Category Archives: Grains

Brown Rice: quick and easy

Rice tastes much better this way, and it’s quicker than simmering it in less water, in a covered pot.  We use parboiled brown.

  • Fill a medium pot 3/4 full of water.
  • Add 1/4 cup of rice per person.
  • Bring to a rolling boil.
  • Turn heat down till it is boiling gently, then leave lid off and boil for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Drain the excess water — I use a seive — and season with salt, pepper, and butter.

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Filed under comfort food, food, Grains, Tips, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Kristen’s Granola

Best on top of yogurt with fruit.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp honey, warmed (added half way through baking)
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In large bowl, toss oats with almonds, flour, brown sugar, poppy seeds, and salt.
  3. Over the stove, or in the microwave melt the butter in the maple syrup. Add it to the oat mixture and stir until thoroughly coated.
  4. Spread the granola onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the granola in center of oven for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir the granola, and drizzle the honey over top.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes longer, stirring once more, until golden and nearly dry.
  8. Turn off the oven and prop the door open half way; let the granola cool completely in the oven, stirring occasionally.

Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about three weeks.

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Filed under Breakfast, Grains, whole food

Maple Quinoa Granola

This is based on a recipe at Food52, by “spacekase” — I’ve adapted it, ingredient-wise and quantities-wise to my own preferences.  The quinoa adds a definite crunch; use quinoa flakes if you don’t like the whole quinoa.

Maple Quinoa Granola

Maple Quinoa Granola

Preheat oven to 225F

Mix together in a large bowl, then set aside:

  • 2 cups whole rolled oats (not the instant kind)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, the pre-rinsed kind (like Bob’s Mill)
  • 1 cup raw nuts, coarsely chopped (any kind that you like — I use walnuts & sliced almonds)
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit, chopped if big (I like apricots, dried cranberries & dried cherries)

For the coating, whisk together until thoroughly combined:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid/melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Pour the wet mixture onto the dry mixture, and stir until everything is completely coated.

Spread the mixture evenly into a large roaster, or onto a large cookie sheet, so that it covers the entire bottom.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it is lightly browned.  Allow to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, food, Grains, whole food

Aunt Weezie’s Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Aunt Weezie is an amazing cook, and undaunted by hoards of hungry guests.  She told me that this recipe is from Canada’s “Chatelaine Magazine”, back in the 70’s.

  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (approximately 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl barley
  • 5 cups hot chicken broth, divided

Preheat oven to 350F.

In 2 Tablespoons butter, sauté the mushrooms until they are tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining butter; and sauté the onion until it’s golden, about 5 minutes.

Add barley to onions in pan, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until barley is golden brown, another 5 minutes..

Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms, and 2 cups of hot broth.

Turn mixture into a 2-quart casserole, and bake, covered, about 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 more cups hot broth, cover, and bake another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.

Finally, stir in remaining cup of broth, and bake 20 minutes longer.

Serve hot as a “side”.

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Filed under comfort food, Grains

Orzo-kale-feta Salad

Use any orzo or firm rice, along with any dark green tender greens.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry whole wheat orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained well, and cooled (may substitute with brown rice)
  • 4 cups kale, chopped (OR baby spinach or baby kale, chopped) 
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, only if using large kale
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) chick peas, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • The zest and juice of one large lemon (zest the lemon before juicing it)
  • 1tsp garlic paste, or 1-2 small cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar (or substitute any type of mild vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a jar, shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, cumin, salt, and pepper. 
  2. IF using large kale: cut leaves away from the stalks and coarsely chop; discard stems. Heat the tsp. of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat, add the kale all at once and turn over until it wilts, not more than 1-2 minutes. Put the kale into a large salad bowl.
  3. IF you’re using baby spinach or baby kale:  do not cook it! Just put the chopped, raw leaves into a large salad bowl.
  4. Gently mix the rest of the salad ingredients into the bowl with the kale.
  5. Pour salad dressing over the salad, and toss to combine.

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Filed under food, Grains, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Spinach Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almonds

This salad tastes much better to me with a double batch of the dressing.

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in dry frying pan or in oven
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup dried cherries, chopped OR 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
  • 1 medium English cucumber, seeded and cut into 1/3” dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt (not Greek)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
  • salt & pepper to season
  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in quinoa.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Remove from heat and cool, covered, in pot.
  3. Lay 5 or 6 spinach leaves flat on top of one another on a cupttingboard. Roll tightly into a cylinder, then slice crosswise into slivers.  Repeat with remaining spinach.
  4. In a large bowl toss together the cooled quinoa, almonds, spinach, cherries, cucumber, chickpeas and red onion .
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic.
  6. Pour over salad and toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Chill for 30 minutes to allow flavours to develop, then serve.

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Filed under food, Grains, Main Course, Protein, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Betty’s Couscous Salad

Betty didn’t specify how much couscous to cook , or how much feta to add for her delicious version of this salad, so I just wing it…

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed/minced
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt
  • pepper

Whisk all ingredients together, or shake up in a jar.

Salad:

  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled and cut into small pieces
  • red onion, sliced (to taste)
  • black olives, to taste
  • feta cheese, crumbled or cut up
  1. Cook the couscous, stir, and set aside to cool (follow the directions on the box); whole wheat is my preference.
  2. Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss.
  4. Add the couscous to the vegetables, toss.  Just before serving, gently stir in the feta cheese.

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Filed under food, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)