Tag Archives: whole 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

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)

Mixed Grain Bread

  • 1 ¼ to 1 ⅜ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons liquid honey
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
  • ¼ cup wheat bran
  • ¼ cup bulgur
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • (a big handful of dried cranberries)
  • (extra sunflower or pumpkin seeds for the topping)

Add all ingredients to the bread machine, except for the cranberries and the extra seeds.  Set the machine on the dough setting and start.

At the end of the first kneading, add the dried cranberries.

When dough is ready, remove from pan and knead a few times on a floured surface.  Shape into a long, narrow roll, and place on a buttered (and sprinkled with cornmeal if you like) baking sheet.  Cover with plastic wrap or damp dish towel, and put in a warm place to rise again until doubled in bulk,about 25 minutes or so.  Poke the risen bread with a finger:  if the indent stays, the bread is ready to bake, if it bounces back out, give it another few minutes to rise.

Preheat the oven to 425F, and place a pan of water onto the bottom of the oven if you like crisp crust.

Brush the top of the bread with a wash (milk, water, beaten egg, butter), and gently put the seeds onto the loaf.  You can make a few shallow slashes with a very sharp knife, or a few snips with sharp kitchen scissors.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.  Loaf is done when it reaches 200F inside.

 

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Filed under Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, Grains

Cheesy Quinoa Cakes

I’ve been testing out quinoa cake recipes for a while now, and this is the winner, hands down!  The whole family really likes it, which is saying a lot.  I serve it with a lemony aioli (stir up some real mayo with some pureed garlic, fresh lemon juice, and s & p).

  • 2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked will yield 2 – 3 cups of cooked)
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  1. Place all ingredients, except for the oil, into a mixing bowl and stir together until well combined. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat; it is hot enough when a droplet of water jumps when sprinkled into the pan.
  3. Form 1⁄4 cup patties with the quinoa mixture and place in the heated sauté pan, 3 or 4 at a time.
  4. Cook quinoa cakes for 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Repeat with the remaining patties until all of the cakes have been cooked.

Serve with

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Filed under food, Protein

Yet Another Banana Muffin

This recipe is from a Healthy Eating booklet distributed by the Ontario government, and is very good!  I add about 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips to the recipe.  Without chocolate chips, each muffin has 8g fat, 3g fibre, and 4g protein.

  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed (we use a “split” flax seed that doesn’t need refrigeration — adds a wee bit of crunch)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, brown sugar, yogurt, oil, and egg.
  3. Add flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg.  Using a wooden spoon, stir just until blended.  Do not over mix!
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tops are firm to the touch and a tester inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

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Filed under Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, Grains

Doug’s Bread (for machine)

Doug's Bread, shaped by hand

  • 1 ½ cups less 1 Tbsp of warm water
  • 2 Tbsp milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • ¾ cup quick oats
  • 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 Tbsp flax seeds (we like milled)
  • 2 Tbsp 12 Grain Cereal
  • 1 ½ tsp bread machine yeast

Add ingredients to the machine in order listed.  Use 1 ½ lb whole wheat setting if using machine for entire process.  Select “Dough” to shape it by hand and bake it in your oven.

This recipe is good as a freeform loaf or buns, or makes one large bread-pan loaf.  Here’s how:

For the dough cycle (my preferred method):

  1. When dough is finished, remove it from the pan onto a floured surface (about 1 to 2 Tbsp of flour).
  2. For freeform loaves, shape the dough into a smooth ball by pulling it down the sides and pinching underneath.  Let it relax for a couple of minutes, then shape it into 1 or 2 rounds or 1 or 2 oblongs, and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in bulk.
  4. Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes, until it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom.

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Rustic Grains Bread (for bread machine)

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil, or butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp liquid honey (or molasses)
  • 3 cups white flour (or use combination of whole wheat and white)
  • ¾ cup “toasted grain mix” (see below*)
  • 1/3 cup cracked wheat/bulgur
  • 1      ½ tsp bread machine yeast
  1. Add ingredients to bread machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Select the whole wheat cycle, or the dough cycle.

For the dough cycle (my preferred method):

  1. When dough is finished, remove it from the pan onto a floured surface (about 1 to 2 Tbsp of flour).
  2. For freeform loaves, shape the dough into a smooth ball by pulling it down the sides and pinching underneath.  Let it relax for a couple of minutes, then shape it into 1 or 2 rounds or 1 or 2 oblongs, and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in bulk.
  4. Bake at 400F for about 30 minutes.

*Toasted Grain Mix

  • 1 cup barley flakes
  • 1 cup rye flakes
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not instant)

Combine the flakes, and spread out in a shallow pan.

Toast in a 350F oven for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Keep sealed in a container, or freeze until needed.

I double or triple the recipe so I have lots on hand.

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Oatmeal Cookies II (Niall’s favourite, chewy)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose (or whole wheat) flour
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch to ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

“Wet” Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not imitation!)
  • 1  ½ cups chocolate chips OR chopped apricots OR raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together butter and both types of sugar until pale and fluffy; it will take about 5 minutes on medium speed.  You can also do this by hand with a wooden spoon, or with a hand mixer if you don’t have an electric mixer.
  4. Reduce speed of electric mixer to low, and beat in the eggs and the vanilla.
  5. Gradually add oat mixture; mix until just combined.
  6. Slowly mix in chocolate chips (or other options).
  7. Using a 1 ½” ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing 2” apart.
  8. Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes.  For even browning, turn the sheets 180 degrees after 7 minutes.
  9. Let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, food

Caramel-y Oat Squares

  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups rolled oats

Mix everything together as you go, in the order given.  Press down the resulting mixture in a well-buttered 9” x 9” baking pan/glass baking dish.  Bake in a 400F oven for approximately 11 minutes, until golden (check often to prevent over browning or burning).  As soon as you take them from the oven, cut them into squares (we use a pastry scraper to “score” them right down to the bottom of the pan).  The original recipe says to remove them while still hot, but we find this unnecessary because we butter the pan very well.

If you want to make them very crispy, use a cookie sheet and spread the mixture thinner.  Adjust the time.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Lyn’s Cheddar Dill Muffins

These are rather like a scone or fluffy tea biscuit, but in muffin form.  Add three crisply fried and crumbled strips of bacon if you wish.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (or substitute whole wheat)
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup Old Cheddar, shredded
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Grease a standard 12-compartment muffin tin.

In a largish bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, dill, and baking powder.   Stir shredded cheese until it is all coated with flour and well distributed. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and oil.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and all at once, pour the wet ingredients into the well.

Using a large spoon, quickly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stopping when all of the dry ingredients have been moistened. The batter should be quite lumpy; this is a very thick batter.

Spoon or scoop the batter evenly into the 12 muffin compartments (about 2/3 full).  Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until nicely browned, and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Let rest for 5 minutes before removing from pan and cooling on a rack.

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Filed under Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, food, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Green Lentil Kulebyaka

This is a bit of a fiddle to make, but it is very delicious…leftovers disappear way too quickly!

  • 1 cup green lentils, soaked for an hour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, halved lengthwise, then sliced (keep each separate)
  • 5 cups chicken stock, divided in half (use vegetable stock or vegetarian “chicken” stock cubes for vegetarian version of this dish)
  • ¾ cup butter, divided, as per directions
  • 1 ¼ cups basmati rice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried dill, or 2 Tbsp fresh, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 10 sheets filo pastry, thawed

Drain the lentils, then simmer with the bay leaves, one onion, and 2 ½ cups of the chicken stock, for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked and thick. Cool and set aside.

Gently fry the remaining onion in another saucepan with 2 Tbsp of the butter for 5 minutes.  Stir in the rice and toast for a minute.  Add the remaining 2 ½  cups of chicken stock.  Grind in some pepper, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and cook gently for about 12 minutes.  Turn off heat, and remove saucepan from burner.  Leave rice  to stand, uncovered for 5 minutes, then stir in the herbs.

Fry the mushrooms in 3 Tbsp of the butter for 5 minutes until they are just soft.  Stir into the rice and herbs. When mixture is cool, thoroughly mix in the raw egg.

Melt the remaining butter.

Brush the inside of a large, shallow ovenproof dish or deep-dish pie plate with the melted butter.  Lay the sheets of filo over it, one at a time, overlapping, covering the base and making sure most of the pastry overhangs the sides; brush the sheets with butter when they overlap each other, and as they are laid on top of each other.   Ensure that there is a lot of pastry to fold over the mounded filling – you can use more than 10 sheets if necessary!

Into the pastry-lined dish spread a layer of rice mixture.  Follow with a layer of lentils, then a layer of rice, etc.  The number of layers will depend on your dish size.  Grind some pepper (and salt, if required) over each layer as you go.

Bring up the sheets of pastry over the filling into the centre, so it looks like a Hershey’s Kiss!  Give it a little squeeze, and shape it into attractive folds.  Brush all over with the rest of the butter and set aside in the fridge to chill and firm up.

Preheat the oven to 375F.  When ready, bake the kulbebyaka for about 45 minutes until golden and crisp.  Allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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

Oatmeal Apricot Cookies

  • 3 cups rolled oats (not instant or quick cook)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar (white)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • In a small pan over medium-high heat, toast wheat germ until lightly browned and fragrant; cool.

    Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

    Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes (you can do this by hand!). Mix in eggs one at a time, and add vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the dry mixture; mix until just combined. Mix in apricots and almonds.

    Drop balls of dough, about 1-1/2″ in diameter onto parchment paper lined baking sheets, about 2″ apart. Flatten each cookie ball slightly.

    Bake until golden and just set, about 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on racks for 5 minutes before removing cookies from sheets (they will be very soft). Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

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    Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, food, Grains, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

    Grandma Ruth’s Wild Rice

    As sent to me by my Mom (unedited).  For my updated version, check here.


    Quick soak method for the wild rice:

    • Wash required amount of rice in colander
    • Stir rice into 3 times the amount of boiling water (1 c. rice-3 cups water)
    • Par boil for 5 minutes only
    • Remove from heat. Let soak in the same water (covered) for 1 hour
    • Drain, wash and cook as directed in following recipe

    Method:

    • Required amount of cooked rice (I fill the casserole I want to use)

    Heat in frying pan:

    • ¼ c. butter

    Add the following, and sauté for about 5 minutes:

    • 1 med sized onion finely chopped,
    • 1 tsp. Garlic powder,
    • ½ lb. Fresh mushrooms, sliced.
    • ½ cup slivered almonds

    Mix into wild rice and pour over mixture:

    • 1 can consommé and salt and pepper to taste.

    Bake in 350 degree oven for about an hour.  You will be able to tell when it’s done.

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    Filed under Grains

    Steel Cut Oats (Scottish Oats)

    Puts “oatmeal” to shame!

    • 1 ½ cups water
    • ½ cup milk
    • 1 tablespoons butter
    • ½ cup steel cut oats
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • Handful of dried fruit (cherries or cranberries are good)

    Bring the water and milk to a simmer in a wide bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add oats, and toast, stirring constantly until they are fragrant and golden.

    Stir the toasted oats into the simmering milk/water mixture, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently for 20 minutes until it resembles gravy; stir occasionally.

    Stir in the salt, and the dried fruit. Continue to simmer for about 5 to 10 more minutes until the oats absorb almost all the rest of the liquid and the oats are creamy.

    Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. A stirred-style fruit yogurt on top is delicious.

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

    Rustic Grain Bread

    • 1 ½ cups water
    • 3 Tablespoons butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 Tablespoons honey or molasses
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 2 cups unbleached white flour
    • ¾ cups Toasted Grain Mix*
    • 1/3 cup cracked wheat
    • 1 ½ teaspoons bread-machine yeast

    Add to bread machine in order recommended by manufacturer. Use whole-wheat setting, with extra rise time. This makes an “extra large” loaf in the machine. I like to make free form loaves with this recipe; shape them, let them rise until doubled in bulk, then bake for about 30 minutes in a 400F oven until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. If you’re not sure how to do this, a basic book such as “The Joy of Cooking” is a great reference.

    *Toasted Grain Mix: Combine 1 cup each of barley flakes, rye flakes and rolled oats on a shallow baking sheet. Toast in a 350F oven for 30 minutes, stirring once. Set aside to cool. Keeps well in a sealed plastic container or bag in fridge or freezer. Doubles well.

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    Filed under Breads/Muffins/Biscuits, Grains