Tag Archives: whole wheat

What to Do with Leftover Black Beans…

Earlier this week, I posted my friend Gina’s recipe for Black Beans. This made a couple meals of beans and rice for us and we still had a good bit of leftovers. I needed to make my bread. Sourdough starter has to be fed on a regular basis; I like to make bread once a week or every other week. And we normally use 1/3 of the dough to make pizza!

I already had the beans and didn’t feel like making tomato sauce. I also had a half a jar of Publix Greenwise Organic Salsa (with no chips to go with them) and a half a block of queso cheese. Another blessing was our neighbor gave us some freshly milled hard white flour and hard red flour. It’s so cool; you can see the wheat germ in it and everything! (I secretly have a desire to mill my own flour someday, but I’m waiting to splurge on the equipment.)

So, I made some whole wheat sourdough pizza crust, topped it with the prepared black beans, salsa and queso before baking. Then I sprinkled fresh organic parsley and cilantro on when it came out of the oven. It was fantastic!

Whole Wheat Harvest Tarts by Melissa McKinnon

Whole Wheat Harvest Tarts by Melissa McKinnon

Whole Wheat Harvest Tarts Recipe

  • Yields: 16
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Bake Time: 35 minutes

Well, I made the plunge and altered my grandmother’s “Perfect Flaky Pie Crust” and it turned out great! Follow the link above for the instructions, but use the ingredients below:

  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks butter (1 c.)
  • 9 Tbsp. iced water

Divide dough into 16 equal portions and, on a floured surface, roll out each ball into a 6-7″ circle.

Now for the fillings. Mix together the following ingredients and divide into two equal portions (about 1/2 c. per bowl):

  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

The rest of the ingredients:

  • 6 medium apples, peeled and sliced (4 in one bowl, 2 in second bowl with rest of ingredients)
  • 1/2 c. dried cranberries
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans

Mix 1/2 of the sugar and spice mixture into the bowl with four of the apples and the other 1/2 of the sugar and spice mixture with the remaining ingredients.

Place ½ c. filling in the center of each dough round, fold in half and pinch edges together either with fingers or a fork. Place on a wax paper lined baking pan (I used stoneware). Brush the tops of the apple tarts with the remaining juices from the filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. For the mixed fruit and nut tarts, brush with melted butter (about 1 tsp. each) and place a pecan half on the top of each.

Bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes.

Cool on wire racks.

Transfer to serving platter. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Bon Appetit! ~Melissa

Whole Wheat Mushroom Apple Smoked Gouda Pierogies from Simply Life Blog

Simply Life's Whole Wheat Pierogies

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs: Simply Life. My first experience with pierogies was actually in Poland! After college graduation, I packed my bags and went on a two month Baltic Musical Missions Team to Poland and Latvia with a group of friends. Living out of a duffle for two months and sleeping on the floor is quite the experience – one everyone should have at some point in their lives, in my opinion. We did concerts two or three nights a week, played music on street corners while passing out tracts and concert invitations, and did sports clubs and children’s Bible clubs too. It was a blast! I think I need to pull out my European scrapbook and reminisce tonight.

Anyway, back to pierogies! Pierogies is one of my favorite dishes. It’s basically a dough pocket filled with your favorite things: meat, cheese, fruit, whatever. One of my favorites is blueberry filling. Another is filled with mashed potatoes, spinach, and feta. I came across this recipe today and can’t wait to try it. For the full picture illustrations on how to make these, check out Simply Life’s blog. Okay, here it is:

Whole Wheat Mushroom Apple Smoked Gouda Pierogies


For the Pierogi Dough:

  • 1/4 cup smooth applesauce, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

For the Filling:

  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • About 6 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Thyme, fresh or dried, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste
  • 1 cup smooth or chunky applesauce
  • About 1/3 cup smoked gouda, shredded or chopped into small pieces


1. Make the pierogi dough by whisking the applesauce, 1 tbs. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 egg and 1/2 cup warm water in a bowl. Place the flour in another bowl and slowly stir in the applesauce mixture.

2. Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth, dusting with flour as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside about 30 minutes.

3. Make the filling by heating 1 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until browned, about 4-6 minutes. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

4. Roll out 1/2 the dough to less than 1/8 inch thick, keeping the other 1/2 covered with plastic wrap. Cut the dough into rounds using a drinking glass or cookie cutter. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and set aside.

5. Stir in the thyme, paprika, 1 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup water. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cover and cook about 5 minutes. Then uncover and cook until thickened, about 4-8 minutes.

6. Top each round with 1 tbs. of the mushroom filling (it may not seem like a lot but if you put too much it won’t seal up properly). Sprinkle with a touch of smoked gouda cheese. Brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg and fold in half. Seal by gently pushing down with a fork along the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

7. Heat about 2 tbs. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Boil the pierogies in batches (I did about 5 at a time), for about 5 minutes each, then transfer to the heated skillet. Cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Serve with applesauce, if desired, and enjoy!

Lamb Kebabs and Strawberry Sweetness

I wish I had taken pictures of our delicious dinner tonight. We had our friends Phil & Heather over (and their adorable boy Jake)! They brought this great salad with broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes. Yum! Bryan’s been wanting to try to do our own lamb since he had kebabs at The Pita House a few weeks ago. So, here’s the recipe:


  • 20 oz. boneless lamb shoulder roast (it was on sale at Whole Foods), cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1 green pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into large chunks
  • 8 oz. mushrooms

For the marinade:

  • Caramelize 1/4 finely chopped onion in 2 Tbsp. butter, and set aside (basically, cook on medium low heat until golden brown…caramel colored).
  • Then, whisk together the following ingredients in this order:
  1. 1/4 c. low sodium soy sauce
  2. 3 Tbsp. honey
  3. 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  4. 3/4 c. canola oil
  5. 100 ml Jack Daniel’s
  6. 2 minced garlic clove
  7. 1 green onion, chopped
  8. caramelized onion from above

Then, add the meat to the marinade and let sit for at least 30 minutes (I’m sure 4 hours would be even better, if you have the time). Reserve the leftover marinade and reduce over medium low heat for more sauce to serve with the meal, if you like. The goal was to get as close to T.G.I. Friday’s Jack Sauce as possible. Before we told our guests this was our goal, they said, “This reminds me of the sauce at T.G.I. Friday’s!” Mission Accomplished.

Bryan got the grill ready, while I set out an assembly line: skewers, meat, veggies, and plate to carry them to the grill. This way, everyone got exactly what they wanted on their skewer! Bryan grilled the meat on our charcoal grill for about 10-15 minutes, until the meat was done. It was so incredibly tender! I hope the lamb sale is still going on because I want this again! Looks like their sales run Wednesday through Tuesday, so I’m definitely going back this week!

The vegetables that didn’t fit on the skewers, I drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with Lawry’s seasoned salt in a pan on the stove while the kebabs were cooking. Just in case we touched the veggies while we were touching the meat, I wanted to make sure we cooked out any harmful bacteria. Again, delicious!

Now, for dessert…Strawberry Sweetness…because I can’t figure out what else to call it. (Warning: save your calories for this one, or just have a bowl of fresh strawberries or substitute the “sweetness” portion of this dessert with some cool whip. Mascarpone cheese has about 100 calories for every 2 Tbsp.!)

Everything I did today seemed to take twice as I long as I estimated, so I needed a quick dessert for tonight. I still had one can of whole wheat Pillsbury Grands biscuits left in the fridge, so I popped them out and smashed them together into one big rectangle on one of my baking sheets and cooked it according to package instructions (12-15 minutes).

Meanwhile, I mixed together the “sweetness”:

  • 1 container mascarpone cheese (8 oz.)
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. amaretto (almond extract would work)
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream (add slowly at end and beat on medium low for several minutes till thick and fluffy)

Then we sliced up a container of strawberries. All you have left to do is layer it. Let the biscuit base cool. Spread “sweetness” evenly over it, and top with rows of sliced strawberries. Wow! Worth saving the calories for! And, of course, we served it with a French Press of coffee. Wonderful meal with wonderful friends and wonderful conversation. What a lovely ending to this Saturday!