by Allison Milam in Recipes, April 16th, 2015
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, April 4th, 2014
Amazing grains, how sweet the sound! (That is how the song goes … right?) Either way, there’s no denying the awesome powers of whole grains. Beyond the obvious health benefits of swapping them in for pasta, white rice and more, using grains as a nourishing alternative brings a welcome quirkiness to your go-to side dishes.
1. Take the rice out of your fried rice by using farro instead.
The glory of digging fried rice out of a takeout container could never be fully replaced, but making a good grain swap is a sure way to keep things interesting. Look to farro, an Italian grain of wheat that’s satisfyingly tender and chewy, for Healthy Farro Fried “Rice” (pictured above) that ups the texture of the classic Asian staple.
by Food Network Kitchen in Food Network Magazine, March 17th, 2014
When I worked at an office, remembering to eat lunch was never a problem. Even if I lost track of time, I could always feel how the energy around me would shift a few minutes before noon. As soon as the clock flipped, my co-workers and I would rise from our seats to meet friends or pick up sandwiches at the cafeteria downstairs.
Once I started working from home, that unconscious knowledge that it was time to eat lunch was one of the first things to go. Instead, I’d sit down to work and enter something of a fugue state. I’d resurface hours later, feeling ravenously hungry and shocked by how much time had gone by.
These days I do two things to combat the work hypnosis. I set an alarm on my computer that reminds me to eat lunch (it’s simple but effective), and I make some big batch of grain or bean salad at the start of each week so that I have something to look forward to.
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, February 7th, 2014
Next time you’re making rice, grits or other grains, add some flavor to the cooking liquid. Throw in fresh herbs, dried chiles or a cinnamon stick and let steep a few minutes before adding the grains. Food Network Magazine used a rosemary sprig to infuse the polenta in this weeknight pork dinner (pictured above). If you’re using several ingredients, tie them together with kitchen twine or unwaxed floss so you can easily pull them out later.
by Allison Milam in Recipes, April 10th, 2013
I discovered risotto when I was 27 years old. Before that, my only experience of anything even remotely risotto-like came from a box or involved a can of cream of mushroom soup. For a time, I made it every week as a way to stretch leftovers.
Lately I’ve been trying to eat more whole grains and fewer things that are blindingly white. I thought this meant that I’d need to give up my risotto habit entirely, but I’ve discovered that white rice isn’t the only grain with which one can make a savory pudding that stretches the end of a roast chicken into a brand-new meal.
I’ve tried it with barley, wheat berries and even oat groats, but the grain that has come out on top is definitely farro. Though some people argue about what farro is exactly, most typically believe it’s the whole-grain version of cereal crops known as einkorn, emmer and spelt.
A risotto made with farro won’t be quite as creamy as one made with rice, but it is worth making nonetheless. I really enjoy the sturdiness and texture of the grain. Unlike traditional risottos, this version reheats beautifully (though sadly, that means there’s no need to make risotto cakes).
by Sarah De Heer in How-to, Shows, April 13th, 2012
Fixing a bowl of raisin-laced quinoa and calling it dinner just won’t do. Yes, many wholesome grains are packed with protein and all that good stuff, but they’re that much better when things are kept balanced. With this fleet of recipe combinations, your grain-based sides are not just an afterthought; they’re a fluid and integral part of your meal.
A Tupperware of some-sort-of-quinoa-salad may be all the rage at lunchtime these days, but quinoa is much more exciting when it’s transitioned to the dinner table. Food Network Magazine‘s Spice-Rubbed Pork With Quinoa and its Scallops With Citrus and Quinoa are both sophisticated and relatively light, and the grain itself is prepared very simply.
Couscous works wonders when combined with shellfish. Sandra Lee whips up a homemade basil-walnut pesto for her Shrimp Scampi Over Pesto Couscous, and Food Network Magazine’s Greek Shrimp and Couscous integrates the grain with a sauce brimming in tomatoes, fennel and feta. The chefs in Food Network Kitchens aren’t kidding with this 20-Minute Shrimp and Couscous With Yogurt-Hummus Sauce (pictured above) — this dish comes out quick. Store-bought Greek yogurt and hummus make for an easy dipping sauce when blended, while the whole-wheat couscous is studded with dried apricots.
Get more grain-focused side dish recipes
Last Sunday night on the premiere episode of Chopped All-Stars, the Iron Chef contestants opened up their baskets to find sour trahana. I quickly found myself Googling the term, only to find out several minutes later from Ted Allen that it’s a traditional Greek pasta that is essentially flour kneaded with sour milk, buttermilk or yogurt and some salt.
I couldn’t get a good glimpse of the grain on TV, but imagine a substance similar to couscous.
According to The Food and Wine of Greece by Diane Kochilas, “Until a generation ago, sour trahana was the shepherd’s and farmer’s breakfast. It was made at the end of every summer all over Greece in preparation for the winter months.”
So what can you do with sour trahana? Try cooking it in a soup, like Cat Cora’s Chicken Soup. The longer you cook the grain, the thicker it becomes.
If you can’t find sour trahana in the international aisle of your local supermarket, try searching for it online at a Greek specialty store.
Tune in this Sunday at 9pm/8c when four gourmet globetrotters — Keegan Gerhard, Marcela Valladolid, Jeffrey Saad and Aarti Sequeira — take their place on the Chopping Block.