Hearty, Healthy Grain Dishes

Kasha Varnitchkes

Kasha Varnitchkes

Kasha Varnitchkes is a classic Jewish dish of buckwheat groats combined with pasta. I’m not sure that bow tie pasta (farfalle) has always been the traditional choice, but it’s the contemporary favorite. If you’re a kasha fan, you’ll enjoy this simple dish; it doesn’t set of any flavor fireworks, but it’s easy and comforting, like many an Eastern European specialty. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

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Kasha (Buckwheat Groats) with Mushrooms

Kasha (buckwheat groats)

Kasha, or toasty brown buckwheat groats, is a grain that’s popular in Eastern European cuisines. It’s one of a kind of food that you feel strongly about one way or another, as their flavor and aroma are strong and distinct. If you’re a kasha fan, you’ll enjoy this simple dish. Kasha is highly compatible with onions and mushrooms, which are in abundance here. more→

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Chickpea and Spinach Couscous with Cashews

Spinach and chickpea couscous from Love and Lentils

This is a dish that is on my ‘I have nothing in the fridge’ or ‘I have no time to cook‘ or ‘I want something healthy that my kid will love‘ recipe roster. It’s something that I have been cooking for years and is still a family favorite. I love the simplicity of it, and the versatility. If you don’t have chickpeas, go ahead and use white navy beans or kidney beans. If you don’t have spinach, use collard greens or kale. Recipe and photos contributed by Sophia Zergiotis of Love and Lentils. more→

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Barley with Mushrooms and Browned Onions

Barley with mushrooms and onions

Mushrooms and barley are a match made in culinary heaven. Best known for their pairing in comforting soups, they make an equally good duo in this hearty side dish, embellished with lots of onion and fresh dill. Brown mushrooms yield a richer flavor than white, so give them a try. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→

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Maple-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Wild Rice

Maple-Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sproouts2 randy clemens

While I wish I could take all the credit for the unique blend of flavors here, the inspiration for the Brussels sprouts came from a restaurant in NYC called the Vanderbilt. I was going to rework their recipe as a side dish, but after taking my first bite of this new version, I realized that serving the Brussels sprouts atop my favorite wild rice dish would create a stunning entrée. Recipe and photo reprinted by permission from The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook ©2013 by Randy Clemens. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. more→

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Farrotto With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Broccoli, and Basil

Farrotto With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Broccoli and Basil Ellen Kanner

Are you ready to try a deliciously different grain? Farro, a longstanding favorite in Italian cuisine has made quite a comeback. A hardy, whole variety of wheat, it has a great flavor and is a nice alternative to brown rice. Soaking farro overnight (or all day) makes it cook up quicker and creamier. This Farrotto is a heartier, whole grain cousin to risotto. Recipe and photo contributed by Ellen Kanner.

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Black Lentil Celery Couscous with Jeweled Fruit

Black lentil celery couscous pilaf

Celery is used twice in this dish: softened in the beginning with a little olive oil, and tossed in at the end for a decisive crunch. You may substitute traditional couscous for the whole wheat and brown or green lentils for the black ones. (The black ones are especially pretty, though.) Recipe reprinted with permission fromRipe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables* © 2012 by Cheryl Sternman Rule, photography by Paulette Phlipot; Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group. more→

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Mjeddrah (Rice and Lentil Pilaf)

mjeddrah (mujaddarah) Rice and Lentil Pilaf

A dish both simple and elemental, the lentils and rice cook together, taking on flavor and qualities greater than themselves. The rice and lentils soak separately before cooking, which brings the tenderness out in the rice and encourages the lentils, which normally require no presoaking, to keep their shape. We should all be so lucky. It’s traditionally topped with sautéed onions and makes a meal. Recipe and photo contributed by Ellen Kanner. more→

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