Thursday, February 18, 2010

Whole Grain Mix

In our pantry we have all sorts of glass jars from IKEA that hold the items I buy from the bulk foods section: jasmine rice, brown rice, lentils, pecans, pistachios, dried apricots, bulghur, etc. The Chef decided to cook a bunch of grains we had on hand, mixed them together once cooked and cooled, and stored them in the refrigerator. We have been having amazing meals using this Whole Grain Mix all week long.

This particular combination included brown basmati rice, barley, quinoa, and wild rice. I love all of these grains on their own but can assuredly say I have enjoyed them even more as a mix.

Don't try and cook the whole grains all in one pot. Even though it's a pain and creates more dirty dishes, cook them separately since their cooking times vary so much. It seems like a big production having four pots boiling at once but it's really not that much trouble at all. I'm quite sure there are all sorts of little tricks for the best possible cooking method for each grain but I just cover the grains with a few inches of cold water and boil the hell out of them until tender but still chewy. Cool the grains on a sheet pan and then combine in a large bowl. Store, covered in the refrigerator for a week.

Below are some ways we've been using up the Whole Grain Mix.

  • Add milk, currants, raisins, and dried figs to the whole grains. Heat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warm. Drizzle maple syrup over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon.

  • Heat a bit of peanut oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute some chopped broccoli, garlic, red pepper flakes, and edamame. Beat together an egg or two and quickly stir-fry that as well. Add the whole grains and drizzle with soy sauce, stirring all the ingredients together well.

  • Use the whole grains as a base for a variation on the Baked Eggs recipe.

  • Cube some cooked beets and add them to the whole grains. Stir in a tablespoon or two of a balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkle with feta and toasted pine nuts.

  • Stir-fry some spinach in a little oil, add the whole grains and some baked or fried tofu and stir in some hoisin sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds.

  • Make a whole grain rice pudding by combining milk and sugar with the grains in a saucepan. Stir together until thick. Add a small amount of almond extract and some orange zest.

  • Mix together the whole grains with diced mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper, salt and heat in the microwave until the cheese melts. Top with a spoonful of delicious.


Mark said...

Great idea! I like the use of whole grains and mixing them up to create almost a 'base' for so many recipes!

Another 'Crafty' idea!

Kris said...

Such a simple idea! But one that has never occured to me as I'm scrounging through the cupboards seeing a bit of this and a bit of that just begging to be used up. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

wow, how have I not come across your blog before?! as a registered dietitian, this is fantastic! i look forward to visiting more often.



Erin, A Crafty Lass said...

Thanks Mark!

Kris, it's so satisfying using up all those whole grains!

Heather-Thanks so much for visiting! I love having a dietitian's approval!!

AMIT said...

It is really a great recipe and idea.

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