Grain Dishes

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Quinoa Salad with Red Beans and Kale-Sunflower Seed Pesto

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

Quinoa Salad:
1 cup quinoa, washed well
1 cup water
Pinch of sea salt
5 tablespoons Kale-Sunflower Seed Pesto, or more to taste
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar
1 cup cooked red beans or beans of your choice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil for topping

Kale-Sunflower Seed Pesto:
2 garlic cloves, not peeled
3 cups kale, chopped
½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons chickpea or white miso
½ teaspoon umeboshi vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
Black pepper to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

    1. In a saucepan, add quinoa, water, and a pinch of sea salt. Over medium heat bring to a boil. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
    2. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a mixing bowl, and set aside to cool.
    3. In a small mixing bowl, combine Kale-Sunflower Seed Pesto, 1 tablespoon water, lemon juice, and umeboshi vinegar until smooth, loose paste.
    4. Add the pesto mixture to quinoa, mixing gently until well-combined.
    5. Add cooked beans and parsley to the quinoa, mixing gently until well-combined.
    6. Serve with a little olive oil drizzled on top.

Kale-Sunflower Seed Pesto

  1. Toast garlic cloves in skillet over medium flame, shaking skillet occasionally, until softened and spotty brown, about 8 minutes. When garlic is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins and chop coarsely.
  2. Meanwhile, toast sunflower seeds in now empty skillet over medium flame, stirring often, until golden and fragrant for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Bring water to a boil in a pot, add a few pinches sea salt. Blanch kale for a couple of minutes until colors brighten and kale is tender. Set aside to cool.
  4. In food processor, place garlic, toasted sunflower seeds, blanched kale, chickpea miso, umeboshi vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper if using. Process until finely chopped, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. With processor running, slowly add olive oil until well-incorporated. Transfer pesto to jar for storage. To prevent browning, make the surface of the pesto flat and cover it with thin layer of olive oil.

Chef’s note: It is better to toast garlic cloves in order to tame its sharp flavor and to bring up its sweetness. The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Before using, bring to room temperature. As a variation, use 2 cups chopped kale and 1 cup fresh basil leaves for a more herby Mediterranean flavor.

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Millet Cauliflower Croquettes with Mushroom Bechamel Sauce

Makes 6-7 Croquettes

Ingredients:

Croquettes:

⅔ cup millet, soaked with 3 cups water overnight, reserve soaking water
2 cups cauliflower, thinly sliced
Pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon toasted black sesame seeds, ground
Safflower oil for pan-frying

Mushroom Bechamel Sauce:
Makes about 1¼ cup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced (1 cup)
3 brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
¼ cup oat flour (*certified gluten free oats)
½ cup vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons almond milk or other non dairy milk (optional)
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

Directions:

Croquettes:

    1. Layer millet on the bottom of a heavy pot, followed by cauliflower.
    2. Gently add the millet soaking water. Bring to a boil over medium flame, add sea salt, and cover. Place a flame deflector underneath the pot and reduce flame to low. Cook for about 40 minutes until millet becomes soft.
    3. Mash millet and cauliflower, and let cool for about 20 minutes until the temperature is warm but cool enough to handle. If you let the mixture cool to room temperature, millet will set so that it is not suitable to form patties.
    4. Combine millet with black sesame seeds and form rounded croquettes, about ¾ inch thick. Each croquette uses about ½ cup millet mixture.
    5. Heat oil in skillet and pan-fry each croquette on both sides until a nice golden color.
      To Prepare the Sauce:
    1. Heat oil in skillet, sauté onions with a pinch of sea salt about 4 – 5 minutes until soft.
    2. Add mushrooms and a pinch of sea salt, continue sautéing for a couple minutes.
    3. Sprinkle in oat flour little by little and combine well with the vegetables.
    4. Add broth or water little by little while stirring well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 4 minutes.
    5. Add almond milk, if using, and season with sea salt and black pepper and simmer for a couple minutes.
    6. Serve on top of the croquettes with a garnish, such as parsley or scallions.

    * If you can’t find oat flour, you can also grind oat flakes in food processor into fine flour.

Brown Rice

Basic brown rice

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup brown rice
3 cups water
2 pinches of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Rinse rice and soak in 3 cups water 3-5 hours or overnight.
  2. Measure the discarded soaking water, and place the same amount of fresh water in a pot with the rice.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat and add 2 pinches of sea salt.
  4. Cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir lightly with a wooden spoon.
Millet porridge2

Creamy Millet Porridge with Cauliflower

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup millet
6 cups water
⅛ t sea salt
2 cups bite size cauliflower florets
¾ cup shredded mochi
Sliced scallions for garnish

Directions:

  1. Rinse millet and place it in 6 cups water and soak for 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Place millet and soaking water in a pot, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Add the salt and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the cauliflower and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the grated mochi and cook for 5 minutes or until mochi has melted.
  6. Garnish with sliced scallions.
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Fried Pasta with Vegetables

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 cups brown rice pasta
1 T sesame or olive oil
*½ clove garlic, minced (optional)
½ cup onion, diced
½ cup celery, sliced on a thin diagonal
½ cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
½ cup summer squash, sliced into half moons
1 cup bok choy or seasonal greens, chopped into bite-size pieces Scallions and nori strips for garnish

Dressing:

2 T water
1 t lemon juice
2-3 t shoyu or tamari
1 t toasted sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta as per package.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil a skillet.
  3. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes,
  4. Then add celery and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add carrots and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add summer squash and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add cooked pasta and mix gently.
  8. Add dressing and bok choy and gently mix everything together.
  9. Serve with scallions and nori strips for garnish.

*If you are using garlic, add garlic after sautéing the onions.  

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Herbed Polenta

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 cup polenta
4 cups water
⅛ teaspoon of sea salt
1 – 2 cloves garlic, sautéed in 1 T olive oil
½ cup onions, sliced in thin quarter moons
⅓ cup frozen or fresh corn
½ T dried sage or dried basil
Pinch of dried thyme
Safflower, grape seed or sunflower oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 T olive oil in a small pan and sauté garlic on medium-low heat for 30 seconds, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn the garlic.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil with the sea salt. Add polenta, onions, garlic, corn and spices and whisk together until smooth.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally to prevent clumps.
  4. Place the pot on a flame tamer. Turn flame to low and simmer, covered for 30-35 minutes.
  5. Pour into a 9×12 dish and let cool.
  6. Cut the set polenta into squares.
  7. Heat safflower, grape seed or sunflower oil in a heavy pan.
  8. Pan fry polenta squares for 4-5 minutes on each side until lightly brown.
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