Archive for the ‘Whole Grains’ Category


This dish was the result of another farmer’s market excursion.  It’s still early in the season but a produce stall had some lovely baby turnips with greens attached and a neighboring vendor sold us some Walla Walla spring onions.  The mushroom vendor had the most gorgeous fresh and local morel mushrooms that we decided to splurge and indulge ourselves in this treat.  Here in Washington state, organic pears and apples abound and, as you’ve noticed by now,  make a frequent addition to our meals in some form or another. 


Mushroom, Turnip and Pear Ragout


½ lb morel mushrooms

1 bunch baby turnips with greens

2 large Walla Walla spring onions, sliced

1 red pear, quartered and diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

½ cup vegetable broth

Coconut oil


Cut the morel mushrooms in half and lightly dust with a little bit of whole wheat flour [this will create a gravy later on], salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Remove the turnip greens and wash.  Chop the greens and set aside.  Cut the turnips into quarters and set aside.

Add a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil to a hot pan and add the sliced onions.  Sauté until the onions are softened.  Add the garlic and turnips.  Continue to cook over medium heat until the turnips begin to caramelize.  Add the pear.  Once the pear has caramelized, add the morels.  Mix well and turn often to fully expose the mushrooms to the pan.  Once the mushrooms begin to wilt, add the broth and  turnip greens and cover.  Simmer until the broth has thickened into a gravy.  Season with salt and pepper.

This was wonderful served over some soft polenta.

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Red Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, though often called a grain, is in fact, a seed.  It is a fabulous source of protein and contains all essential amino acids.  The cold-pressed flax seed and walnut oils offer healthful Omega-3s, while the dried tart cherries are chock full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins.  This salad is perfect for a light summertime lunch or as a side dish at a picnic or barbecue; I’ve actually eaten leftovers of it for breakfast.


1½ cups organic red quinoa

1 bunch asparagus

2 oranges, sections cut into supremes

½ cup dried tart cherries

Juice and zest of one lemon

1 T flax seed oil

1 T walnut oil

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Chive blossoms, to garnish


Add the quinoa to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.  Drain in a colander and cool to room temperature. 

Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with Chive or other edible flowery blossoms.

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This is a really quick and easy dinner recipe.  It’s great over a whole grain pasta [quinoa pasta pictured above] or over an Italian sausage style seitan dog in a hoagie bun.  I keep frozen seitan sausages on hand for those times when I just want to relax and not think about what’s for dinner; it’s a great time saver. 

Spicy Peppers and Onions


1-28 oz can crushed plum tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, sliced

4 green bell peppers, sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 T Creole/Cajun salt-free seasoning [Whichever you prefer, but salt-free is important otherwise it’ll be too salty.]

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

fresh basil


Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a pan and place over medium heat.  Sauté onion and bell pepper until softened.  Add in the garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes.  Add the tomatoes and Creole seasoning.  Cook for 15 minutes and then taste for salt, pepper and seasoning.  Adjust as necessary. 

Serve this over pasta with or without Italian-style seitan sausages.  Garnish with fresh basil.

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Lentil and Brown Rice Wrap


Whole wheat tortillas [Our favorite is Trader Joe’s Organic brand]

1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise

1 yellow squash, sliced lengthwise

1 red bell pepper, sliced

olive oil

puy lentils, cooked in vegetable broth

short-grained brown rice, cooked in vegetable broth

green leafies [I used mâche]

squeeze of fresh lemon juice

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper


Lightly brush or spray the sliced squash and pepper with olive oil and grill in a grill pan. 

Place the green leafies in a bowl and toss with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.

Mix the rice and lentils together in equal proportion.  Place a few spoonfuls upon a warmed whole wheat tortilla.  Top with the grilled vegetables and some of the seasoned green leafies.   Wrap up and eat!

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Multigrain Broccoli Casserole

Because mustard is in the same family as broccoli the two flavors compliment one another really well.  Toss in a bit of dill and some cheesy flavored nutritional yeast and a great tasting casserole is right there…nearly on your table.


2 cups Fine Multi Grains [You could substitute a short-grained brown rice.  I came across the Fine Multi Grains at Ranch 99 Market.]

1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

2 cups broccoli florets, cut bite-sized

1 cup broccoli stalks, peeled and diced

1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and chopped

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic

olive oil

1 quart vegetable broth [To be used as cooking liquid for the multi grains.]

fried onion pieces [I use Trader Joe’s brand.]

Béchamel Sauce:

4 cups non-dairy milk

1 head roasted garlic

2 T whole wheat flour

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 T vegan worchestshire sauce

2 T stoneground mustard

2 T olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp dried dill


Cook 2 cups multi grains in vegetable broth. [You want as much flavor in the grain as possible while initially cooking it.]

Sauté onion in a drizzle of olive oil until edges are browned.  Add the garlic, almonds, chard,  broccoli florets and stalks.  Cover and set aside.

For the béchamel:  In a separate pan heat 2 T olive oil and whisk in the flour.  Cook for a couple of minutes to create a roux.  Add the roasted garlic and whisk until incorporated.  Slowly add the non-dairy milk while continuing to whisk.  Add the mustard, worchestshire, nutritional yeast, dill, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil to thicken.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. [Keep in mind that the sauce needs to be very highly seasoned in order to flavor the large quantity of rice and vegetables in the entire casserole.]

Assemble the casserole:  Add rice to the sautéed vegetables mixing thoroughly to break up any clumps of grain,  and then incorporate the sauce.  Transfer to a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle the top with crispy onion bits.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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Supplí Alla Veganese

Supplí are a Roman street food.  The first time I had these was when I visited my mother and younger brother who were living in Rome.  They were, quite simply, amazing.  What isn’t to adore about a fried Arborio rice ball filled with cheese?  Americans really have nothing that compares.  I’ve been making them for years; however, no longer willing to eat dairy cheese, I had to improvise.

Break into the hot and crispy fried rice balls and find an oozy creamy cashew cheese tucked inside.


Risotto, cooled enough to handle comfortably in your hand [The recipe I used from an earlier post.]

cashew cheese [recipe]

panko bread crumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper and any dried Italian herbs your fancy

vegetable oil


Mold some risotto flat in your hand and place some cashew cheese in the center.  Fold the risotto around the cashew cheese, encasing it completely.  Roll the rice ball in the seasoned bread crumbs.  Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown.  Serve while hot.

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Tomato and Basil Risotto


Tomato and Basil Risotto

This is a very basic risotto with classic flavors.  The vegan twist involves adding a soft cashew cheese to add a rich creaminess to the dish. 

Note:  I consciously made this risotto thicker than I normally would because I made it with the intent of its being a precursor to another dish, Supplí.  You can adjust the consistency of your own risotto by the amount of broth you add near the end of the cooking time.



16 oz Arborio Rice

1 onion, finely diced

1 – 28 oz can plum tomatoes, pulsed in a blender to homogenize

1 quart vegetable stock or No-Chicken Broth

1 cup white wine

fresh basil

4 cloves garlic, minced

olive oil


Cashew cheese


1 block firm silken tofu

1 cup raw cashews

½ cup nutritional yeast

juice of ½ lemon

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil


Make the cashew cheese in a food processor by adding the tofu, cashew and nutritional yeast.  Pulse to break up and add in lemon juice.  Drizzle in olive oil until there is a thick and creamy consistency.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

In a soup pot add the vegetable stock and pureéd tomatoes.  Heat to a simmer then turn down to low.

Sauté the onion and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil until the onions have softened.  Add in the rice and mix well to coat the grains entirely with oil.  Continue cooking for a few minutes.  Add in the white wine and cook until fully absorbed into the rice.  Add in a ladel-ful or two of the broth/tomato mix and mix into the rice.  Continue to add in broth once the previous broth mixture has been absorbed.  Keep doing this until the rice is soft to the tooth yet still has a slight bite in the center of the grain.  Stir in some freshly chopped basil.

Ladel the risotto into bowls and add 1 tablespoon of the cashew cheese per bowl.  You can either mix this in or allow your guests to do it at the table, which can be fun.  Garnish with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts, if you wish.

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So, it has been occurring to me lately that there are so many things we, H and I,  buy commercially that I could easily make from scratch.  Not only would they taste better and be more nutritious but I’d know exactly what I put into them.  Imagine that.  I get weary of having to look at microscopic fonts that are printed upon reflective plastic and tucked behind the flap on a wrapper to see what’s actually in a product.  Seriously, I don’t want my foods full of industrial chemicals and preservatives because a company wants its product to sit pretty upon a shelf for years.

There are so many foods that we consume on a  regular basis that can easily be made at home.  For me, the major epiphany was tofu, but pasta, jams and jellies, bread and crackers are in the lists.  Guess what?  I’m in the kitchen and I’m experimenting.  It’s hella fun.

I modified a recipe posted on the Food Network.  The first cracker is slightly modified; the other two strayed well off the beaten path.

Seven Seed Flatbread Crackers


5 oz 10-grain flour [Bob’s Red Mill]

4-3/4 oz unbleached flour

2/3 cup seeds  [I used 1/3 cup black and white sesame seeds and then 1/3 cup of mixed poppy, flax, chia, millet and dill seeds]

1.5 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp aluminium-free baking powder

3 T olive oil

6.5 oz water


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients then add oil and mix well.  Slowly drizzle in the water and knead a few times on a floured surface.  Cut into 8 equal sections and let rest for 15 minutes.  Using a pasta machine, roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness for a thicker flatbread-style cracker.  Roll through a higher setting for a thinner cracker.  Bake until slightly browned, turning once during cooking.

Dilled Yease and Flax Seed Flatbread Cracker

I wanted a savory cracker with a slight cheesy flavor.  This one worked out nicely.


2/3 cup nutritional yeast

5 oz 10-grain flour

4-3/4 oz unbleached flour

1 T Bill’s Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning

1.5 tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 T dill weed

1 T dill seed

1 T flax seed

1 T turmeric

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1.5 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 T walnut oil

6.5 oz water


Same as above.

Carrot, Roasted Garlic and Walnut Crackers

I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make a variety using our vegetable of the month.  I’m jazzed that I found a use for the carrot pulp left behind from making fresh carrot juice.  [A thinly-rolled version is pictured above.]


5 oz 10-grain flour

2-3/4 oz garbanzo flour

2 oz  unbleached flour

one head roasted garlic

1/3 cup ground walnuts

2 T ground flax seeds

1.5 tsp aluminium-free baking powder

1 T caraway seeds

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 cup carrot pulp [from freshly juiced carrots]

3 T walnut oil

3 oz fresh carrot juice


Same as first cracker recipe.

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Asian Barbecue-Glazed Lentil and Barley Loaf

I was looking through our pantry at the various grains tucked within.  It occurred to me that I hadn’t done anything with pearled barley in a really long time.  Now color me strange, but whenever I see the words “pearled barley” my mind leaps to an image of Pearl S. Buck’s,  The Good Earth.  Every.  Single.  Time.  That admission out of the way,  it should now seem intuitive that an Asian-inspired dish leapt to mind.  But I really really wanted to make a grain loaf.  Therein lied the conundrum…occidentally oriented…until my synapses fired.  Blammo!  I would make a loaf with a sticky, full-flavored, lip-smackingly tasty Asian-style barbecue sauce.  I fled, gleefully, to the kitchen! 


2 cups cooked Puy lentils [I cooked mine in No-Chicken Broth for added flavor.]

1 cup cooked pearled barley [Also cooked in No-Chicken Broth.]

½ cup rolled oats, uncooked

¼ cup sesame seeds

2 cups ciabatta bread, cubed and soaked in ¼ cup No-Chicken broth, pulsed in a processor

½ cup red pepper, finely diced

½ cup green pepper, finely diced

½ cup carrot, finely diced

½ onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 head roasted garlic

½ cup Asian-style barbecue sauce [Recipe below.]


Sauté onions, peppers, minced garlic and carrot in a drizzle of canola oil until softened.  In a bowl add lentils, barley, oats, sesame seeds, roasted garlic, soaked and pulsed bread, and sautéed vegetables.  Mix well.  Add ½ cup of Asian barbecue sauce and mix thoroughly. 

Add mixture to a sprayed loaf pan and press into shape.  Top with more of the barbecue sauce and place in the oven.  Cook until the sauce on top has caramelized and is thick and sticky.   [If you place a whole carrot in the center of the loaf as I did you need to cook it a bit longer to ensure the carrot is fully cooked.]

Allow it to time to set and cool before cutting.  Spraying your knife with a non-stick spray also helps to ensure clean cuts.

Asian-Style Barbecue Sauce

This sauce is sweet and spicy and packs a bit of heat.  Absolutely delicious.


1 cup hoisin sauce

½ cup No-Chicken broth

¼ cup white miso

¼ cup sake

¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste

¼ cup ponzu sauce [without bonito]

2 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise


Combine all ingredients in a pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

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Warmed Kasha Salad


I would like to thank Mila for sending H home with a package of buckwheat.  It challenged me to come up with something that represents what I think a Russian might enjoy using ingredients that I already had on hand.  When I think of Russia I think of beets, sour cream, dill, cabbage…and warm comfort food.

Warmed Kasha and Root Vegetable Salad


1 cup buckwheat

1 cup millet, hulled

2 beets, small dice

3 carrots, small dice

1 onion, small dice

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 dried figs, sliced

1/4 cup walnuts, rough chop leaving some larger pieces

olive oil


To cook the buckwheat [ As per Mila’s instructions to H]:  Cover buckwheat by an inch of water and bring to a boil.  Drain off the water and repeat the process.  Return the grain to the heat and bring to a simmer with fresh water and cook until soft.  Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.  Do not overcook the grain.

To cook the millet:  Add 1 cup millet to 3 cups boiling water.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.  Turn off heat and set aside.  Fluff with a fork.

Drizzle some olive oil in a pan and add the diced beets, carrots, onion, garlic, figs and walnuts.  Saute until the root vegetables have softened softened. 

Combine the buckwheat, millet and vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with some walnut or olive oil.

I garnished this with some creamed tofu which was basically just tofu processed with some lemon juice and vinegar for a tart flavor and olive oil until the tofu became creamy. 

Braised Cabbage with Apple and Dill


1 small head of green cabbage

1 apple

2-3 tsp dill seeds

1/4 cup fresh dill

apple cider vinegar

vegetable stock [amount will vary, all you need is to keep the cabbage wet to braise.]

salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Add cabbage and apple to a pan containing simmering vegetable stock.  Cook until the cabbage begins to soften.  Add in the dill, fresh and seed, and the vinegar.  Continue to cook until the cabbage is wilted.  Season with salt and pepper and more vinegar if needed.

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