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Adventures in Grains

Adventures in Grains

For the past few years, brown rice is the staple grain in our house, but may I confess: brown rice is gross.  I really don’t like the taste of it, and it’s such a pain in the butt to make.  Enter whole wheat couscous: super quick and easy, but I’m about the only one who really likes it.

We tried buckwheat: gluey, although most likely that was operator error.  After my second attempt I sort of gave up on trying to make it.  Next up: Bulgur.  Bulgur fared much better than buckwheat in our house, using it mostly as a rice alternative with stir-fries, curries, chili and the like. Plus, I love saying “Bulgrrrrrrrr”.

I’d wanted to try quinoa for a long time, ever since learning how to pronounce it about a year ago.  Earlier this year at a ladies night session, amazingly creative foodie Liz brought a red quinoa dish that was amazingly yummy.  Quinoa was a little tricky to find until a few months ago (when it showed up at Costco, natch).

Personally, I love quinoa and its slightly chewy texture. The appearance does take some getting used to. Since the rest of my clan is not so adventurous when it comes to trying new things, it’s mostly been on my plate alone.  I try to incorporate it into other dishes, since the nutrient quotient is so high it’s a real powerhouse food and what they call a “complete” protein source, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids required to optimize the absorption of the protein.

I cooked up a batch on Sunday to try to sneak it into meals throughout the week.  First up: the morning smoothie.  Every night I layer into a blender: spinach, strawberries, frozen berries, plain yogurt, flax oil and bananas (serves 3).  I added in about ½ cup of quinoa.  Benson tactfully handed it back to me after a sip. When I tasted mine, I understood.  It didn’t quite blend in like I’d expected…in fact it was so gritty-tasting, I couldn’t quite finish the cup.

Next up: the morning oatmeal.  Success!  This time I put in about ¼ cup with the oatmeal and berries.  I didn’t notice any taste and in fact, the texture was a nice addition!  I recently also started adding a few pumpkin seeds to the oatmeal (awesome for magnesium, zinc, protein).  A nice combo.

Last sneak: scrambled eggs.  A few mornings a week I make scrambled eggs with whatever’s on hand, a little shredded cheese, a few beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions and spinach.  I put it in a thermos and eat it late morning.  The quinoa is the perfect addition. It blends right in and has the same consistency.  It adds to the protein content and keeps me going through lunchtime.

I still enjoy it as a rice substitute, but the boys have flat out rejected it.  I’ll keep trying to sneak it into the white rice that they seem to adore and maybe even the granola bars I’ve started making.  Stay tuned!

  1. May 24, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Hrm. When I make brown rice, I add a packet of HerbOx chicken bouillon seasoning to the boiling water before adding the rice. I find that it really gives it an extra bit of kick. You could probably do the same with other seasonings.


    Energetic Healing

  2. Lisa
    May 25, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    If you buy brown Basmati rice(they might have it at the superstore, but I know fruiticana has it), I hardly tastes any different than the white basmati…way better that the other brown rices 🙂 My kids will eat it no problem.

  3. May 26, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Thanks for the tips! The brown rice we had wasn’t great, a Costco buy. I’ll check around once we’re due for more. 🙂

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