Experimenting with grains


Most of us have heard of quinoa. Gluten free and available in a rainbow of colors, you’ve probably tried quinoa in either a recipe you created in your home kitchen or in a dish at a favorite restaurant. In my mind, quinoa has opened the grain door to many a cook.

Often referred to as a super food, quinoa is actually an edible seed originating in the Andean region of Chile and Peru. A true protein, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids. Light and fluffy when cooked with a slight nutty flavor, it is one of the oldest grains around.

Nothing against quinoa. It should serve as a staple in everyone’s cupboard. But it’s time to step out of your grain comfort zone. We are in the midst of a grain revival where everything old is new again. Grains with ancient roots like kamut, farro and amaranth are increasingly accessible. And winter provides the perfect time to partake in some grain experimentation.

The winter 2015/16 edition of Edible Door Magazine features my article discussing various grains and seeds along with some terrific recipes.

Here are some of my favorite recipes to get you started on your cooking with grains adventure.


Grain-Stuffed Acorn Squash

This delicious main course recipe is a great vegetarian option.  I used wild rice and kamut for the recipe but feel free to experiment with your blend.
Here’s a video of me making the dish……




Kamut Salad with Dried Fruit and Cashews

This delicious salad is from Greens and Grains in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin (Door County).   Kamut was used for farro or wheat berries could be substituted.  It is made without oil with extra crunch added with cashews and julienne carrots.


Farro, Sweet Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Risotto

Farro is used to make this creamy risotto.   Fresh corn (though you can substitute thawed frozen) and sautéed shiitake mushrooms
help create this heart-warming vegetarian dish.


Quinoa with Butternut Squash

This dish can be used as a main course, as a salad or as an addition to an entree of grilled chicken or fish.   A hint of maple syrup
and some toasted pepitas give this dish some extra flavor.   If you have fresh herbs like mint or basil, add them as well.


The Cookery’s Red Quinoa and Feta Salad

The Cookery, located in Fish Creek (Door County), Wisconsin has this delicious red quinoa and feta salad on their menu.  Add a protein
like grilled chicken or salmon for an entree version of this salad.


Quinoa, Bulgur and Roasted Eggplant Tabbouleh

This take off on the tradition tabbouleh combined quinoa with the bulgur along with roasted eggplant and chickpeas.
Feta, black olive, cilantro, mint and lemon are added to make a delicious salad.  Add tear-drop or cherry tomatoes if available.


Five-Grain Bread

This five-grain bread recipe is great to make on a snowy winter day!   I used quinoa and whole oats and part of the grain mix.

This entry was posted in Appetizers, Breads, Entrees, Holiday & Entertaining, Soups & Salads, Uncategorized, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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