Thursday, January 15, 2009

Whole Grains for Busy People

We all know that we're supposed to get more grains in our diets. And thankfully, the food industry has been responding lately by providing whole-grain versions of their standard products. But when it comes to cooking whole grains at home, most of us get a little shy.

I'm guessing there are multiple reasons for this, starting with just plain ol' not liking the taste of whole grains. Some grains can definitely have a very earnest, crunchy-granola, almost-barnyardy flavor. But next on the list of reasons not to cook whole grains is the time it takes to cook them...not to mention the long soaking occasionally involved.

Well, Lorna Sass, who has written a bunch of cookbooks (including one called Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way), decided that the time factor should not be the reason to not cook with grains. She has put together Whole Grains for Busy People, a collection of recipes that use quick-cooking grains that are almost all available in supermarkets, with one or two in health-food stores (though many supermarkets now have pretty good health-food aisles).

I already love whole grains, so it was hard for me to pick recipes from the book that might win over someone who feels a little iffy about them, but see what you think of these:

• Soft Chicken Tacos with Smoked Paprika Sour Cream
• Spirals with Beef Ragu
• Coconut Chicken Curry with Thai Black Rice
• Goat Cheese and Corn Enchiladas
• Dilled Barley and Chicken Salad
• Wild Rice with Mushrooms, Potatoes, and Squash
• Banana Coconut Cream Pie

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