as much of the dressing as you like, adding more salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature the next day before serving. Serves 4.

 Calories: 270 ; 6g protein; 13g fat, 4g fiber; 33g carbohydrates; 245mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol

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