January 29, 2009
"Originator" content="Microsoft Word 11">
Welcome back to the kitchen. This week
I’m inspired to share some recipes I originally learned from a friend who was on a whole grains diet. While
that might not sound that exciting to you off the bat, whole grains are a great way to improve your diet and your
Whole grains will leave you feeling more
full and satisfied than the processed foods we’ve become accustomed to. Some of the more documented health
benefits associated with whole grains are a reduced risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
class="MsoNormal"> I recommend trying to cook
with some raw whole grains of your own, because identifying products that are actually made with whole grains can
be tricky. Take bread, for example. According to labeling rules, If two ingredients are listed as grain products
but only the second is listed as whole grain, the entire product may contain between 1% and 49% whole grain. Many
types of bread are colored brown (often with
So if we cook for ourselves using whole
grains like amaranth, barley, millet, or unprocessed oats, know we are getting the best nutrients from our food.
The problem, however, is one of convenience. Most whole grains take significantly longer to cook, because it takes
awhile for them to get tender than their processed counterparts.
But that’s no problem for
today’s featured ingredient, my favorite whole grain quinoa [KEEN-wah]. This wunder-grain originated in the
style="color: windowtext; text-decoration: none;">Andean "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_America" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_America America">South America
style="color: windowtext; text-decoration: none;">Andeanregion of
America">South America, where it has been an
important food for some 6,000 years. It is delicious, has lots of vitamins, and particularly high in protein
(especially for a grain). Also, quinoa is
Blah blah, all that is really beside the
point for me. Quinoa cooks faster than rice, and has a delicious nutty taste. When cooked correctly, each little
grain has a nice pop, making for a great texture. Think ok using hot quinoa for any weeknight stir fry or curry.
Some people make a sweet a fruity breakfast quinoa.
Today, however, we’re going to use
this great grain for a couple different salads. First, we’ll use quinoa to replace bulger wheat in a fresh
and tangy tabbouleh salad. We can use that as a base for a variety of middle eastern dishes, simply by adding some
feta cheese and olives and some roasted or grilled vegetables.
Second, we’ll make a sweet and spicy
quinoa salad with curry chicken and golden raisins. This one makes a great lunch meal all on its own, or could be
a side dish for dinner with some hearty squash stew.
So, getting started with the
"">quinoa tabbouleh. We’re going to need lot of fresh parsley for this, which we can keep growing all
year long on an insulated sun porch or cold frame greenhouse. We’ll also make use of the seasonal, if not
local abundance of fresh lemons and limes.
For the tabbouleh we’ll need:
class="MsoNormal">-1 cup quinoa (white, red, or whatever variety you can find)
-one or two ripe tomatoes, diced
cucumber, diced (seeded and peeled if you’re picky)
-at least one cup of fresh
parsley, chopped up fine
-about ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped up with the
-the juice of 1-2 fresh lemons or limes
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
class="MsoNormal">-1 cup crumbles feta cheese (optional)
-other optional ingredients
include sliced olives, diced red peppers, or green onions.
class="MsoNormal"> Quinoa can be found at most
markets these days, but you might have to ask. To find it, it’s important to know how to spell it: q-u-i-n-
o-a, it looks likes it would be pronounced [KWEE-noa]. We’ll cook up a batch basically like rice, using the
tried and true ratio of 2 cups of water for every cup of dry quinoa.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil for every
one cup of rinsed quinoa, then immediately turn down to low and cook, covered tightly , for about 8-12 minutes
until the liquids are absorbed, and depending how al dente you like it. Once the quinoa is cooked, set it aside so
it can cool for our salads.
Add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and
pepper to the bottom of a bowl and whisk until the dressing is emulsified. Chop up the herbs and all of the
veggies and add them to the bowl along with the cooled quinoa. Mix the tabbouleh all around and ideally let the
flavors absorb for a little while before serving. Top with the crumbled feta cheese before serving.
there you have it, a quick and easy tabbouleh salad that goes great with hummus and pita or any other Middle
Eastern inspired meal. It’s faster and has more protein and flavor than the original!
"">Ok, now lets move right along to
style="">our curried chicken quinoa salad. For this we’ll need:
-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-4 cups cooked quinoa
-2 stalks of celery, chopped
small apple, seeded and chopped up small
-one carrot, grated
"MsoNormal">-one green onion, chopped up tiny so its not too strong
-1/4 cup fresh
cilantro, chopped up fine
-1/2 cup golden raisins
slivered almonds, toasted
-1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
"MsoNormal">-1/2 teaspoon curry powder
-one dollop low-fat mayonnaise and one dollop
-salt and pepper to taste
-a dash of garlic
-one tablespoon olive oil
We’ll start out by preheating the oven to 375 and rubbing the chicken breasts in the olive oil. Place
them in a non-stick baking pan and squeeze on a little lemon or lime. Shake on a dash of salt and fresh ground
pepper, a little garlic powder, and a little pinch of the curry.
"">Bake the chicken for about 15-20
minutes, turning once in the middle. It’s cooked when the juice runs clear. Take the chicken out of the oven
to let it cool, then slice it up into little bite sized pieces.
"">In a bowl mix together the rest of
the lime juice with the mayo and yogurt, the chopped and grated veggies, the apples and raisins, almonds, and
cilantro. Add the curry powder and taste. Spicy enough? If it’s too spicy, you could add a little bit of
brown sugar to mellow it out a little.
"">Toss in the cooled roasted chicken
breast and the cooked quinoa and mix everything together. The tangy yogurt and lime should play nicely with the
sweet apples and raisins, which in turn play off the spicy curry powder. If you prefer to keep this salad
vegetarian, just leave out the chicken. The almonds and quinoa have lots of protein between them.
"MsoNormal"> I like to
take this curried chicken salad and eat it in a pita pocket with sliced tomatoes and lettuce, and maybe a little
bit of mango chutney. Delicious!
style="">Well friends, I hope
I’ve inspired you to try making quinoa in your kitchen. This fast cooking, nutrient rich whole grain is a
perfect pantry addition. Let me know what quinoa recipes you are experimenting with at
"http://www.kohoradio.com/">www.kohoradio.com w:st="on">Isaac Kaplan-Woolner
"http://www.kohoradio.com/">www.kohoradio.com. Cooking local in the KOHO kitchen, I’m