Tuesday, November 20, 2007


It's been about a month since I decided to start experimenting with whole grains. Chinese people eat a lot of white rice, which really isn't that good for you. I borrowed Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way, by Lorna Sass, from the library, and I'm going to try out different whole grains to see what they taste like and whether they're easy to prepare. If all goes well, when I go visit my parents over New Year's, I will introduce them to whole grains.

I took W on her first trip to the local co-op, and I stocked up on some quinoa, amaranth, wheat berries and steel cut oats. It's always fun going to the co-op. Quinoa [keen-wa] looked relatively easy to prepare, so I chose a recipe for which I had most of the ingredients, which happened to be the chile-scented pork chops with roasted red pepper dressing.

I overcooked the quinoa, I think, and I didn't have a strainer with sufficiently fine mesh (which may have been part of the overcooking problem), so I had some runaways. You have to be sure to rinse the quinoa thoroughly before you cook it (I forgot, and dumped it into my pot of boiling water, so I had to drain it and start again) because it has natural saponins in its bran layer, which taste bitter. After it's cooked, quinoa has a faintly vegetal aroma (it reminds me a bit of some Chinese herbs), but I didn't find it unpleasant.

I got a whole lot of quinoa, though, so I'm going to continue experimenting. There's even a recipe for a ginger quinoa cake in the book!

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