Inspiring you to make healthy food and choices one step at a time

April 15, 2010

Basic #3 - Grains Galore (San Francisco Quinoa)

The grains I'm exploring here are, overall, ones we eat as main or side dishes but they can also be ground for breads or muffins. But I'd rather cover those specific grinding grains separately so we'll talk about those later.

Okay, the nitty gritty of it all...Here are three lists that give you the most nutrient dense grains and pseudograins (seeds though commonly referred to as grains). I'll cover seeds and nuts separately also but these psuedograins are usually used as "cook and eat" grains.

Superfoods Rx by Dr. Steven Pratt

Oats, wheat germ, and ground flaxseed are his top Superfoods, followed by brown rice, barley, wheat, millet, bulgar wheat, amaranth, quinoa, triticale, kamut, yellow corn, wild rice, spelt, couscous

Eat for Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, wild rice

Thrive by Brendan Brazier

Pseudograins (all are gluten free, easily digestible, alkaline-forming)

amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice


brown rice, millet, teff, spelt (contains gluten but in considerably smaller quantities than whole wheat)

I really like this book, THRIVE. It contains gluten free, dairy free, and soy free ingredients and recipes. He is a vegan Ironman competitor (not Strongman but the guys who bike, swim and run.) It is all about high energy, high nutrient foods. Be forewarned this is probably not for the healthy food beginner. It does contain some unusual ingredients but all can be found at the health food store and some can cost a pretty penny. 

There are so many grains to choose from and so many nutrients in each to fill those nutrient voids in our bodies that it would be wise to try one new grain every week or two. You'll have your favorites but continue introducing and experimenting with each.  Remember "examine and exchange" the grains you use now for healthier choices.

What is the biggest complaint about changing to whole grains? The time it takes to cook them. And I understand completely, after all, my premise here is to work in 15 minute increments. For those grains that cook a while, you just need to plan accordingly but that's what I like about quinoa, cooks in 20 minutes and is a great substitute for white rice dishes.

What is so special about quinoa (keen' wa)? Here is a great video that will tell you everything I wanted to write. If you don't have time to watch it, the thing you need to know for sure is...please RINSE YOUR QUINOA. Here's a picture of a sieve to use for rinsing the toxin off your seeds. (Yes, toxin, but more than likely it's been pre-rinsed before you bought it but I rinse to make sure it's all off anyway.)

This recipe is adapted from Chef Paul Prudhomme's book, Seasoned America. Well, really the only thing close is the spice mix but it was the inspiration of this quinoa dish, and the first time we liked quinoa. 

San Francisco Quinoa

Seasoning Mix
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley (opt)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. grd. ginger
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

(I know this is a lot of spice but once you buy it, you have it, even the inexpensive brands will do.)

Cook over medium heat
2 tbs. oil (olive or grapeseed)
1 onion (3/4 c. chopped) 
1-2 stalks celery (1/2 c. chopped)
1 - 2 large cloves chopped garlic

onion mixture
seasoning mix
2 c. rinsed quinoa 
(I used the ivory but the red quinoa, pictured in the grains above top right, is great also!)

For fastest cooking, while onion sautes, heat 3 1/2 c. water, veggie broth, or chicken broth til boiling and then add to quinoa above.

Bring to another boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. You'll know when it's done when you see cute little spirals all over the quinoa.

Serve with warmed peas and sliced tomatoes for a light meal or add cooked chicken or ground turkey also for a hearty one dish entree.

Grains are used best nutritionally when soaked, sprouted or cooked in water.

The internet is covered with cooking times and recipes for all the grains above. Most people are used to the flavor, or lack thereof, of white rice as their main grain. With all these healthier grains there is a new "flavor" with each. Be patient and explore new recipes with spices, herbs, veggies, and broths to give delicious, some would call tolerable, flavor to each grain you introduce to your family.

What is going to be your first new grain to try this week?

This post is linked to:

Foodie Fridays
Food on Fridays
Friday Food
Friday Favorite


Unknown said...

I'm going to try the Quinoa this week... I have been wanting to try it! I love your photo, it made me want to try the Quinoa!

Natasha in Oz said...

I bought a packet of quinoa a couple of weeks ago and haven't tried it yet. I guess I was just waiting for the right recipe to come along and voila-here it is! Thanks so very much!

Best wishes and happy weekend,

April@The 21st Century Housewife said...

I've been wanting to try Quinoa because it is so good for you but I have been a bit unsure about how to prepare it. Your recipe sounds lovely and not nearly as complicated as I imagined preparing Quinoa would be - thank you for sharing it.

shannon i olson said...

Quinoa is one of my favorite foods, a while back I thought I may have had Celiac Disease, turns out it wasn't but during that time I found this grain, and I am thankful I did!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

This looks great! I have some Quinoa, but haven't really found any yummy recipes. This is just the thing.

Thanks for joining in the linky party~ a friday's favorite!!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post. So much information! I love quinoa... I will have to try this recipe.

Thank you for stopping by! :) Have a great weekend!


Aubree Cherie said...

Hi Laurie,

I wanted to let you know that I linked this recipe to my weekly top ten recipe review! :)

~Aubree Cherie

Laurie said...

Wow, that's exciting, Aubree. Thank you so much!

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Yummy recipe!!!

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So colorful. loved it

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