For the Freezer, Light and Healthier, Recipes, Whole Grains

Wild Rice, Orzo & Mushroom Pasta

Yum! I love wild rice – a love that probably traces back to my upbringing in northern Minnesota. My grandpa used to harvest wild rice and we always had it in the pantry. These days it’s a bit harder to find, and more expensive – but it’s SO WORTH IT!

First you must endure a little lesson about wild rice – because it is one of my favorite things. Fact #1 – It’s a grain – not a rice. Fact #2 – It has been found in layers of the earth dated as far back as 12,000 years. It is most definitely an ancient grain.

Fact #3 – Any wild rice that is actually growing wild in Minnesota’s state waters can only be harvested with a permit -and must be harvested the same way the First Nation tribes harvested it years ago. Which is actually a pretty cool process.

I love the flavor of wild rice, but it does take awhile to cook – so plan accordingly – 1 cup of wild rice in about 3-4 cups water cooks in about 45-55 minutes.  If you’ve never made, or eaten, wild rice – this recipe is an amazing intro – it’s easy, flavorful, and good for you.  Get adventurous and trade out the orzo for another ancient grain – maybe faro or barley would be good! Continue reading “Wild Rice, Orzo & Mushroom Pasta”

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread
For the Freezer, Recipes, Whole Grains

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

The other day I was looking through one of my many food magazines that I get, and I came across a recipe for cinnamon raisin bread. I love cinnamon bread, I hate raisins, so I set about adapting this recipe and tweaking ingredients to make it work.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

The recipe calls for buttermilk and I didn’t have any available. To remedy this problem I took 2 cups of milk and added 2 tsp of lemon juice to create buttermilk.  There are a ton of substitutions you should remember for cooking, and the buttermilk trick is one I use a lot, because i never actually BUY buttermilk.   To make buttermilk on the fly, add 1 tsp of lemon juice for every cup of milk and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

Maddie and I decided that in order to add a little fiber and make the bread a little healthier we should put in two cups of regular, white, unbleached flour and two cups of whole wheat flour.  Most quickbread recipes can handle this substitution.  using 100% whole wheat flour is tricky though, it doesn’t always work because white flour has special magic things in it that makes it better for baking.  I don’t know what they are, I just know that using 100% whole wheat flour in a recipe = blah.

This will make the bread taste a little different but essentially gives you a healthier but great tasting cinnamon bread. While mildly sweet, this bread is heartwarming and a quick breakfast or on-the-go snack. This bread is also very moist and better tasting than the unhealthy and expensive cinnamon breads that you will find at the supermarket or Starbucks.  I like mine not warmed up with a smear of butter, Maddie likes hers warmed up with butter.  Either way, its a great recipe and makes two loaves, one for you and one for the freezer, or a friend.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread
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  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 Cups sugar, divided
  • 2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 Cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 Teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Measure 2 cups of milk into a glass measuring cup and add the 2 Tsp of lemon juice. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl, combine both types of flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk mixture, and oil.
  4. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened, don't overmix.
  5. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  6. Spoon half of the batter into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle with half of the reserved cinnamon -sugar; repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl.
  7. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
  8. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks.
  9. Wrap in foil, place in zip bag, and freeze for up to three months.

Very Berry Muffins
Recipes, Whole Grains

Yummy Berry Muffins – Whole Wheat Flour & Flax Seed recipe

Okay -don’t run yet.  I swear, these are amazing.  Not only do they taste fabulous, you can eat them with a reduced amount of guilt, because they contain a bunch of good-for-you stuff too.

I’ve messed around and adapted this recipe a lot.  Here’s the deal…I dont keep buttermilk and brown sugar in the house, because it inevitably goes bad.  This recipe contains only a couple weird ingredients, but they’re not hard to find.  I got all of mine at Super Walmart.

Very Berry Muffins


Yummy Berry Muffins – Whole Wheat Flour & Flax Seed recipe
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Average: 0/5

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 16 Muffins

Serving Size: 1 Muffin

Yummy Berry Muffins – Whole Wheat Flour & Flax Seed recipe


  • 1 Tbsp. Milled Flax Seed (or whole seed ground in the spice grinder)
  • 1 C Frozen Strawberries - partially thawed and chopped in the food processor
  • 1 C Quick Oats
  • 1 C Lowfat Milk
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice or Vinegar (or can substitute 1 C buttermilk for 1c milk and lemon juice)
  • 1 C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 C. Unsweetened Applesauce
  • 3/4 C. Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Molasses (or substitute 3/4 C. sugar and Molasses with 3/4 C. brown sugar)


  1. Measure 1 cup milk into bowl and add lemon juice or vinegar - let stand for 5 minute
  2. Meanwhile, buzz Sugar and Molasses together in the food processor, add to mixer bowl
  3. Chop Strawberries in same food processor, not to finely, chunks are okay
  4. Add 1 C Oats to Buttermilk, let stand for 5 more minutes
  5. In a small bowl, combine Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt
  6. In mixer bowl, add Egg and Applesauce to the Brown Sugar, mix well scraping sides of bowl
  7. Gently add the Buttermilk and Oat mixture to the Sugar mixture, combine well
  8. Slowly fold in Flour mixture until just combined
  9. Fold in Strawberries
  10. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full - this will do about 16 muffins
  11. Top with a pinch/sprinkle of the Milled Flax Seed
  12. Bake 20-22 minutes at 375 degrees - check for doneness with a toothpick, it should come out clean