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Pleasant Hill Grain Blog

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Flatbreads

There are many ways to make flatbreads, each a little different yet amazingly delicious!

Light and flaky poori is usually served with chutney as a part of a meal or a snack. Served either way, you’ll find them delightful to eat.

The flatbread called chapatti is a staple in Indian homes and is made from a flour known as atta, which is whole durum wheat flour.

Naan was brought to India with the ancient Persians, and its name came from the Persian word “non”, meaning “bread”. Traditionally naan is baked in a tandoor (clay oven), which can be emulated by using a very hot broiler.

Out of the wide variety of flatbreads, paratha is one I make at home often. Paranta can be made with various vegetables and spices, so you have room to play. Make them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or as a snack between the meals with yogurt while sipping a cup of your favorite herbal tea. I like to tear off a piece of paratha, delve into rice and dal or any vegetable dish, and pop into my mouth. Please enjoy the recipe!

Most recipes for flatbreads call for a ghee. Ghee has a rich and distinctive flavor and comes in two types: pure butterfat ghee or vegetable ghee. Butterfat ghee is made from unsalted butter and vegetable ghee from vegetable shortening. Ghee can be heated to a high temperature without burning. Unsalted butter can be used in some dishes, but can’t be heated to the same temperature. I like to use Organic Valley Purity Farms Ghee. You can also make your own ghee at home.

To make your own ghee, melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat and continue simmering until a thick foam appears on the surface. Continue simmering, uncovered, for about 15-20 minutes. You’ll see how the foam separates and the milk solids settle on the bottom, the liquid will become clear with a golden color. Line a strainer with a piece of cheesecloth and place it over the bowl. Slowly pour the liquid through. Try not to disturb the milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Discard the milk solids. Store in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.

Posted: November 28, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
This recipe is pan-fried unleavened Indian bread for special occasions, and can be quite a filling meal to suit any time of the day; breakfast, lunch or accompaniment for a dinner. Made with melted ghee, parathas have a flaky texture. It can be served with a bowl of thick yogurt for breakfast.
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour
Serves
4

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 2 c. whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

For the filling

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cooked medium potato, mashed
  • 1 c. cauliflower, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tbs oil for frying vegetables
  • olive oil for cooking bread
  • ghee for drizzle

Directions:

  1. 1. To make the dough: Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Gradually stir in enough water to make a stiff dough.
  2. 2. Turn out the dough into a lightly floured counter and knead for about 5-7 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the cleaned bowl, then cover with a damp dish towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  3. 3. Heat some oil in a pan and add vegetables and spices. Fry them till cooked, add the chopped cilantro and adjust the seasonings. Let it cool.
  4. 4. Divide the dough into 6-8 equal pieces. Lightly flour your hands and roll each piece of dough into a ball. Stretch one of the dough ball, place the veggie mixture in the center. Gather around to make a dumpling, seal it completely. Dust with some flour and start rolling out into a thick paratha. (Parathas are usually rolled out thick, too much pressure will squeeze out the veggie mixture so roll it out gently.) Repeat the process for remaining dough and finish.
  5. 5. Heat a large skillet pan over a medium heat. Place a paratha in the skillet and cook for couple of minutes and then flip to the other side. Flip again and drizzle oil all over and fry till it slightly puff up. Remove from pan and let it rest or serve immediately. Parathas are best served as soon as they come out of the pan, but they can be kept warm wrapped in foil for about 20 minutes.

Images:

Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices
Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices
Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices
Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices
Stuffed Paratha with Vegetables and Spices

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Yelena Strokin

Originally from Russia, Yelena traveled the world as a journalist, experiencing other cultures and capturing their essence through photography and cooking. Yelena's food blog "Cooking Melangery" is a medley of her favorites pastimes – cooking, photography and finding inspiration from nature and her life experiences.

Chocolate Millet Pudding for Breakfast!

Millet often gets overlooked which isn’t right, because this ancient seed is highly nutritious! You should consider adding millet to your diet because of its high contents of nutrients, including  vitamin B, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, magnesium, as well as significant levels of protein and dietary fiber. It improves digestion and heart health, prevents diabetes, lowers cancer risk, and detoxifies the body. The list goes on and on!

Chocolate Millet Pudding

Do you use millet in your cooking? There’s so much you can do with it! From savory to sweet.

This chocolate millet pudding is simple to make, very nourishing, fluffy and creamy in texture! Made gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan friendly too. The best part is that you can have it for breakfast or dessert. Because who doesn’t love chocolate for breakfast?

Posted: October 15, 2018
Recipe by: Natalia Wrobel Katz
You'll never guess the main ingredient of this Chocolate Pudding.... it's millet! Incredibly simple to make, delicious and satisfying. It's free of gluten, dairy and it's vegan friendly too! Perfect to enjoy as a filling and healthy breakfast or afternoon desert. Go ahead and choose your favorite way!
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour and 30 minutes
Yields
2

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. millet
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 c. water or milk
  • 1/2 - 3/4 c. full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp. maple syrup or to taste
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • chopped dark chocolate and cherries or fruits of choice for garnish

Directions:

  1. 1. Place millet in a fine mesh strainer, rinse with running water (first cold then hot) over the seeds until it runs clear. Drain.
  2. 2. In a small sauce pan, melt the coconut oil.
  3. 3. Transfer millet to a pan and toast for 4-5 minutes or until it turns a rich golden brown. Be careful not to let them burn.
  4. 4. Add water and pinch of salt in a pot and simmer on a medium heat until millet is fully cooked or even overcooked. It should take around 15-25 minutes. Stir from time to time so that millet does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Let it cool slightlly.
  5. 5. Place in a blender or food processor, along with 1/2 c. coconut milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla.
  6. 6. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more coconut milk if you prefer it to be creamier.
  7. 7. Divide in between two jars and place in the fridge for minimum of one hour.
  8. 8. Garnish with chopped dark chocolate, cherries or fruit of choice.

Images:

Chocolate Millet Pudding
Chocolate Millet Pudding
Chocolate Millet Pudding

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Natalia Wrobel

Natalia’s blog "Natt Wrobel, Wholesome & Healthy Living," highlights a plant-based diet for eating what makes your body feel best. Originally from Poland, Natalia draws from her childhood as well as her world travels to influence the flavors of her cooking.

Quinoa Makes a Healthful & Easy Vegetarian Side Dish or Salad

If you’re looking for a healthy and easy to make vegetarian side dish, Quinoa & Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts is very tasty with many flavors. This dish is a good way to start a meal or end it, or simply to have with lots of other vegetable-based dishes. The pomegranate seeds sprinkled over this side dish/salad at the end give it a real boost in look and texture. Against the mild and nutty quinoa, they make a simple dish sing.

Posted: November 27, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
Quinoa & Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts is the ultimate side dish or salad! Fresh brussels sprouts are roasted in olive oil and maple syrup, with a touch of cumin, then tossed with cooked quinoa and sprinkled with cilantro, pecans and pomegranate seeds. Perfect for dinner any time and great for the holidays, too! Vegan & gluten-free!
Active Time
15 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes
Serves
4

Ingredients:

  • 3 c. brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 c. pomegranate seeds
  • 3/4 c. quinoa
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (to taste)
  • 3-4 tbsp. lightly roasted pecans, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place halved brussels sprouts in a roasting tray or on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with olive oil, maple syrup, cumin, salt, and pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Roast for 25 minutes, until tender-crisp.
  2. 2. While the brussels sprouts are roasting, rinse the quinoa. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat; add quinoa. Cook for 1-2 minutes until lightly toasted. Add 1-1/5 c. water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cover and cook for 13-15 minutes, until cooked and fluffy.
  3. 3. In the large bowl mix together the brussels sprouts, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, and pecans. Stir to combine. Serve on a nice serving plate with fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

Images:

Quinoa & Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Quinoa & Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Quinoa & Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Quinoa & Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Yelena Strokin

Originally from Russia, Yelena traveled the world as a journalist, experiencing other cultures and capturing their essence through photography and cooking. Yelena's food blog "Cooking Melangery" is a medley of her favorites pastimes – cooking, photography and finding inspiration from nature and her life experiences.

New Cookbooks & Zucchini Quick Bread with Mint

What can be a better way to start your morning than with a cup of coffee while flipping the pages of a new cookbook in search for some interesting recipe? I don’t know about you, but I get excited when my new books arrive in the mail. There is something special about opening the package and sensing the smell of pages just out of print. Usually, I don’t open my books right away, I save them for the right moment. When I get some free quiet time, I pour myself a cup of tea or coffee, I sit down and start slowly going through my cookbook, page by page, reading, enjoying photography, choosing my next project in the kitchen. I love to give cookbooks as a gift for winter holidays or birthdays. Sharing a favorite book with my friends is always a pleasure. Sometimes I add cookies or bread baked using recipes from the cookbook I am gifting and wrap them in cheerful paper with ribbon.

If you enjoy cookbooks as much as I do, I highly recommend adding “Ancient Grains for Modern Meals” by Maria Speck to your collection.

You can find a great selection of cookbooks here.

Posted: November 9, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals" by Maria Speck
With the richness of whole wheat flour, texture of chopped pecans, and flavor of fresh mint and raisins, this zucchini quick bread is particularly healthful and tasty! It's a great bread to serve your family for breakfast or snack!
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
1 hour and 30 minutes
Serves
4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. loosely packed grated zucchini (about 2 small ones)
  • 1/2 c. loosely packed chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped toasted pecans, plus some halves for garnish

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
  2. 2. In a bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, and salt. In a separate medium bowl combine the zucchini, mint, lemon zest and lemon juice.
  3. 3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the eggs until blended. Add the olive oil and brown sugar then beat until the mixture becomes thick and foamy, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. 4. Add the buttermilk and beat just until combined. Then add the melted butter and vanilla extract and also beat just until combined. Add the zucchini mixture and flour mixture, mix until just blended. Do not over-mix.
  5. 5. Using a rubber spatula fold the nuts (Original recipe in the book calls for walnuts, I used pecans). Gently press 4-5 pecan halves across the top.
  6. 6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It should be no more than two-thirds full. Bake until the loaf is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, 55 to 60 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  7. 7. Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into thick slices to serve.

Author's Notes:

Storage Tip: Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Images:

Sweet Zucchini Bread with Mint
Sweet Zucchini Bread with Mint
Sweet Zucchini Bread with Mint
Sweet Zucchini Bread with Mint
Sweet Zucchini Bread with Mint

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Yelena Strokin

Originally from Russia, Yelena traveled the world as a journalist, experiencing other cultures and capturing their essence through photography and cooking. Yelena's food blog "Cooking Melangery" is a medley of her favorites pastimes – cooking, photography and finding inspiration from nature and her life experiences.

Making Homemade Pasta with Durum Flour

Making a homemade pasta is about the satisfying pleasure of working with your hands, using simple tools and a wooden board to create traditional and creative flavors and shapes of fresh pasta to share with your family and friends. My wish is that you’ll have a lot of fun learning about pasta and enjoy the pleasure of pasta making for years to come!
You can experiment with colors and flavors by adding different ingredients to your dough: spinach, beets, pumpkin, even squid ink. I prefer to cook and puree my own vegetables, but I often use pre-prepared roasted pepper. The added flavor, texture, and brilliant color of vegetables make pasta truly unique.
Homemade beet pasta with meatballs and cheese

Here’s a recipe for handmade pasta using freshly milled whole grain durum wheat and semolina. Enjoy!

Posted: November 24, 2018
Recipe by: Yelena Strokin
Source: Cooking Melangery
Making your own pasta is a satisfying way to work with your hands to create something beautiful and delicious from ingredients that you choose. You can grind your own durum flour or other grain for extra freshness and nutrition.
Active Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour and 30 minutes
Serves
6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 lb. whole durum flour
  • 1/4 semolina
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3-4 tbsp. tepid water

Directions:

  1. 1. In the large bowl mix together all tree flours. In the middle of the mixture pour the eggs, egg yolk and water. Using a fork, begin to incorporate the flour with eggs and water. When mixing is done transfer the dough to a work surface, preferably a wooden board.
  2. 2. Dust the board lightly with flour and begin to knead the dough. Continue kneading the dough for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is very smooth. Cover the dough with a bowl or damp cloth, or wrap it in plastic and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling.
  3. 3. Rolling the dough out by hand using a wooden rolling pin makes a wonderful product with a texture. However, this method requires patience, practice, and strength. I love using a hand-cranked pasta sheeter to thin the dough, I feel it is an easier way of rolling out pasta dough.
  4. 4. When your dough had plenty of rest divide it into 4 sections, keeping all but one covered to prevent the pasta from forming a skin. Using your finger, flatten out the dough. Then trying a different setting on your machine roll the dough until is thin enough for your desired pasta. Slice the pasta using machine attachment. Repeat the same process with other tree sections of the dough.
  5. 5. When drying pasta, try do not let the cut pasta strips touch, or they will stick together.

Images:

Homemade Durum Pasta
Homemade Durum Pasta
Homemade Durum Pasta
Homemade Durum Pasta
Homemade Durum Pasta

PHG Products:

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Yelena Strokin

Originally from Russia, Yelena traveled the world as a journalist, experiencing other cultures and capturing their essence through photography and cooking. Yelena's food blog "Cooking Melangery" is a medley of her favorites pastimes – cooking, photography and finding inspiration from nature and her life experiences.

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