Archive for Grains
Last week we look at the basics on quinoa and how to soak and cook it. Today, let’s look at some family favorite ways of fixing it.
When I went gluten-free, I had just discovered couscous and was enjoying it. Since couscous is a wheat-based pasta, it was totally out after going GF and at the time I couldn’t find a replacement for it. Later, I discovered that quinoa was the perfect GF substitute for any recipe calling for couscous.
Quinoa’s slightly bitter, slightly earthy taste pairs exceptionally well with chocolate or fruits. Ground into flour and put in chocolate cookies will work well. Or cooked whole, chilled until cold and tossed with fruit. I sometimes add dried fruit to hot quinoa pilafs, such as dried apricots, as they pair well together.
My Quinoa Cranberry Pilaf is a good example of how to pair sweet and bitter. It’s an excellent sweet and savory dressing replacement and we enjoy it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, however I use it year-round as a side dish.
Last year, as I tested multiple recipes for the Christmas mailer, I quickly fell in love with this sweet and savory dish. We ate it for that meal, but the next day I reheated it for lunch and it took on a crispy crust that was awesome. So if you like a crisp, browned crust and a tender inside, spread this in a baking dish and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees until the top looks rightly browned to you. I promise it won’t disappoint!
Quinoa Cranberry Pilaf
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
3 Tbs lemon juice, divided
2 Tbs coconut oil or butter
½ onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1¾ cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
½ cup crispy or raw pecans, optional
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup golden raisins
1 apple, diced
½ orange, peeled, segmented, deseeded and chopped
zest of ½ orange
Dash sage, optional
In a bowl, combine the quinoa, water and 2 Tbs lemon juice. Stir and cover. Soak 24 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the quinoa, stock and salt. Stir, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until the stock is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook an additional few minutes to drive off extra moisture, if needed.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in ½ Tbs lemon juice and the remaining ingredients. Taste, adjust seasonings, and add the extra ½ Tbs lemon juice, if needed.
Can be served warm or at room temperature or spread in a pan and cooked at 350 degrees until the top is lightly browned.
This post is part of Soaking Grains Gallery.
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As a new feature on Cooking Traditional Foods, every Wednesday afternoon we’re going to feature one of our most popular posts from the past. There are many great articles and recipes in the archives and we hope you’ll find some new favorites.
I have tried and tried to make sourdough the ‘traditional’ way, in the way Nourishing Traditions describes in its sourdough recipe. I have let my starter sit out and fed and stirred it faithfully, time and time again, only to have it get moldy and fail after a period of time unless I kept it in the refrigerator. Maybe it’s because I live in the humid South, who knows the reason. But I have never been able to get sourdough to the point where I could bake with it and have it out on the counter so I could produce enough to use it daily. Keeping it in the fridge just resulted in too many jars to be able to keep up with the demand of daily baking, it soured so slowly.
That is, until I tried the method Lozt Nausten, one of the moderators on the CTF forum, recommended in her wonderful sourdough bread recipe. If you are gluten-free and you need a regular bread, I strongly suggest you look at her four versions of sourdough, including the grain-free and egg-free versions. I have tried every version of her recipe and have enjoyed them all.
Using kefir made with apple juice instead of water to make the sourdough starter speeds the process up considerably and gives the starter a major boost of beneficial bacteria to ward off mold. You can use the starter in as little as 24 hours if you want a very mild flavor. Allowing it to go longer while feeding it daily creates a stronger sourdough flavor.
You can use any fermentable flour to make sourdough. Nuts and starches, like coconut, almond, tapioca starch and the like, will not ferment and can not be used for the starter but they are fine as an ingredient in the dough. If you need a grain-free starter, you can use bean flours to make your starter. In fact, on Lozt Nausten’s blog, you’ll see a grain-free recipe that uses bean flour to make the starter.
Sourdough pizza crust, ready to be baked
To make your starter, combine equal amounts of a flour of your choice and apple juice kefir. 2/3 cup flour and 2/3 cup apple juice kefir makes 1 cup of starter. Leave it on the counter for 24 hours. If you need a mild sourdough, use it to bake at that point. If you want a stronger flavor, feed it more and let sit longer.
If you need to take a break from using the starter, stash it in the fridge and feed it once a week. I use my starter to make pancakes, pizza, bread and much more. In the coming weeks, we’ll be going over a variety of recipes and techniques to help you add sourdough to your meals.
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If you’d like to make some homemade tortilla chips for your Game Day nachos, this post is for you. First you make corn tortillas, then you fry them into chips. I prefer the gluten-free masa harina from Bob’s Red Mill to make mine.
Homemade Corn Tortillas
2 cups masa harina (organic or GMO-free strongly preferred) Read More→
We’re a worn out bunch. My dad fell during a seizure on Wednesday so we’ve been very busy and my time and attention has been elsewhere. On Friday I started cooking up a storm- bone broth, some herbal remedies, homemade gelatin and coconut oil cups aplenty to help him recover. Today will be more of the same.
This morning the kids slept until 10. For two short folk who normally like to greet the dawn with a smile, that was a big deal. So we skipped breakfast and did brunch instead. I did something new this morning that was a big hit. Read More→
Beans and rice is a traditional meat-stretching dish. The meats in this dish are versatile. If you want to pick one instead of using all three, you can.
If you really need to stretch this dish, add extra rice and stock.
In the first two posts in this series, we examined how to replace flour in a baked good recipe with a vegetable. This time we’ll learn how to replace a liquid with a puree while still soaking the flours in order to make the baked good traditional foods.
In the same vein as the books that promote purees, many baked goods can have some mashed banana, applesauce, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash or the like added to the recipe in place of the water or milk. The problem with many of these recipes is that the vegetable or fruit takes the place of the milk or water, and it’s then difficult to convert that recipe to being soaked. To overcome that problem, I carefully choose recipes that call for enough liquid to work with. I then soak the flour with the minimum amount of liquid needed to get it wet and add the rest that the recipe calls for in fruit or vegetables. This is made much easier if you are baking gluten-free goodies, since most of the recipes call for at least a small amount of starch. Since starches do not need to be soaked, this frees up extra liquid in the recipe to convert to a vegetable or fruit and still have the finished product turn out with the correct texture. Since starch makes waffles crispy, this is the perfect recipe for conversion.
I use this strategy most often when there’s just a little applesauce left in the bottom of the jar, or there’s one lone banana that needs to be used.
I tip my hat to Sue Gregg, whose cookbook is the first place I heard about grinding grain in the blender with liquid so you don’t have to have a grain mill to have the benefits of freshly-ground flour. I used her method to make pancakes for a long time until I could afford a grain mill.
This is the new favorite way to eat oatmeal at our house. Recently, someone posted a blog post on Facebook about how to do this. When I went back to find it, I couldn’t turn it up. So I had to try it on memory, and what I came up with worked well. I hope you enjoy it. If you know who originally posted that recipe, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due.
(Edit: the blog post I saw is here. Thank you velcromom for letting me know!)
This recipe will work with oatmeal that has fruit or sweetener added but it won’t work well if the oatmeal had a lot of extra fluid, like milk or cream, added after cooking. It’s better to cook the oatmeal, place what you want to set aside in the fridge and then add the extra cream or milk to what you’ll be serving for breakfast that day. I love planned leftovers!
I field a lot of questions about corn and cornmeal and how to absorb more nutrition from it. My answer is that if you wish to use corn, the best way to do so for the average cook is to use Masa Harina. Masa is corn that has been soaked in lime, dried and ground into cornmeal. Store your masa, like all corn flour products, in the freezer.
Masa can be used to make tortillas, cornbread-crusted dishes and more. Due to the change in flavor brought about by the lime, it especially works well with Mexican-flavored dishes. I sometimes make a pan of masa-based cornbread to go with Mexican dishes when we’re tired of rice.