Monday, January 14, 2008

Just Grains and Legumes

Ok, maybe not just grains and legumes, but mostly. I like healthy grains and legumes and I often cook up a big batch of mixed things. I like to make a lot and use it for a long time. They stay good in the fridge for a week or so and I package them up into smaller ziploc bags and freeze them. That way I can just pull out some grains to use during the next few days for salads or in other dishes. Whole grains and legumes are fantastic for their healthy complex carbohydrates and they taste so good. I was so happy to see Susan announce a Legume Love Affair event over at The Well Seasoned Cook. I'll try to use these in a number of different recipes.

On Sunday I made a big batch to use for the next few weeks. I started with the legumes. Shown below from left to right are: black eyed peas, black beans, mung beans, soy beans and adzuki beans. It's what I had in the cupboard.

Let's talk legumes. Whenever I am browsing my local health food store or my favorite Asian market I always look to see what kind of cool interesting grains they have in stock. Here are six that I used in this batch. From left to right: whole wheat berries, kamut, quinoa, spelt, coarse bulgar wheat, and Thai brown rice.

I used simple proportions for this - 1/2 cup of each of the 11 items show above. Here is a closeup picture of the legumes all mixed together.

These whole grains from the top left going clockwise are wheat berries, kamut and spelt on the bottom. These will be soaked with the legumes for about 5 hours prior to cooking.

This grain plate contains quinoa on the upper left, bulgar on the upper right and the Thai brown rice on the bottom. These will not be pre-soaked as they cook just fine directly from their dried state.

This picture shows the legumes and the whole grains soaking. These were rinsed well several times first.

I cooked everything together in my rice cooker set on the brown rice setting. I didn't measure the amount of water I added but simply added enough to have about an inch above the top of the grains and legumes. Here they are all cooked.

For Sunday dinner the grains were served simply as a side dish along with some roasted chicken, steamed broccoli and carrots, and caramelized onion and crimini mushrooms. Dinner was served with a wonderful white burgundy wine.


Nora B. said...

This reminds me that I should re-organise my pantry I have all kinds of legumes lurking around in different corners.

Your dinner looks very nutritious and flavoursome.

Kevin said...

Nice collections of legumes and grains. It is always handy to have lots of them on hand for whatever you are feeling like. I never thought of using my rice cooker to cook things other than rice and oatmeal. It sounds like a really good idea.

Lee R said...

AhHa! I've wondered how you cooked so many different things together and now I see that soaking some of them is the key!
It looks good Greg. Did you season the portion that you used in this dinner? Hope you'll come back and tell us how you use the rest.

Astra Libris said...

Oh my goodness, you can cook them all together in the rice cooker?! Thank you so much for sharing this prep tip - I will definitely put your method to use very frequently from now on!

Susan said...

Yours is one of the best new ideas I've come across lately, perfect for busy cooks who want the convenience of Birdseye w/ the cost and quality of home.

Thanks for the great and tasty tip!