Village Harvest

The wonderful folks at Village Harvest Rice shipped 2 boxes of goodies to me last week.

About Village Harvest:

Our dedication to the finest quality food began long before the Village Harvest name. Since 1892 Village Harvest’s parent company Otis McAlister has been setting the standard of quality for grains and other products with the highest level of authenticity, taste and nutrition in mind. From these principles were born our highest ideal of rice and grains: Village Harvest.

Based in San Francisco, CA, Village Harvest originally imported and sold three types of rice sources uniquely from their traditional origins including Thai Jasmine Rice, Indian Basmati and Italian Arborio. The success of these products led to expanding the line with brown and organic choices in the same categories. And because we are constantly working to provide the best rice and grains the world has to offer, Golden Quinoa and GABA Rice are the latest additions to our collection.

While Village Harvest values tradition, we choose not to live in the past. That’s why we’ve introduced a brand new line of frozen whole grains, which promotes flavorful, healthy eating in our busy world. When it comes to our village, history is always in the making.

The Brown Jasmine Rice and Quinoa are staples in my kitchen so I was really excited to try additional products.

Sometimes I take a pass on cooking grains because they take time.  Well, lucky for me, I got to try some of the frozen grains.  These take minutes to cook–just empty the bag into a microwave dish, cook, and you’ve got whole grains to add to recipes.

I needed a quick lunch so I made a bag of the delicious wheatberry, barley, quinoa option that includes almonds and cranberries:

I added a chopped honey crisp apple, a few extra dried cranberries, raisins, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.  Next time if I have roasted butternut squash on hand, I’ll add that, too.

Delicious, fresh, and filling

I also received a bag of Farro Perlato which is a grain I haven’t been able to find in local stores.  I look forward to cooking that up and maybe creating a Thanksgiving recipe.  Farro has twice the protein and fiber as traditional wheat and looks like it will be great to add to soups and stews.

A big Thank You to Village Harvest for letting me stock my freezer and kitchen cabinets with good-for-me (and tasty) grains!

Village Harvest is on Twitter and Facebook–they have a fun way to get a free product.  Be a “Grain Ambassador”–take a picture of yourself and a Village Harvest product at the grocery store, submit it via Facebook, and you get a coupon for a free product.

Have you tried Village Harvest products?  Favorite grain?  

“Hippie Salad”

If you’re a regular Whole Foods Market shopper, you know that one of the draws is the prepared foods.  You’ve got your tuna salad, spinach salad, prepared veggie burgers, pasta salads, fried chicken.  What?  Fried chicken at Whole Foods?  I’ve seen it and it proves that just because it’s at Whole Foods Market doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

I was on the hunt to try a new salad and the friendly deli guy pointed out the only no-oil option.  He called it “Hippie Salad” because ‘it originated in California and has a bunch of healthy things in it.’.  It’s actually called California Quinoa Salad.

California Quinoa Salad

As part of my ongoing effort to re-create recipes, I made this one to my own tastes, tweaking it a bit and the final product was a fresh, cold salad that is filling as a meal or perfect as a side dish.  As temperatures hit the 100s this week, I may bring this recipe back into the rotation.

“Hippie Salad”  (Adapted Whole Foods Market California Quinoa Salad)

1-2 cups cooked quinoa (any color)
1, 10 oz. bag of frozen, shelled edamame
1 mango (if available, use a champagne mango)
1-2 peppers – red, yellow, orange – chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1/4  cup raisins
1/4 cup  almonds (chopped)
Cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste

1.  Cook quinoa and edamame according to directions; drain (both separately).
2.  In a large bowl combine juice of 1 lime, balsamic vinegar, cilantro, salt, pepper and set aside.
3.  Chop mango and peppers, add to bowl with the dressing made in #2.
4.  Now add quinoa and edamame into bowl, mix all together.
5.  Add raisins and almonds, mix again.
6.  Refrigerate to let flavors blend.
7.  Eat and enjoy!

A delicious, fresh, filling salad

What’s your favorite go-do dish during hot weather?