Praise for Whole Grains For a New Generation:
“These days, plenty of folks have chosen to eat lighter and make whole grains and legumes a large part of their diets. Liana Krissoff . . . make[s] a convincing case for the change, showing how adding hearty and delicious grains will enhance any diet. But it’s not a strict vegetarian guide; many of the recipes do have meat—long-braised pork with grits and cilantro-chile-lime sauce, for instance. Don’t skip the introduction, a primer on the buying, storing, substituting and cooking of numerous grains.” —Detroit Metro Times
“Whole Grains belongs in everyone’s kitchen.” —Buffalo Spree magazine
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Breakfast and Brunch
Whole grains for breakfast is a no-brainer. If you're going to eat a meal that's centered on grains, morning is a fine time to do it, when the energy provided by their good carbohydrates will benefit you most. Porridge-style steel-cut or old-fashioned rolled oats are popular choices, and there are approximately sixty thousand ways to make oatmeal more interesting from one day to the next (see these pages for but a few of them). And remember that anything you can do to oatmeal you can do to other grains, including quinoa, amaranth, teff, cracked wheat, corn or hominy grits, and flakes made from rolled barley, wheat, or rye berries (these are sold as "flakes" but are just like rolled oats). Griddle cakes, crêpes, and waffles, too, are quick to mix up for a brunch party or even on a weekday; all it takes is overcoming the resistance to using, say, a whisk that early in the morning. I know that can be a high mountain to climb, depending on the strength of your caffeinated beverage, so I've also included plenty of make-ahead and take-and-go options here.
Makes about 10 servings | vegan, gluten free. See Oats
This makes a batch big enough to prepare in a large sauté pan and store in a quart-size canning jar, with about two servings' worth of overage for enjoying right away. The following is my go-to combination, but obviously you should feel free to use whatever you have on hand. I like a mixture of nuts and seeds for crunch (and together they make a complete protein) — try sunflower seeds, chia seeds, chopped pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts. Good-quality dark dried apricots are dense and almost fudgy, and I love how their sticky edges gather up the little bits of muesli, hiding the treat inside. Any and all dried fruit like cranberries, cherries, diced apples, peaches, nectarines, raisins, or currants would be delicious too. Be sparing with dried tropical fruits, however, which often are highly sugared. To serve, mix equal parts muesli and plain yogurt or milk (or even the whey from draining yogurt) and let the muesli soften in the fridge overnight — the classic Swiss way, though not vegan. Or simply pour milk, nut milk, or juice over the muesli and eat it unsoaked. Sweeten each serving to taste, if you'd like, but with the dried fruit, it really doesn't need extra sweetener. You could also sprinkle ground cinnamon or cardamom over the bowl, or cocoa powder if you're so inclined.
2 tablespoons flax seeds
In a food processor or spice grinder, coarsely crack the flax seeds and put them in a large bowl. In a large, deep sauté pan over medium heat, toast the oats, tossing or stirring constantly, until some of the oats are golden and they're very hot to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes (depending on the size of the pan). Pour into the bowl with the flax and let cool slightly, then scoop about half of the oats into a food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times to roughly chop; return the chopped oats to the bowl. In the same pan over medium heat, toast the pepitas and almonds together until the pepitas are swollen and the almonds are lightly browned. Scrape into the bowl with the oats. In the still-hot pan, off the heat, toast the sesame seeds for just a few seconds, until shiny and golden, scrape them into the oats, then toast the coconut, again off the heat for just a few seconds. Add to the oats and toss well to combine. Add the apricots and toss. Let cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container, where the muesli will keep at room temperature for up to several weeks.
BARELY SWEET GRANOLA
Makes about 14 servings | vegan, gluten free. See Oats
I find store-bought granola somewhat repulsive: teeth-achingly sweet and teeth-breakingly hard. Artisanal versions from farmers' markets and the like are a little better, but I simply can't justify the expense when it's so easy to hit the bulk bins and mix up a huge batch of my own slightly sweet and crisp-rather-thanhard version with almost no effort. There are endless possibilities for variety within the following ratio: For every 5 cups (800 g) rolled oats (thick or thin — doesn't matter), use about 1¼ cups (280 g) nutty/seedy add-ins, 1/3 cup (80 ml) oil, 1/3 cup (65 g / 80 ml) sweetener, and any sort of dried fruit you like. Some people say that the granola will stay crisp longer if you keep the dried fruit separate and mix it in just before serving, but I can't say I've noticed a difference.
¼ cup (45 g) flax seeds
Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Spray a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or lightly oil it.
In a food processor or spice grinder, coarsely crack the flaxseeds. In a large bowl, combine the oats, almonds, pepitas, sesame seeds, flax seeds, coconut, amaranth, and cinnamon, if using. In a small bowl, combine the oil, agave nectar, and vanilla extract. Drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to coat. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake, turning and stirring occasionally, until evenly golden brown, 1½ to 2 hours. Transfer the dish to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally; the granola will get crisp and crunchy as it cools. Stir in the dried fruit and serve. The granola will keep in an airtight container (a half-gallon glass canning jar works well) at room temperature for at least 3 weeks.
* To use honey (not vegan) or barley malt syrup (not gluten free) as a sweetener, first warm it in a small saucepan over low heat and then stir in the oil and vanilla. To use a nonliquid sweetener like granulated sugar or brown sugar, warm it in a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon water until dissolved. * To make a sweeter granola that holds together in larger lumps, increase the sweetener and oil to ½ cup (120 ml) each. You might also wish to add a few tablespoons of oat or other flour to help bind the bits. This is good as an ice cream or yogurt topping — more of a treat than an every-morning cereal. * Try a mixture of wheat flakes, barley flakes, rye flakes, and rolled oats for a deeper-flavored (though not gluten-free) granola.
QUINOA BREAKFAST PORRIDGE WITH VANILLA AND ALMOND MILK
Serves 2 | vegan, gluten free
I love the different kinds of crunch in this porridge: the toothsome quality of the spiraled outer germ of each quinoa grain, the tiny vanilla-bean seeds, the sweet crunch of coarse sugar, and the toasty crispness of sliced almonds.
1 cup (170 g) raw quinoa, well rinsed
In a heavy 2-quart (2-L) saucepan, combine the quinoa and 2 cups (480 ml) of the almond milk. Scrape in the vanilla bean seeds and add the pods as well. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cranberries and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in most of the sugar and stir until dissolved. Scoop into serving bowls (reserve the vanilla bean pods; rinse and dry, then bury in a container of sugar to make vanilla sugar). Serve with the remaining almond milk, the almonds, and a little more sugar.
SPICY STEEL-CUT OATMEAL WITH GARLIC CHIPS
Serves 2 | vegan, gluten free. See Oats
I often crave a spicy breakfast — chorizo and egg tacos, skillet-crisped sweet potatoes with liberally applied Cajun spices, leftover kung pao chicken — and I also believe that nothing can beat a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal in the morning, so I make this meal to satisfy both cravings at once. You might think of hot cereal as a wintertime dish, a prelude to shoveling out the car or leaping over slush lakes in the crosswalks on your hike to work, but this savory version, with crisp scallions, bright cilantro, and vinegary heat from the chile paste, is invigorating all year round. If you'd like some (nonvegan) protein in your bowl, fry an egg (or shredded cooked chicken or firm tofu) in the oil leftover from frying the garlic and set it on top of the oatmeal.
½ cup (125 g) raw steel-cut oats
In a heavy 1½- to 2-quart (1.4- to 2-L) saucepan, combine the oats and 2 cups (480 ml) water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until creamy and tender, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic, tilting the pan so the oil is deeper at the edge and the garlic floats as it fries. Fry, stirring, until crisp and golden, about 1 minute. Remove the garlic to a paper towel to drain. Spoon the oatmeal into two small bowls. Drizzle with tamari and dollop with chile paste. Sprinkle the scallions, cilantro, and garlic chips over the top and serve.
BAKED OATMEAL WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES
Serves 4 to 6 | gluten free. See Oats
Baked oatmeal was a revelation to me the first time I made it. You basically just mix everything together and stick it in the oven; it's the ideal dish to serve when you have house guests (better than making that one omelet or waffle at a time). By the time you've had a cup of coffee and washed up the two bowls and the whisk, breakfast is ready. While there's no flour in the dish, the finished texture is light and cakelike — add some whipped cream or a drizzle of honey-sweetened whisked yogurt, and it could be mistaken for dessert. Or just serve with cold milk or a bit of half-and-half poured over it in a bowl.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 9-inch (23-cm) square baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Toss in the cranberries.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg, and vanilla. Add to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared pan and dot the top with the butter. Bake until golden brown on top and firm throughout, 25 to 30 minutes. Scoop portions into serving bowls and serve hot.
* Use any dried fruit instead of the cranberries. Diced dried apricots, nectarines, and apples all work well — and with these, try adding 1 to 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger.
* Use 1½ cups (360 ml) buttermilk instead of the regular milk and yogurt.
HOT CEREAL TOPPINGS AND EMBELLISHMENTS
Ideas for Experimentation
Every time I hear about some centenarian or other who has survived on the same breakfast every day for eighty-three years (a slice of dry toast and coffee with cream, perhaps, followed by a cigarette), I cringe. I just cannot imagine a life of such utter dullness. But if the breakfast in question were nutty, chewy, creamy steel-cut oatmeal, one of my absolute favorites and one of the most healthful breakfast foods known to man, and I were allowed to put anything at all in or on top of it, I could certainly handle the repetition. If you enjoy oatmeal but find yourself in a rut, read on and fall back in love.
If you're making a savory oatmeal, consider cooking it in good chicken or beef broth instead of water or milk. For a jook- or congee-type breakfast, cook it in about twice as much liquid, so it remains soupy, and top with shredded or diced cooked meat, sliced scallions, fried shallots, chopped peanuts or roasted sesame seeds, and soy sauce or tamari.
For further variation, try using other quicker-cooking whole grains for breakfast: Quinoa (this page), soft-cooked amaranth (this page), millet (this page; stir a few times while cooking to make it smoother), farro (this page), and cracked wheat (this page) all make excellent breakfast grains. Long-cooking grains like wheat berries and spelt berries (this page) or farro (this page) can be made in a big batch and kept in the refrigerator or freezer so you can pull out a bit as you need it.
Following are some super-simple and highly accessible ways to serve oatmeal — classic combinations suitable for those whose prior experience might be limited but who'd like to move a bit beyond cinnamon and milk. Add any dried fruit to the oatmeal while it's cooking, for at least the last few minutes, so it has time to soften and plump up, and serve with milk, almond or rice milk, soy milk, plain yogurt, or none of the above.
Dried apples, ground cinnamon, maple syrup
Dried figs, honey, toasted pine nuts
Dried apricots, ground cinnamon, toasted sliced or slivered almonds
Dried cherries, toasted hazelnuts, shaved dark chocolate
Crumbled goat cheese or cream cheese, honey, torn fresh basil or mint leaves
Fresh sliced peaches or nectarines, ground cardamom, a drizzle of half-and-half
Fresh diced mango, toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, raw sugar
Fresh banana, toasted walnuts, turbinado sugar
Sliced avocado, segmented orange, toasted pepitas
For the advanced connoisseur, these are some of the most unusual oatmeal-based concoctions I've come across. I've tried each, and I wouldn't have included them here if they weren't totally worthwhile.
Whiskey porridge: Demerara sugar, a pat of butter, and a splash of Johnny Walker Red (apparently a standard offering on the Dubai British expat brunch circuit)
Jake's oatmeal: blue cheese and soy sauce (much, much more delicious than it sounds; I also like a few plump raisins thrown in as the oatmeal cooks, for a sort of Stilton-and-Port effect)
Chile oatmeal, à la Edward Lee (as told to Esquire): dried ancho chile (snipped in as the oats are cooking), almond butter, mashed banana, honey and brown sugar, a drizzle of coconut milk, cinnamon and paprika, and minced fresh jalapeño
Kedgeree porridge, from a Golden Spurtle championship contestant: oats cooked with buttersautéed onion, curry powder, and nutmeg, smoked mackerel, and a little heavy cream, topped with hard-cooked egg wedges and fresh parsley
ADDITIONAL TOPPINGS AND STIR-INS
Mix and match away! Most mornings I like to choose a variety of toppings with different textures and complementary flavors, but sometimes it's comfort that I want (or want for my daughter) — in that case, I'll keep things traditional and stir in a few bits of soft juicy peach and a drizzle of honey, leaving the crunchy nuts and seeds for another day.
CRUNCHY OR CRISP:
Toasted pepitas, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
Sliced or slivered almonds
Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews
Toasted pine nuts
Popped amaranth (this page) or toasted wheat berries (this page)
Fried thinly sliced garlic or shallots
Sliced scallions, tender cilantro stems
Toasted coconut shavings
Packaged Indian snacks such as sev (fried chickpea-flour vermicelli), crushed puri (wheat-flour wafers), boondi (chickpea- or lentil-flour balls)
Granola (this page)
Chopped or mashed banana
Diced, grated, or butter-sautéed apple
Fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes, chopped pineapple
Pomegranate seeds or pomegranate molasses
Orange or grapefruit segments
Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, apple, papaya, guava, pineapple, currants, raisins, figs, chopped dates
Apple or pear butter, applesauce
Diced fresh tomatoes
Tamarind-date chutney (this page)
Milk, half-and-half, buttermilk
Fresh sweet or cultured cream, crème fraîche (this page), mascarpone, bits of cream cheese or Brie, clotted cream
Shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese
Almond milk (this page), soy milk, rice milk
Fried or poached egg, or stir an egg into the oats as they're cooking
Sliced or mashed avocado
Almond butter, cashew butter, natural peanut butter
Leftover canned pumpkin (freeze in little mounds on a sheet of waxed paper, then toss in a freezer bag and add straight to cereal as it cooks)
Excerpted from "Whole Grains for a New Generation"
Copyright © 2012 Liana Krissoff.
Excerpted by permission of Abrams Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1 BREAKFAST AND BRUNCH,
2 APPETIZERS AND SMALL BITES,
4 MAIN DISHES,
5 SIDE DISHES,
6 SWEETS, SNACKS, AND BAKED GOODS,
7 HOMEMADE CONDIMENTS TO HAVE ON HAND,
INDEX OF SEARCH TERMS,