Quinoa is undeniably a magical superfood. Generally when I use quinoa it's thrown into a big salad or added to a meal as a side dish, but no more! This protein-packed, texture goddess has earned her spot on center stage and can be used for every meal your heart desires, including dessert.
Have you heard that whole grains and whole grain flours should be stored in the fridge or freezer? Keep them in the pantry and they'll go rancid or be infested with weevils, right? Anyway, that's what I tell myself every time I try to cram a bag of whole-wheat flour into my already-crowded freezer. But author and whole grains expert Maria Speck has a different opinion, one that makes storing whole grains a whole lot easier.
While whole grains are getting a lot of attention right now, it's possible that sorghum hasn't come onto your radar yet. Do you know it? With more awareness regarding the health benefits of ancient grains — and an easier time tracking down sorghum on grocery store shelves — it, too, is about to have its time in the limelight.
If you bake with whole grain flours, you know that mixing them for purposes of flavor and desired texture is a common occurrence. These days I rarely use one flour alone, instead putzing around to find a perfect whole-grain blend that suits me. Interestingly enough, I don't find myself mixing the grains themselves in my cooking as often as I'd like. Millet usually just plays with millet. Amaranth hangs out alone. Until now.
You've likely read a lot about whole grains in the news lately. It seems everywhere I turn, a magazine or major news source is touting their benefits, and it's now recommended that our intake of whole grains sit right around 48 grams per day, which can feel overwhelming to many people. But it doesn't have to be; there are a lot of sneaky, quick ways to work whole grains into your diet without sitting down to a big bowl of farro every day.
Tabbouleh is one of those dishes that lends itself towards improvisation, which is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that we can feel free to throw it together without a lot of stress and worry, which has resulted in many delicious, creative variations. The curse is that this kind of abandon can lead to the essence of an herb-intense tabbouleh getting lost. My favorite version of tabbouleh straddles tradition and innovation: it's heavy on the traditional herbs but brings the bulgur more forward as well. Here's how I make it!
Ever since I was a little girl, I've had a pretty fierce sweet tooth. I love a good cookie, and ice cream in the summer always becomes more of a routine than it should. But now that I'm older, I bake more with whole grain flours and experiment a great deal with natural sugars. So while it's still dessert, I don't feel quite as guilty.
Last week my husband and I packed up the car and drove nearly 500 miles to Atlanta to celebrate my sister's wedding. I love a good road trip. It gives you time to think and to talk, and to watch the landscape of mountains and fields roll by.
While free of the discomforts of plane travel, car travel does carry its own pitfalls, like the lure of fast food and gas station Slurpees. My strategy is to be prepared with something delicious and easy, like this couscous salad — a refreshing lunch at any time, but especially on a long summer road trip.
I long to be one of those people who packs a healthy, well-balanced meal when they travel. I have friends who pack lunches for their plane journeys — thinking out which foods will complement others and how it will affect the way they feel mid-flight. I don't do this. Usually I can barely manage to eat a decent breakfast before I get out the door. But what I can do is throw together a trail mix for those flights — one that's been put to the test during quick camping trips, day hikes or longer car rides. And I'm always thankful that I took the few minutes to do so.
The first meals alone in a foreign country are always intimidating. When I moved to a small city in central Japan to teach English for two years, onigiri was the first food I clung to. Like a life raft, these seaweed-wrapped rice balls — sort of the sandwiches of Japanese cuisine — kept me afloat in a sea of unfamiliar foods labeled in a language I could just barely read.
Made with short-grain rice, toasted nori and a small amount of flavorful seafood, meat or pickles, onigiri combine some of the elements of sushi, but in a more homey, comforting form. These are not the elegant creations of highly-trained chefs, but the familiar, filling foods of school lunches and train trips, providing a little taste of home while on the road.