Hearty, Healthy Grain Dishes
Made creamy with tofu or white beans, this ancient grains soup is filled with tasty leeks and mushrooms. It’s truly a bowl of comfort! If you’d like to explore the various ancient grains on the market, you can make this with whole farro, spelt, or einkorn berries. Or go “new school” with ordinary pearl or pot barley. Whichever grain you use, you’ll enjoy this nourishing soup on a chilly or rainy day. Photos by Evan Atlas. more→
Farro has been enjoyed in Italy for thousands of years, so it’s a natural partner for artichokes—another Italian favorite. Recipe from Ancient Grains: A Guide to Cooking with Power-Packed Millet, Oats, Spelt, Farro, Sorghum & Teff by Kim Lutz © 2016. Reprinted by permission of Sterling Publishing. Photos by Bill Milne. more→
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.
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.
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→
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→
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.
Filling and hearty, the lemony flavor and the slender green beans give this bulgur dish a fresh flavor. It’s ideal to make when fresh slender green beans are on the market. That’s quite a fleeting moment, so feel free to substitute whole organic baby green beans when good fresh ones are unavailable. Serve with a colorful salad and some corn on the cob for a simple meal. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky. more→
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.
This delicious grain dish, studded with celery, black lentils, cranberries, and pistachios, is as welcome for everyday meals as it is for the holiday table. 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 from Ripe: 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→
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→
Nutritionally, millet resembles wheat, providing niacin, vitamin B6, and folic acid along with some calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. If you want fluffy, grainy millet, as for this dish, it is essential to leave it alone while cooking. If you want a soft textured millet, however, keep stirring until it is cooked. Contributed by Deborah Gray from 500 Vegan Dishes* (Sellers Publishing, 2011).