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Food and Recipe of the Month

April - Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!

Pasta is part of a healthy whole foods lifestyle. Traditionally made using wheat flour and water, pasta has a long history of being a part of our diet. The origins of pasta has been contributed to the Chinese, the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, however it is the Italians that have been most noted for the origins of pasta as we know it now. Long standing, traditional pasta is made from soft wheat flour and water. Italian traditional pasta is made from hard, durum wheat flour and water. Soft wheat contains less protein, and absorbs less water. Durum wheat is a large grain with sharp edges, is difficult to break apart and is yellow, amber color. Which creates different types of pasta for us all to choose from.

For those looking for a wheat free or gluten free pasta, there are many options out there that are delicious and easy to use in any dish you prepare. My favorite is brown rice pasta, the brand I buy is, 'Tinkyada'. It cooks up very nicely and does not stick together. Other options are; quinoa, buckwheat, sprouted grain, and corn.

The best way to cook pasta is bring a large pot of water to a boil, put pasta in and keep the temperature on high, and cook pasta in boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes until done. To test to see if it is done, I take a piece out of the water and taste it to see if it is done. I do not cook my pasta with oil or salt. There is no need to season pasta while it is cooking, you season it with the sauce that you add to the pasta.

This Macaroni and Mochi is a recipe I created about 16 years ago and it is still one of my favorites and I make it all the time. It reminds me of my mom's Mac and Cheese that she made with a white sauce.

Recipe of the month:

Macaroni & Mochi
(Mock Macaroni & Cheese)

1 lb. brown rice elbow pasta
1 cup grated Mochi
1 cup rice milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tahini
3 T. tamari
1 tsp. sea salt

Cook pasta in boiling water for about 7 to 10 minutes, until done. Drain and set aside. Put in a pot the grated Mochi, rice milk, water, tahini, tamari, and sea salt. Heat on low, stirring occasionally. Cook until Mochi has melted and sauce is thick. Pour sauce over pasta, mix together, pour into casserole dish. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes at 350°. Serve warm.


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