Posts Tagged ‘quinoa’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Rinsing Rice and Grains

August 8, 2017

When cooking rice and grains, most people just put them in a pot with the requisite liquid and follow the directions for cook time. There is a crucial step that is often over looked, and that is rinsing.

Rinsing grains dates back to a time and place when they weren’t processed and boxed like they are today. While most grains purchased in the USA aren’t considered toxic, they could benefit from a good rinse.

Rice: Giving rice a rinse takes off some of the surface starch, resulting in a less sticky end product. Many also notice debris in the rinse water, especially when the rice came from the bulk bins rather than a box. Imported rices, such as basmati and jasmine may have talc, or powdered glucose on them to make them appear cleaner looking. Looking cleaner, and being cleaner are two very different things, and it is advisable to rinse the talc off before cooking.

Other grains, such as quinoa, farro and barley benefit from a rinse, not only to remove debris, but to remove any saponins that may still linger. While domestically packaged quinoa has been treated to remove the dangerous coating, residual saponins are the source of the unpleasant and bitter flavor that sometimes occurs in cooking quinoa.

Rinse the grains either by running them under water in a fine mesh sieve, or by submerging them in cool water, straining them, and resubmerging them in fresh water until no more debris floats to the surface.

Soaking grains (and legumes) cuts down on the phytic acid, a compound which can make these foods harder to digest. Soaking also jumpstarts the process, cuts down on cooking time and tends to yield a better texture.

Taking the time to rinse grains is akin to taking the time to rinse vegetables. Well worth the extra few minutes for a safer, and better outcome.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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It’s Not Easy Being Green: Unrecipe of the Weekend

September 28, 2012

Friday night is pizza night at our house. Over the last year, I have chosen to abstain and prepare something simple and healthy for myself, without worrying about whether or not anyone else will like it. I wake up feeling more energized, and everyone is happy with his or her meal.

Last Friday night, I worked with what I had on hand, trying to use some of my CSA items.

 

I split and roasted the acorn squash with a little honey and butter in a hot oven for about 45 minutes.

I sautéed a tiny shallot, and some finely shredded kale in a little olive oil, and lightly browned some pignoli nuts in the pan. I tossed the vegetables with some quinoa cooked in stock and stuffed it into the cooked squash cavity. You can toss in a few dried cranberries for a sweet and colorful pop.  A sprinkling of black pepper and a little chopped parsley provided a finishing touch. Easy, healthy and flavorful!

The stuffed squash a nice glass of red wine were the perfect early fall meal.

I have now used the squash, kale, lettuce, kohlrabi, and a little of the parsley. The pineapple sage did not survive the night.

I just have the collards and parsley left to go. What shall I do with it?


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