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14 February
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Whole Grain Goodness

Whole Grain Goodness

Quick! Name some whole grains.

Brown Rice: An obvious choice, the whole grain golden child of anyone who is into healthy food.

Whole Wheat: Not a favorite of the gluten-free crowd, but certainly a staple in the diet of many.

Oats: Not instant, of course; old-fashioned are probably the most common choice, but steel-cut are rapidly gaining in popularity (you can even get them at Starbucks now!), while oat groats remain a forgotten relation.

Quinoa: Well, technically quinoa is a seed, but it cooks up like a grain, so most people put it in that category.

Barley: It can be, but that bag of pearl barley currently languishing in your pantry is not actually whole grain.

Having a hard time coming up with more? Let me help you out.

Rye: Rye bread is a deli staple, but not something frequently consumed in the, er, average American household. I think. Or maybe it’s just not something frequently consumed in my household.

Corn: Yes, although you probably think of it first as coming either on a cob or in convenient frozen bags, corn is a descendent of a wild grass called teosin­te, and corn meal is a staple in many kitchens. Cornbread, anyone?

Millet: Not just for birds! But if you want to make some, you’ll probably need to hit up your local health food store to find it.

My inner foodie wants to pretend that I regularly eat a wide variety of whole grains, but the reality is that I really don’t. I remember the first time I went to the food co-op in Davis, California, when I lived in the area, and I was completely in awe of their bulk bin section. Aside from all of the tasty dried fruits and nuts and granolas, not to mention their peanut butter machine that could make a delightful blend of half peanut butter, half chocolate, what really captured my attention was the abundance of grains that I had never heard of. Or if I had heard of them, I had never bought them, never eaten them, certainly never tried to cook them myself.

So I did what any self-respecting wannabe foodie and blossoming home cook would do: I brought home bags of amaranth and millet. I had no idea how to cook them. I had no cookbooks that featured recipes with these grains, only one cookbook that even acknowledged that they ex­isted. My attempts at winging it were so-so, and needless to say I haven’t tried to cook either one of them since.

whole_grains_new_generationBut now. Now I have a cookbook called Whole Grains for a New Generation, chock full of recipes for all manner of whole grains. You’ll find recipes in here for all of the grains listed above and more. Some are vegetarian, some feature meat, recipes for every meal of the day, including dessert! Plus detailed information on all of the grains, and even ideas for substituting if a recipe sounds good but you just can’t find any sorghum or teff on short notice.

My first foray into cooking from this book was a recipe for a dal with millet and wheat berries, although I substituted quinoa in place of the millet. Give it a try and add some whole grain variety to your diet!

Millet and Wheat Berry Dal with Cauliflower and Yellow Split Peas

1½ tbsp ghee

1 onion, diced

2 tsp ginger-garlic paste (or 1 tsp each minced fresh ginger and garlic)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

¼ tsp ground cayenne, or more to taste

½ cup raw millet, rinsed

1 cup yellow split peas, rinsed

½ cup raw wheat berries, rinsed

½ head cauliflower, cut into small florets

1½ tsp salt, or to taste

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds

In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt ½ tablespoon of the ghee. Add the onion and cook, stirring fre­quently, until just softened, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne, and millet and cook, stirring frequently, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add 6 cups water, the split peas, wheat berries, and cauliflower. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasion­ally, until the split peas and wheat berries are tender and the cauliflower and millet are soft and falling apart, about 1 hour, adding the salt after 45 min­utes. Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice.

In a small sauté pan over high heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Scrape the mixture into the stew and immediately cover the pot. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir, taste and season with more salt if necessary, and serve.

Serves 6.

About Holly Scudero

Holly ScuderoHolly Scudero lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, baby, and cat. She has been writing for SBR/SFBR since December 2008. She’s a stay-at-home mama who loves to cook vegetarian and vegan meals, when she has enough time to cook anything at all! When not playing with her son, reading, doing copy editing, writing book reviews, or writing other things, Holly spends her time cooking, knitting, playing video games, watching her husband play video games, or listening to music.

1 Comment:

  • Mrs H says:

    OK, I was reading along just fine until I saw “half peanut butter, half chocolate” and after that I couldn’t concentrate any more!!

    Might be worth my while to fly out to Davis, one of these days. Holy cow.

    In truth, though, this book looks SPLENDID – I need to check it out for myself now. I love working with whole grains but I agree, I need to expand my repertoire! I’ve never even brought amaranth home – it’s just a pretty name in books for me right now!!! Looking forward to your next post :)

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November 21, 2014
Shiva Rea - Tending the Heart Fire
Starts: 7:00 pm
Ends: November 21, 2014 - 8:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
Brian Krebs - Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-From Global Epidemic to Your Front Door
Starts: 7:00 pm
Ends: November 21, 2014 - 8:00 pm
Location: Books Inc, Opera Plaza; 601 Van Ness, SF, 94102
November 22, 2014
Divya Srinivasan - Little Owl's Day - Special Event for Kids
Starts: 10:00 am
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 11:00 am
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
Market to Table: Cooking Demonstrations by Cookbook Authors
Starts: 10:30 am
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 12:30 pm
Location: Book Passage at the Ferry Building, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Description: On Saturday mornings, chefs and cookbook authors lead free cooking demonstrations using seasonal ingredients from the Farmers Market. Join them in the CUESA kitchen (North Arcade) for tips, recipes, and a sample. Book Passage will be there with the books.
Nina Lesowitz & Mary Beth Sammons - The Grateful Life
Starts: 1:00 pm
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 2:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
Aglaia Kremezi - Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts
Starts: 3:00 pm
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 4:00 pm
Location: Omnivore Books: 3885a Cesar Chaves St, San Francisco
Carine McCandless - The Wild Truth
Starts: 4:00 pm
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 5:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
Mark "Fightshark" Miller - Pain Don't Hurt: Fighting Inside and Outside the Ring
Starts: 7:00 pm
Ends: November 22, 2014 - 8:00 pm
Location: Books Inc, The Marina: 2251 Chestnut St, San Francisco
November 23, 2014
Sunday Morning Storytime with Christopher Smith
Starts: 11:00 am
Ends: November 23, 2014 - 12:00 pm
Location: Author Appearance - , “” Book Passage - 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Description: Sunday Morning Storytime with Christopher Smith at Book Passage, Corte Madera
Starting September 12!
Sundays • 11:00 am • Free
Summer is over and Christopher is back! Singer-songwriter Christopher Smith has been writing music and performing in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Smith writes well-crafted story songs that aim for the heart. Children of all ages—and adults—love him!

These events are free and take place at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, unless otherwise noted. For information or to reserve autographed books, call 415-927-0960 or go to
Maxine Louise Michel De Felice - May the Spirit Be Unbroken
Starts: 1:00 pm
Ends: November 23, 2014 - 2:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera
California Writers Club
Starts: 2:00 pm
Ends: November 23, 2014 - 4:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera
Description: California Writers Club at Book Passage, Corte Madera
4th Sunday each month • 2:00-4:00 pm • $5 members/$10 non-members per meeting
The Marin branch of the California Writers Club meets monthly at Book Passage, except July, August and December, on the 4th Sunday of the month, unless it’s a holiday. 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Meetings may feature a guest speaker, a workshop, or a panel discussion, along with networking, encouragement, and writing news. CWC, a 501c educational corporation, is the nation’s oldest professional club for writers ... “educating writers of all levels of expertise in the craft of writing and in the marketing of their work.” All are welcome. Visit
Upcoming Meetings: Sun., June 26 • 2:00 pm • Topic: “Patience & Persistence: the Writer as Marathoner” • Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Four Ms. Bradwells, The Wednesday Sisters, and The Language of Light.
Kate Gale, Maxine Hong Kingston & Shelley Savren - An Evening of Poetry
Starts: 4:00 pm
Ends: November 23, 2014 - 5:00 pm
Location: Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera




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