Friday, April 15, 2011

Brown Rice, but Better

Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

These sprouts aren’t like the ones you put on a sandwich. Sprouted brown rice looks and feels like regular brown rice, and it must cooked for the same amount of time. But once cooked, it’s sweeter and more delicate than ordinary brown rice, and a little less chewy.Sprouts are hardly news — I was learning to cook around the time that alfalfa sprouts began to appear in green salads and veggie sandwiches. But until recently I’d never heard of sprouted brown rice

Sprouting any grain increases its nutritional value by making its nutrients more bio-available, among them calcium. But it’s the flavor and texture of this new sprout that have gotten me hooked. If you’ve been hard pressed to get your family to embrace brown rice, this may be the way to go.

Sprouted Brown Rice Bowl With Carrot and Hijiki

Julienne carrots with hijiki seaweed is a traditional Japanese combination. Here I’ve added some tofu to bulk up the protein. Hijiki is an excellent source of iodine, vitamin K, folate and magnesium; the seaweed is soaked and simmered before cooking with the carrot and aromatics.

1/2 ounce (about 1/2 cup) dried hijiki

1 tablespoon soy sauce, preferably tamari (more to taste)

2 teaspoons mirin

1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil

1/2 pound firm tofu, cut in 1/2-by-1-inch dominoes

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon shredded or minced ginger

1/2 pound (2 large) carrots, cut in 2- or 3-inch long julienne

Salt to taste (optional)

1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

3 cups cooked sprouted brown rice

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

Sprouted brown rice is a packaged product that you can find in natural foods stores with other packaged grains. The grains are sprouted, then dried. It looks and cooks like regular brown rice.

1. Place the hijiki in a medium bowl, and cover with water. Soak 15 minutes, and drain. Place in a medium saucepan, and add just enough water to cover, along with 2 teaspoons of the soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 15 minutes. Drain.

2. Combine the remaining soy sauce and mirin in a small bowl, and place within reach of your wok or pan. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch steel skillet over high heat until a drop of water quickly evaporates from the pan. Swirl in the peanut or canola oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and then tilting the pan side to side. Add the tofu and stir-fry until lightly colored, one to two minutes. Add the ginger, and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds.

3. Add the carrots, and stir-fry for one minute until they begin to soften. Add the hijiki, soy sauce and mirin. Continue to stir-fry for another two to three minutes until the carrots are crisp-tender. Stir in the sesame oil and rice, and toss together for a minute or two, pressing the rice into the sides of the wok before scooping and stirring. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Yield: Serves three to four.

Advance preparation: This is a last minute stir-fry; however, you can prepare the hijiki through Step 1 several hours or even a day before you make the dish. Cooked sprouted brown rice will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator.

Nutritional information per serving (three servings): 444 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 7 grams polyunsaturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 61 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 447 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 13 grams protein

Nutritional information per serving (four servings): 333 calories; 2 grams saturated fat; 5 grams polyunsaturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 46 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 335 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 10 grams protein

Friday, April 1, 2011

Black Quinoa, Sweet Potato Kale Cakes

From YUM Universe

Makes: approx. 8-10 cakes
Preparation Time: 30mins assembly and cooking, 30-40 mins roasting potatoes

Skillet or large pan
Glass casserole dish
Food Processor (optional, you can use elbow grease instead)

2 cups organic black quinoa, soaked for at least 4 hours
1 1/2 cups pure water
2 cups organic sweet potato
6-7 large organic kale leaves, de-stemmed

2 tbsp fresh, organic lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
1/4 tsp grou
nd cinnamon
Piece of
kombu (optional: great for quality salt, trace minerals, electrolytes, etc.)
About 1 cup
garbanzo flour (garbanzo/fava bean flour works well too)
virgin coconut oil for skillet/pan

Let’s Get Started:
Wash, peel and roast your sweet potatoes in an oven at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until very tender.

Once you put the potatoes in the oven, bring water and soaked quinoa to a boil. If you have some, put a piece of kombu in the pot (during the entire cooking process). Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes (soaked quinoa takes less time to cook than unsoaked) until all water is absorbed. Try to only peek once around the 10 minute mark since the steam is an important part of cooking and you want to keep the temp as consistent as possible. This is why I like a glass lid—so you can see what’s cookin’.

Once quinoa has absorbed all the water, turn off heat and let it sit, covered, for 2-5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. You can toss or eat the kombu—it’s up to you.

Wash and chop your de-stemmed kale. Either in a food processor, or with good old fashioned elbow grease, mash your potatoes. Remove the skins if you like—I do for this recipe.

Place sweet potatoes, kale and quinoa in a large glass bowl and mix well. Add lemon juice, salt, cumin, coriander, garlic and cinnamon. Mix well.

Place some garbanzo flour on a plate.

Take some of your mix and coat both sides, then shape into a nice cake.

Heat a pan or skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom of your skillet or pan with some coconut oil and place cakes in. Cook about 10 minutes on each side until golden brown.


You can store leftovers in an airtight glass container in the fridge and eat them cold, or reheat in the oven.

- – -

1. Make tiny cakes for bite-sized appetizers for your next holiday party.
2. Try using orange juice instead of lemon.
3. Add some toasted pecans.
4. Top with fresh, chopped cilantro or add it to the mix.
5. Use gold or red quinoa.


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