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Barb Randall aims to share the story behind the inspiration of new foods



Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTOS - Nick Burger, founder of Regular Portland Bread, poses beside his breads, which are sourdough Scandinavian-style rye breads, dense with nutrients and packed with fiber.

I have made a resolution to discover at least 52 new foods during 2015. I aim to share with you the story behind a new food every week — who makes it and what inspired them to create it.

To get things started, I want to introduce you to Regular Portland Bread, baked by Nick Burger. I sampled Nick’s breads at ScanFair in early December. The breads are sourdough Scandinavian-style rye breads, dense with nutrients and packed with fiber.

Nick has been working as a professional chef and baker in Portland since 2011. If you have eaten at Ken’s Artisan Baker or Pizza Scholls, it is highly likely you’ve tasted his goods. He said he developed the breads as a means to fuel him through a busy, long day.

“Necessity made me start elaborating this family bread recipe,” he said. “I needed something healthy and sustaining to push me through my demanding shift. I started making this bread at home and came up with some quick open faced sandwiches and found that it sustained me through my shift. What is so unique about this bread is that it is more of a power food than just bread. I figured that if I enjoyed the benefit of something nutritious and easy to make then so could other people. In the end, making my bread is all about nourishing the community in a healthy and filling way.”

He said it wasn’t so much what he puts in the bread but the quantity of great ingredients present in each loaf, such as flax seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat bran, dark organic rye flour and rolled rye flakes that make his breads so nutrient dense.

He said that Scandinavians will eat two toasted slices of this style of bread with their favorite fixings — that’s enough to keep them going until lunch. Rye tends to swell in the stomach, so you feel full, which helps curb mid-morning snacking and aids weight control. The breads are high in protein and loaded with fiber, which aids regularity, so they really are breads that work for you.

Nick says that compared with other healthy whole grain breads Regular Portland Bread has more flax seeds, sunflower seeds, wheat bran and rolled rye packed inside the loaf, rather than just being sprinkled on top. That translates into a bread with more nutrients and fiber to keep you healthier and feeling fuller longer.

Ingredients include:

¦ Whole dark rye flour and rolled rye flakes, which promote overall weight management from feeling full longer after eating, improves bowel health and better blood sugar control and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes;

¦ Flax seeds, which are high in fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids;

¦ Wheat bran, which is a very good source of fiber and protein;

¦ Sunflower seeds, another food high in fiber and with high levels of protein and minerals such as magnesium and copper and vitamin E;

Nick reminds us that “whole grain” means that all three parts of the grain are used including the fiber rich outer layer and the nutrient packed germ. The whole grains baked into Regular Portland Bread include organic whole dark rye flour, whole wheat flour, whole rolled rye flakes — which are great sources of healthy antioxidants and phenolic compounds, prevent of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer and help reduce cholesterol.

You can top the breads with just about anything — nut butters, jam, turkey, cucumbers and slices of hardboiled eggs — you name it. Just pile everything artfully onto the bread and enjoy. You can make a platter of beautiful appetizers in a matter of minutes.

Currently, there are four flavors of Regular Portland Bread — Happy Cycle, the original; Nordic Sport with walnuts, raisins and dried figs; Sweet Heart with chocolate and Holy Moly, whole grain with raisins.

You can order online at regularportlandbread.com or buy them at select New Seasons stores in the metro area.

If eating more healthfully is one of your resolutions in 2015 I recommend eating Regular Portland Breads. Try them today — you will enjoy the difference.

Burgers breads are a power food. They make eye appealing appetizers in little time. This slice is topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Today’s recipes are actually just lists of sandwiches you can make in the smørrebrød (Scandinavian open faced sandwiches) style, using Regular Portland Bread. Experiment and then take a picture of your favorite combination and post it on our Facebook page.

Bon Appetite! Discover new foods in 2015!

Smørrebrød with blue cheese, apple, bacon, chives and butter. Use a Danish blue cheese such as Rosenborg.

Smørrebrød of Smoked Salmon

You will need: thinly sliced lox or dry smoked salmon, thinly sliced red onions, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, lemon slices, parsley sprigs, and olives, red and green bell peppers, whipped cream cheese, chives or dill.

Layout the assorted sandwich making ingredients. Fold the chives or dill into the cream cheese and spread it on the bread. Top with lox and your favorite sandwich ingredients.

Ham and Egg Smørrebrød

You will need: cooked ham slices, scrambled eggs, butter

Lightly butter the bread, top with sliced ham and scrambled eggs.

Cheese Smørrebrød

You will need: thinly sliced cheese such as geitost, Jarlsberg, Havarti, cheddar, fontina or lappi; sliced apples, tomato, cucumber, radish or eggs, parsley or lettuce leaf, butter.

Lightly butter the bread and top with your favorite toppings.

Burger enjoys putting nut butters on the breads. Two slices in the morning are a perfect breakfast. This slice is topped with roasted eggplant and brie.

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow her on Twitter @barbrandallfood.

Regular Portland Breads are loaded with fiber, which aids digestion and keeps one regular, as the logo illustrates.

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