I am trying to incorporate more whole grains into our diet. I've started using more brown rice instead of my beloved Jasmine rice. I use barley as a side dish instead of potatoes and I've spent time staring at all of the choices in the health food store but for a child brought up on white bread and mashed potatoes it's definitely a learning process.
That's why it is so nice to have great cookbooks like Grain Mains to help a girl along in the kitchen! This delightful compendium is full of recipes that incorporate all manner of grains from the familiar (corn) to the - at least to me - completely unknown (Job's tears.)
I have been having some serious fun and I have only had this book for 4 days.
I sent hubby off to the health food store with instructions to bring me home some quinoa and "a funky new grain of your choice." So what does he bring me? Red quinoa.
So now I have quinoa and red quinoa. Men!
Here are the details about the book while you contemplate the huge difference between quinoa and red quinoa....
About the Book:
A long-overdue cookbook that takes whole grains from “good for you” side dish to sophisticated and satisfying main course.
We all know that choosing whole grains over processed ingredients is better for our health, yet the likes of millet, quinoa, and barley are still stuck on the culinary sidelines. Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough bring these unheralded culinary superstars to the center of the plate, with more than 100 recipes showing that their range of textures and flavors is greater than any other food group, they’re incredibly versatile, they’re economical, and they can anchor a meal.
Readers will be surprised at how easily and creatively whole grains can be used as the base for breakfast, dessert, and elegant entrees: Baked Barley Grits with Apples and Sausage will far outdo the standard cornmeal; and Millet Burgers with Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Pecorino won’t leave anyone missing the meat. Tips on quick-cooking grains or precooking ahead of time make cooking with these hearty staples practical for weeknights, and many are appropriate (or can be modified) for vegetarian and vegan diets.
Grain Mains is a modern manifesto for whole grains, with inventive and tantalizing recipes.
I've made two recipes so far; the Cornmeal and Oat Waffle Mix which makes a large batch dry mix that you can use to make delicious waffles.
They are rather like corn muffin waffles; slightly sweet, a little dense, but really delicious!
Last night we had the Millet Salad with Corn and Peanuts
To make this you need:
1 cup millet
8 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed (I used fresh from the garden)
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves (I didn't have any so I used dried)
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped (I had walnuts so walnuts it was)
1/2 tsp salt
1 large yellow onion (not a big fan of the onion so I omitted this)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
1 TBSP packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice (I didn't have lemons so I used orange juice)
1. Place the millet in a large sauce pan and fill it about halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and cook until the grains are tender but still a little chewy, even with a slight crunch at their centers, about 12 minutes.
Drain in a fine mesh sieve or a colander lined with a coffee filter, paper towels, or cheesecloth.
2. Scrape the millet into a large bowl. Stir in the corn, tomato, parsley, peanuts and salt.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. (I did not use the onion.) Add the garlic and ginger; stir over the heat for about 30 seconds.
4. Mix in the brown sugar, paprika, allspice and cayenne. Heat them through for a few seconds, then pour in the lemon juice.
Scrape up any browned bits in the skillet, then scrape the contents of the skillet into the bowl with the millet melange. Toss well.
I kept some of the toasted walnuts aside to sprinkle on top. I served this with a fresh from the garden cucumber salad.
This was DELICIOUS. The dressing had a lovely heat to it and if I didn't know better I would have sworn there was meat in the bowl somewhere. Hubby went back for thirds and he NEVER does that. This is a real keeper of a recipe. I can see using the millet and dressing as a base for whatever is fresh from the garden at the time.
The walnuts were yummy and we both could imagine peanuts or cashews or almost any kind of nut gracing this dish. It is going to become a mainstay in my recipe repertoire.
Next up is the Quinoa Crepes with Corn, Avocado and Mexican Crema. And there are many more I can't wait to try. This book is a GEM!
You can purchase Grain Mains on Amazon.com
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Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Grain Mains gratis. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free cookbook. I received no monetary compensation for this post.