Whole grains and flours have been part of mankinds staple diet since ancient times. Before the advent of pastoral farming, primitive peoples would gather grasses, nuts and seeds, pound them into flour or roast and eat them whole.
Agriculture began at different times in different parts of the world, and which cereal grains were domesticated depended on soil and climate. Traditional food patterns have remained to this day, in Mexico, beans, corn and rice are the staple grains, while in Africa millet or sorghum are staple, in Europe rye breads are traditional and in China soybeans and rice. Nowadys we have access to all these grains from around the world and are able to use them to add much more variety to our diet.
What makes whole grains different from refined ones is that modern milling machinery scrapes off the outer layers of the grain and also removes the embryp or germ of the grain. This produces the white flour that is found in supermarkets and used in bakeries The food value of the these baked goods is considerably lower than it would have been if the flour had been ground from the whole grainl.
Spicy Millet Pilaf: Place 1 cup hulled millet in a saucepan over medium heat; cook for 4-5 minutes or until millet starts to pop. Pour in 3 cups of hot stock or water, bring to the boil, cover; cook for 20-25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and millet is tender. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook 1 chopped onion for 4-5 minutes or until soft. Add 1 chopped and seeded long red chilli, 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley; cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add cooked millet to onion mixture; toss to combine. Season. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.
Quinoa Tabbouleh: Place 2 cups vegetable stock in a saucepan; bring to the boil. Stir in 1 cup quinoa (if available use a combination of white, black and red quinoa), reduce heat; simmer for 12-15 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and liquid is almost absorbed. Transfer to a bowl; cool. While quinoa is cooling make a lemon dressing; whisk together 1/4 cup lemon juice with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin and cayenne pepper, to taste. Add 11/2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1 small chopped red onion, 2 chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped cucumber and the lemon dressing to cooled quinoa; toss to combine. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.
Perfect Rice (Absorption Method): Place 1 cup white rice in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid pour over required quantity of liquid. An easy method (and one used worldwide) to assess the quantity of water required is to place the tip of your index finger on the surface of the rice; add enough water to come up to the first joint. Bring to the boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low; cook for 10 minutes (do not remove lid during this time). Remove from heat, fluff up rice with a fork, cover; stand for 10 minutes. Serves 4 as a side dish.
Buckwheat & Lentil Salad: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add 1/2 cup buckwheat, 1 small sliced onion and 1 finely chopped garlic clove; cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add 3/4 cup water or stock and 2 sprigs fresh oregano, cover; simmer for 10 minutes or until buckwheat is tender and liquid absorbed. Remove oregano; cool. Place cooled, cooked buckwheat, 2 cups cooked French green (puy) lentils, 1 chopped tomato, 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives, 2 finely sliced green onions and 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley in a bowl. Whisk together 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp lemon juice; drizzle over buckwheat mixture and season to taste; toss to combine. Just prior to serving scatter with crumbled feta cheese. Serves 6-8 as side dish.Easy 1 chopped tomato, 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives, 2 finely sliced green onions and 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley in a bowl. Whisk together 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp lemon juice; drizzle over buckwheat mixture and season to taste; toss to combine. Just prior to serving scatter with crumbled feta cheese. Serves 6-8 as side dish.
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