Posts Tagged ‘Grains’

The juice from the salsa adds so much flavor to the salad!

I broke up my earlier post and this post because I wanted it to be easier to look at this for the recipe and not have to scroll down. I LOVE THIS SALAD. I have fresh lettuce in my garden and it is growing faster than I can use it so I have to keep making new salads. This is so easy (if you have the ingredients – you may see now why my previous posts have been building blocks to some yummy easy to assemble recipes). You will need:

  • Romaine or Butter Lettuce
  • Cold, cooked quinoa
  • Cold, sprouted lentils
  • For the dressing:
  • Homemade mayo (you can of course use regular but it is very thick so perhaps dilute with some red wine vinegar to make it more of a dressing consistency).
  • Homemade salsa (the specific taste of the Lacto-Fermented Salsa found in Nourishing Traditions is what I love but any salsa fresca will do.
Build and enjoy! This is so filling (with the Quinoa and the Lentils) but I have made without the Quinoa and it is still super great. The combination of these flavors is my current go to favorite for my lunches and side dinner salads!

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You can sprout grains, nuts, seeds – what does this mean? That beans will taste better than ever! Before I tell you how I sprout my beans, I want to share with you some of the reasons for sprouting. If you have Nourishing Traditions than by all means, please read the chapter “Sprouted Grains, Nuts and Seeds” on page 112. Either way, here are a few items that stand out to me:

  • Vitamins B, C and Carotene are produced during this process. It helps us fend of sickness and strengthen our immune system!
  • Most grains “used” to be sprouted (sometimes even started sprouting before they were harvested) but now the farming has become so standardized as to make sure this does not happen…so we have to do it on our own! (And it is one of the easiest things you can do in your kitchen).
  • Sprouting neutralizes phytic acid which makes it possible for our body to absorb calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. This is crucial as our body needs these in their natural form and they are not absorbed by our body when the levels of phytic acid are higher. This actually KEEPS us from absorbing nutrients. If we don’t absorb them and it doesn’t all go to “waste” what does that mean? You have got it…it builds up in our digestive tract and can cause serious illness, and disease. We can easily change that problem and get even more benefits from grains, nuts and seeds.
  • This process makes beans less “gassy”!  Yes, you feel a gas build up and bloated after eating beans? This is a result of complex sugars. They are broken down during sprouting. Now your body doesn’t have to try to break them down – it can simply utilize them!
  • Digestive enzymes that assist us with overall digestion are produced during this process (much life lacto-fermentation) so it helps your body digest and absorb all of the other food on your plate!
This is just a summarized list of the benefits. But I hope it is enough to get you started. Again, this is so easy and they keep well in the fridge and can be used in so many different ways!
How do you sprout grains, nuts and seeds? Here is a lesson in Lentils (my personal favorite):  
  1. Rinse, sort, and place in a bowl.  Cover with water and soak overnight.
  2. In the morning, pour into colander.  Rinse well! Place colander inside a bowl (to catch the drippings) and cover with a towel.
  3. I shuffle the bowl a few times during the day to get the lentils mixed up.
  4. In the evening, put colander in the sink and rinse well. Return to counter and cover.
  5. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 until you get your desired tail length (about 1/4 inch).
    I typically do two full sprouting days.  So, soak overnight on day one, sit out day two and day three.  Morning of day 4 rinse and ….
  6. Put sprouts into well sealed mason jars and store in fridge.
Steam and serve as a side dish! Put on a sandwich, wrap, or salad! The possibilities are endless!
What grains or nuts do you like to sprout? Stay tuned for my favorite recipe using these lentils!

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I absolutely LOVE quinoa. It comes in different forms: pasta and also the grain itself (and I am sure there are others, but these are the only two that come to mind right now). I am just addressing the actual grain itself. This is such a fabulous little morsel of goodness. It has a very distinct flavor all it’s own, yet it also mixes so wonderfully with whatever you may eat it with, or by itself of course. It is strong, yet light. I am going to address my two ways of cooking quinoa.

1. Day 1: Regardless of your cooking method, you need to start by soaking the grains overnight. Some may groan “Nikki, we already do so much in the kitchen and you always want me to do these overnight or 3 day processes!” Yes, yes I do. In reality it takes almost NO time to prepare. The biggest challenge is remembering. Perhaps we need to plan ahead? Ha ha. Ok, anyway…here is how I soak.

First of all, rinse and drain 1 cup of quinoa (a mesh colander works best). Put in a nice sized pot. Cover the one cup of quinoa with 2 cups of filtered water. Add 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and stir. Put the lid on it and leave it over night.

2. Day 2: Rinse well! Put back in the pot.

Option 1: Add 1 and 1/2 cups water. Add 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil or Coconut Oil plus salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon). Bring to boil, cover, reduce to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until water is absorbed.

Option 2: Add 4 cups of water (clearly way to much, we are cooking this like pasta people). Cook on medium high for 20-25 minutes or until it is to your perfect consistency. Feel free to taste as you go to find the perfect “al dente” cooking time for you!

Option 3: Once soaked, put into any soup or dish you would typically add rice, noodles, or potatoes to as a fresh change! They can cook right along with everything else!

3. Later on Day 2: Why did I cook this in the am? Well because I almost exclusively use it as an addition to another meal. Throw it in the fridge and break it out as an addition to your favorite already cooked soup, salad, or reheat as a side (Simply throw it in the pan with a little chicken stock to flavor it up!)

How do you like your quinoa? 

This post is shared on Pennywise Platter Thursday , Simple Lives Thursday , Fight Back Friday, and Monday Mania and Traditional Tuesday’s and Real Food Wednesday

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