Grains are no longer hard to find. The Brandywine Hundred ShopRite offers shelves of whole grains, from millet to wheat berries to farro. For the uninitiated, buying a packet can be daunting. Just what do you do with it? Here are some tips to help you incorporate whole grains into your diet.
Pick a grain that interests you, Abel suggests. Follow the cooking directions and put it in the fridge to use throughout the week. “Don’t worry about cooking it perfectly,” she says. “It’s OK to learn along the way.”
Abel adds the cooked quinoa to soups instead of noodles or rice. She’s even put it in smoothies. Her husband, Tom, adds it to his huevos rancheros with salsa. “That’s his breakfast,” she says. She also makes a salad with chopped cucumber, herbs and tomatoes, tossed with greens and some quinoa.
Many people eat whole grains such as kasha as a morning cereal or salad. Carolanne Leone mixes red quinoa, chopped red and yellow peppers, chopped scallions, toasted walnuts, chopped plums, cilantro, flaxseed oil, olive oil, seasoning and honey. “All healthy and delicious,” says Leone, owner of The Studio, a Pilates and personal training facility in Wilmington. “You can have it anytime. It can be a main dish, too.” Surpin has toasted barley, then cooked it in milk and added vanilla and cinnamon. “It’s really yummy instead of oatmeal,” he says.
Replace another grain in a traditional dish with a whole grain. Instead of polenta, Abel serves millet, made in the rice cooker and sprinkled with Parmesan and butter. Like D’Amico, Surpin uses farro to make risotto, which he calls “farrotto.”
On an easy level, purchase prepared products made with whole grains, such as Arrowhead Mills Amaranth Flakes cereal. Near East offers quinoa with seasonings, just as it does rice pilaf and couscous.
Purchase flour made with whole grains, such as Bob’s Red Mill Spelt Flour, and use in place of regular wheat flour.