Ancient Grains

Whole grains are all the rage, and with good reason. Their health benefits and high-fiber content make them a great addition to your regular menu!

One of my favorites is quinoa, an ancient grain-like seed. It’s a high-quality protein with eight essential amino acids and a good source of fiber, as well as B vitamins, iron, and other minerals. You can get regular quinoa, red and tri-colored – all are tasty!

I like to toast it dry in a pan before cooking to add a bit of nutty flavor. I love it made into a salad to take for lunch such as my Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad – cooked quinoa, cucumbers, carrots, garbanzos, raisins, hazelnuts and fresh herbs all dressed up with olive oil and lemon juice. The combination of textures and flavors is d’lish and so good for you!

Another favorite is farro, an ancient hulled wheat that was served as the daily ration of the Roman legions. Today it is making a huge comeback and can be seen on restaurant menus everywhere (and also grown locally in eastern Washington!) I love its toothsome bite. Most instructions say to soak it before cooking, preferably overnight. This is great to speed up the cooking, but I typically just give it a long slow boil until it is tender. I love it when combined with Kale, Wild Mushrooms and Goat Cheese.

Have fun cooking up these ancient grains in the kitchen!
–Kathy

Big Protein Red Quinoa Salad

Makes about 4 cups

3/4 cup red or tri-color quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. minced or grated lemon zest

1/2 cup peeled, seeded and 1/4-inch-diced cucumber

1/2 cup canned organic garbanzo beans, drained

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/2cup organic golden raisins

1/2 cup organic hazelnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup grated carrot

3/4 to 1 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Rinse quinoa in cold water and drain well. Put the drained quinoa in a heavy medium saucepan and dry roast the grain over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for about 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff grains with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the remaining ingredients and toss well.

Recipe Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Farro with Kale, Wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1/2 cup whole farro, dry

2 quarts water

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup sliced wild mushrooms

4 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin

pinch red chili flakes

1 large bunch black kale (lacinato)* or green kale, torn

1/4 cup chicken broth (or substitute vegetable broth)

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 lemon

3 ounces fresh goat cheese (chevre)

To cook the farro: In a medium saucepan, combine farro and water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer; cook the grain for about 30 minutes, or until very tender, but do not let it become mushy. Add more water if it gets low. Drain the cooked farro and set aside. (You can do this the day before; refrigerate cooked grain.)

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Sauté mushrooms until half cooked, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes and sauté for a few seconds. Stir in kale. Add chicken broth and cooked farro, and cook, turning greens several times, until greens are wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lemon over dish to brighten flavor. Serve dolloped with goat cheese or grated sexy local cheese.

*Also called dinosaur kale.

Recipe Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on March 22nd, 2018  |  Comments Off on Ancient Grains |  Posted in Uncategorized

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