Move over, quinoa. There’s a “hot” new whole grain in town — sorghum! And, with its nutty taste and slightly chewy texture, antioxidant-rich sorghum has quickly become one of my favorite healthy and nourishing gluten-free grains to experiment with in the kitchen.
Because sorghum takes longer to cook (approximately 50 minutes on the stovetop) than, say, quinoa, rice or millet, an easy “make it once, eat it thrice” alternative to cooking it on the stove is to make a big batch of it in your slow cooker, and then save it for these three easy sorghum bowls, plus more dishes!
The Basics: Easy Slow-Cooker Sorghum
To make: Rinse 1 cup* of whole-grain sorghum in running water, then place in your slow cooker, along with 3 cups* of water. Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours, or until all the liquid is gone. Cool and store cooked sorghum in a covered bowl in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
*Note: 1 cup of uncooked sorghum makes 4 cups cooked, and more than enough for 1 serving each of the three recipes below. If you are cooking all the meals below for two people, you will need 4 1/2 cups cooked sorghum; for four people, you will need 9 cups, so prepare the basic slow-cooker sorghum recipe accordingly. Any extras will keep well in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, and in the freezer for even longer.
Meal #1 (Dinner): Sorghum Pilaf (pictured above)
Yield: 2 servings
Technically a side dish, as opposed to a “bowl,” this simple sorghum pilaf with sauteed onions and pine nuts pairs deliciously with roast chicken, grilled salmon or seared tofu, along with steamed veggies, for an easy weeknight dinner. As a bonus, you can use the leftovers for tomorrow’s Greek Sorghum Bowl at lunch!
To make: Heat 1 1/2 cups of cooked sorghum in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes. While sorghum is warming in the microwave, heat a skillet on medium high, and finely chop 1/2 of a sweet onion. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to the warm skillet along with chopped onions, and saute for 1 minute, then add warmed sorghum, 1/4 cup pine nuts and salt to taste. Stir until well combined. Reserve 1/2 of the sorghum pilaf for lunch the next day, and enjoy the remaining pilaf as a side dish for dinner.
Per serving: Calories 300; Fat 18 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 199 mg; Carbohydrate 37 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 7 g
Meal #2 (Breakfast): Spiced Apple Yogurt Sorghum Bowl
Yield: 1 serving
This delicious combination of sorghum, Greek yogurt and cinnamon-ginger sauteed apple slices is a nourishing and comforting breakfast for a cold winter’s morning!
To make: Heat 3/4 cup of plain cooked sorghum (not the sorghum pilaf) in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 1/2 minutes. While sorghum is warming, heat a skillet on medium high heat, and cut one apple (with skin) into thin slices. Add 1 teaspoon virgin coconut oil to the skillet along with apple slices and saute for 2 minutes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger and a pinch of salt over apples. Stir well, and saute for another 2 minutes. Remove from stove and set aside, then top cooked sorghum with 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt and cinnamon-ginger apple slices. Enjoy while warm.
Per serving: Calories 348; Fat 9 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 5 mg; Sodium 429 mg; Carbohydrate 56 g; Fiber 5 g; Sugars 22 g; Protein 16 g
Meal #3 (Lunch): Greek Sorghum Bowl
Yield: 1 serving
Yesterday’s sorghum pilaf makes a delicious “canvas” for today’s hearty and filling Greek Sorghum Bowl with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives.
To make: Warm the remaining Sorghum Pilaf in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. While sorghum is warming, slice cherry or grape tomatoes in half, and chop cucumbers into small cubes. You should have about 1/2 cup of each. Next, slice 10 Kalamata olives in half, and crumble 1 ounce of feta cheese (about 1/4 cup). Place chopped tomatoes and cucumbers on top of warm sorghum pilaf, then sprinkle feta cheese and Kalamata olives on top before serving.
Per serving: Calories 478; Fat 31 g (Saturated 7 g); Cholesterol 33 mg; Sodium 659 mg; Carbohydrate 43 g; Fiber 5 g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 14 g
EA Stewart, MBA, RD is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in wellness and GI nutrition. In addition, EA is the creator of The Spicy RD, which features delicious gluten-free recipes made from healthy, seasonal ingredients.