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Catherine is a professional member of the Dietitians Association of Australia, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), and the United States-based organization Food and Culinary Professionals. In 2005, she was made a Life Member of Nutrition Australia for services to community education. She mentors younger dietitians on how to get their work published and how to present themselves in various media. Visit Catherine at

gra ns


Enjoy a world of whole, unprocessed flavors and textures, while reaping the health benefits of eating whole grains! We all know that processed foods, such as refined wheat, lack the nutritional goodness of whole-grain foods—but did you know that many whole grains provide similar, if not stronger, health benefits than fruit and vegetables? Even so, most of us choose our food for flavor rather than nutrition, and whole foods have had an undeserved reputation for being bland and old-fashioned. Ancient Grains seeks to overturn this misconception, revealing that limiting yourself to refined wheat and white rice is like painting with only one color, while cooking with ancient grains offers a rich palette of flavorful whole-grain meals. • Comprehensive grains directory written by noted nutritionist Catherine Saxelby • More than 100 recipes, including dishes for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-lovers, as well as many low-GI and gluten-free meals • Over 60 stunning full-color photographs, most produced especially for this book


gra ns

Catherine Saxelby


She has written the introduction and grain entries and reviewed the recipes for Ancient Grains, drawing on her considerable experience as a freelance writer and nutrition consultant. She has long been an advocate for smart carbs and whole grains in the diet, having worked at the Bread Research Institute and written reviews of everything from barley to quinoa.


ancient grains

Catherine Saxelby B Sc, Grad Dip Nutr & Dietetics, APD, AN, MAIFST is a well-known Australian nutritionist and awardwinning author of ten books, including the best-selling Nutrition for Life and her latest volume, Complete Food and Nutrition Companion. She has written more than 2,000 articles for magazines and Web sites on all aspects of food, health, and well-being during a career that has spanned 20 years.

Whole grains are good for us. They are nutrient dense, high in fiber, and a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants— and consuming them regularly can improve digestion, assist with weight management, and reduce the risk of developing many chronic diseases. However, when it comes to eating more whole grains, many of us wonder which grains to buy, how to cook them, and how to make them taste good. Ancient Grains gives you all the information and inspiration you need to incorporate more whole grains into your everyday eating plan. It opens with a grains directory, which covers the available forms, health benefits, and basic cooking instructions of each grain. It also includes more than 100 inventive, contemporary recipes that will have you preparing mouthwatering, grains-based dishes and meals in no time.

ANCIENT GRAINS SYMBOLS There are a number of symbols used throughout the book to provide at-a-glance information about the grains and the recipes in which they are used: The grain is a good source of the nutrient, and provides more than 10 percent of the recommended daily intake value* for an adult. The grain is a very good source of the nutrient, and provides more than 25 percent of the recommended daily intake value* for an adult. The grain is an excellent source of the nutrient, and provides more than 50 percent of the recommended daily intake value* for an adult. VG Vegan—the recipe does not use any animal products, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy foods, honey, and gelatin (made from animal parts). VT Vegetarian—the recipe does not use meat, chicken, fish, or seafood, but does include eggs and/or dairy foods such as milk and yogurt. GF Gluten-free—the recipe uses no ingredients known to contain gluten. GI Low GI—the recipe uses grains and/or legumes that have a glycemic index rating of less than 55.


*Daily intake values are based on an 8,700-kilojoule (2,000-calorie) diet. Your daily intake values may be higher or lower depending on your nutritional needs.



Catherine Saxelby

Foreword We have known about the health benefits of less processed grain foods for a long time, but only recently have we had the opportunity to choose from a much wider range of grains. Among the benefits of eating whole grains that seem most appealing is the evidence that they actively assist in weight management. More particularly, whole grains seem to help with fat loss from the abdominal (“tummy”) region. It is not yet known exactly why this may be the case. Is it due to the presence of fiber, the fiber type or structure, the whole grain itself, the glycemic index (GI) of the grain, or the effect of the grain on appetite control? Some or all of these reasons are possible explanations. For weight management, having at least three serves per day of high-fiber, wholegrain, low-GI grain foods is a good starting point, but making this an interesting taste experience can sometimes be a challenge. Putting some excitement into cooking with grains, while providing a little history lesson about their origins, is where Ancient Grains: Whole-food Recipes for the Modern Table comes in. I love the idea that the food we eat has a unique story, and delving into the history of our ancestors’ food choices adds another dimension to preparing, eating, and appreciating great wholesome food. To say that food—grains in this case—nourishes the body is an understatement. And, of course, whole grains can help make a difference to health over and above weight control—your digestive system will certainly let you know this! In addition, bringing a bit of the past of ancient grains (in the form of delicious and nutritious recipes) to the present will be an experience that I know I, and I hope you, will enjoy. Professor Manny Noakes Senior Research Scientist, CSIRO and Co-author of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet series

Contents The Story of Grains


Ancient Grains Directory


Breakfast and Brunch


Breads and Baked Goods


Soups and Starters


Main Courses


Side Dishes and Salads




Measurement Conversion Charts








Picture Credits


LEFT Field of sorghum plants

The Story of Grains Spelt, quinoa, chia, amaranth, millet, wild rice, and farro—these are just some of the ancient grains and seeds that are undergoing a revival in popularity. They are moving from specialty healthfood stores and farmers’ markets to mainstream bakeries and supermarkets. You will spot them in the cereal aisle, in artisan breads, alongside everyday pasta and white rice, and as feature ingredients in muffins, crackers, and snack bars. New dishes are constantly being developed using these old-world grains, and each exhibits a unique taste, appeal, and nutritional value. As a nutritionist, it is a trend I applaud. Grains are the most widely cultivated crop on Earth. They have been a staple of human diets for centuries and have often been dubbed the “seeds of civilization,” as towns and cities arose when nomadic hunter–gatherer tribes were able BELOW Ancient Egyptian stone carving of wheat

to cultivate cereal crops and settle permanently in one place. Wheat and barley were the staple foods of ancient Egypt and later Greece and Rome; rice predominated in Asia; corn (maize), quinoa, and amaranth were revered in the Americas; oats, buckwheat, and rye were grown in the colder regions of Europe; and sorghum, millet, and teff were favored in Africa and parts of Asia. Often long forgotten or overlooked by modern Western societies, ancient grains and seeds are now being rediscovered and revalued for their delicious chewy texture, eco-friendly cultivation techniques, cultural importance, and often glutenfree status. They are part of the backlash against mass-produced products that—while being more resistant to insect attacks, and easier to grow and mill—are over-refined, have less fiber, and are uniform in flavor and texture. Described as “super foods,” ancient grains offer us much in the way of natural nutrition and positive health benefits.

As a group, grains are low in fat; the exceptions are oats, amaranth, and quinoa, which carry around 7 percent fat (double that of the other grains), and chia, at a high 30 percent fat. This fatty oil—located in the germ—is rich in “good” polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. Grains are also low in sugars and sodium (salt). At 7 to 16 percent, grains are a good source of protein. This is often overlooked, despite the fact that grains are the main source of protein for most people in developing countries. Millet, rice, and corn (maize) fall at the lower end of the protein range, while rye and barley are intermediate. Oats, amaranth, chia, and the ancient wheats—spelt, farro, and Kamut®— have the highest concentrations of protein.

What Are Grains? Grains—often referred to as cereal grains—are classified as members of the grass (Poaceae) family of plants. They are characterized by a dry, edible, seedlike fruit, or caryopsis, which is known as a kernel, grain, or berry. Traditionally, ten grains are considered cereals: wheat, rice, corn (maize), oats, rye, barley, teff, millet, sorghum, and wild rice. Buckwheat, chia, amaranth, and quinoa are not technically grains because their seeds come from broad-leaf plants, not grasses. They are often called “pseudocereals,” and are included in this book because their seeds are cooked and eaten in the same way as grains and feature a similar nutritional profile.

Ancient Grains—Great for Your Health All grains—both ancient and modern—have a similar structure. Over 70 percent of each grain is made up of starchy carbohydrate, which gives grits, whole grains, rolled grains, breads, and noodles the ability to fill you up. Grains have come under fire in recent times because of the fashion for low-carb diets, such as the Atkins, Dukan, and Paleo diets. But we need carbohydrates—they are the primary fuel for our brain, and provide essential energy for the body. Whole grains are one of the best sources of carbohydrate, as they also provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Grains are noted for their B-group vitamins, especially thiamin (B1) and niacin (B3), with lesser amounts of pyridoxine (B6) and folate (B9). They have no vitamin A, C, or D, although colored grains such as corn (maize) and rice carry beta-carotene, which our bodies convert to vitamin A. Vitamin E is found in the germ of grains, and it is present only in whole grains and whole-wheat flours. A number of minerals are found in grains, notably magnesium and phosphorus. There are lesser quantities of zinc, copper, manganese, iron, potassium, and calcium; the amount depends on the soil in which the plant was grown.

Ancient Grains versus Modern Grains Compared to modern grains, ancient grains offer many nutritional advantages. As a group, they have more protein and more fiber than their modern cousins. They can be a richer source of vitamins and minerals, but this is not a hardand-fast statement—often this will depend on the particular plant species, as well as the soil and surrounding environment in which the plant was grown. Some ancient grains shine

The Story of Grains


RIGHT Whole oat grains and rolled oats

Nutritional Information Panels Within each grain entry, we have included a

of that nutrient; two grain symbols

table listing the grain’s key nutrients. Only

that the grain is a very good source of that

those nutrients that are characteristic of grains

nutrient; and three grain symbols

have been assessed: protein, fiber, magnesium,

show that the grain is an excellent source of

iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper,

that nutrient (if a nutrient name is not listed in

manganese, selenium, thiamin (B1), riboflavin

the panel, then the grain is not an important

(B2), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), and folate

source of that nutrient). The nutritional

(B9). One grain symbol

information panels also reveal at a glance

beside the nutrient

name indicates that the grain is a good source

brighter than their modern counterparts with regard to specific nutrients. For example, barley is a very good source of selenium, teff and spelt both have a high concentration of manganese, chia comprises more than twice as much fiber as other grains, and buckwheat features an impressive level of niacin (B3). Ancient grains tend to be less refined than modern grains: they are eaten as whole berries, grits (cracked), or rolled, so you get the whole-grain advantage. Many are grown organically, which is better for the soil and environment—for example, to qualify for the Kamut® description, khorasan wheat must “be grown only as a certified organic grain.” And ancient grains add more variety and texture to your diet than modern grains, which is a core nutrition principle. You chew more when eating ancient grains, which is a good thing in our world of overrefined fare.

What are “Whole Grains”? I like to cook with heritage grains such as brown rice, oats, and buckwheat because most are whole grains—they come with their bran and germ intact, giving you the complete nutrition package. As they have undergone little (if any) processing, whole grains are nutrient dense and more natural.

The Importance of the Glycemic Index



whether the grain is gluten-free and/or low GI.

Compared to refined grains, whole grains are higher in fiber, essential vitamins (especially the B group and E), and health-giving minerals such as selenium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, iron, and copper. In addition, whole grains feature a wealth of antioxidants, phenolics, flavonoids, and saponins, which offer us innumerable health benefits.

Most—but not all—ancient grains have a low glycemic index (GI) rating. This means that their carbohydrate takes longer to be digested and absorbed, with a slow and sustained release of glucose into your bloodstream, so that you feel fuller for longer. If you have diabetes, you will have heard about the glycemic index. Most people with diabetes have high glucose levels in the bloodstream because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to “push” the glucose into the muscles. A low-GI diet helps to reduce blood glucose levels, and thus the demand for insulin. Even if you do not have diabetes, nutritionists recommend eating low-GI foods to cut the risk of heart disease and to lose weight without going hungry. You will find our recipes tagged for low GI, and the individual grain entries will give more

Research has uncovered a number of protective phytochemicals in individual whole grains. For example, a type of soluble fiber known as betaglucans in barley and oats has been shown to lower cholesterol, lignans in rye can influence estrogen levels in women, and oryzanol in rice has an antioxidant action similar to vitamin E.

Anatomy of a Grain A whole grain contains all three parts of the grain: the outer bran layer, which is high in fiber; the nutritious germ, or developing seed; and the starchy

Studies show that people who eat whole grains regularly have lower rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, particularly bowel cancer. They are also more likely to be a healthy weight. Not every grain you eat has to be a whole grain, but nutritionists now recommend that half your grains (or at least two serves) a day should be in whole-grain form. This will boost your health and wellbeing, and improve your digestion. When shopping for grains, look for those that include 50 percent or more “whole-grain content.”

The Story of Grains

endosperm, which is milled to create white flour. The aleurone layer is

Aleurone layer Endosperm

the outermost edge of the endosperm, and comprises granules of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Bran layer Germ

detail. But for now, remember that—as a rule of thumb—the more natural and less processed the grain, the lower the GI. For example, whole oat groats have a lower GI rating than rolled oats or oatmeal. Wheat hardly ever has a low GI (pasta is the exception). But grains like rye, barley, quinoa, chia, buckwheat, and certain varieties of rice fit the bill.

Gluten-free and Good for You A number of ancient grains—such as millet, teff, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, and rice— are gluten-free, and offer delicious dietary choices for those sensitive to gluten. It means you are not stuck with those expensive glutenfree products made from potato, white rice, or milled corn (maize), which are overly processed and low in fiber. Many people tell me that they seek out the ancient grains because they are less likely to cause digestive problems such as bloating, wind, and irritable bowel syndrome. But the truth is that not all ancient grains are glutenfree. Those early forms of wheat—spelt, farro, and Kamut®—are not. Nor are barley, rye, and oats. (Theoretically, oats do not contain gluten, but because they are frequently grown,

The Story of Grains


LEFT Vegetarian pearl barley salad

Vegetarian Eating and Balance Ancient grains play a big role in vegan, vegetarian, and “vegivore” diets (where you are not a total vegetarian, but meat is not the major component of your plate). You will find tasty vegan and vegetarian dishes in this book, alongside recipes that use meat and fish as a minor ingredient. Ancient grains boost the nutritional value of vegan and vegetarian diets, providing the protein and minerals that might otherwise have been obtained from animal products.

harvested, and milled alongside gluten-containing grains, they may be contaminated with gluten.) Anyone with celiac disease—a permanent intolerance to gluten—needs to be vigilant. Check the labels of any grains before you buy them. What people with celiac disease often miss most are baked goods such as breads, muffins, and cakes, because that is where you need gluten. Gluten is a unique protein with elastic properties that are essential for traditional baking. It is impossible to produce well-risen bread without it. You can make flatbreads from corn (maize), millet, and teff—think tortillas and injeras— but they are not the same as a well-risen loaf. Wheat offers the most elastic gluten (and makes the lightest loaves), followed by rye and barley. Without gluten, most baked goods do not rise as well and so are flatter and less aerated. Adjust your expectations, and you will not be disappointed. Alternatively, move away from a bread-based cuisine, and a whole new world opens up.


Nutritionists used to dismiss the protein in grains as not a “first-class” protein such as that found in eggs or milk. It is low in lysine, and to a lesser extent, threonine, two important amino acids. But combining grains with foods that are rich in lysine (such as legumes, nuts, and dairy foods) improves the overall quality of the protein. Such complementary protein patterns have evolved over the years with traditional dishes such as pea soup with bread, rice and lentils, corn (maize) tortillas with beans, noodles and cheese sauce—popular mainstays of most vegetarian diets. So these days protein is not viewed as a problem for vegetarians.

Buying and Storing Grains Ideally, buy your ancient grains in their original state as intact whole grains (kernels) with their protective bran or hull, such as wheat berries, brown or wild rice, or barley groats. Look for grains that are sound (undamaged), plump, smell fresh, and are free of debris. Buy the grains in smallish quantities to suit your needs. Check the “best before” date if there is one on the pack. Alternatively, if you buy in bulk (for example, if you grind your own flour to bake bread), order the grains in bags or boxes— as long as you can use them up in time. Try to find a store with a rapid turnover, so you are not buying old stock. Some of the more

The Story of Grains

unusual grains—such as red rice or amaranth— may not be stocked in supermarkets, so you will have to go to a specialty store or buy online. Whole grains should be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry place out of direct light. They should keep for up to 12 months. Rolled and cracked grains (particularly oats) can be stored in a cool, dry, dark cupboard; in hot weather, I like to keep mine tightly wrapped in the refrigerator, as I find that they last longer. Aim to use rolled and cracked grains within six months. Buy flours in small quantities, and store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark cupboard or the refrigerator. Use the flours as soon as you can, especially in hot weather.

General Cooking Techniques While rinsing is recommended for some whole grains, many will not need to be rinsed unless you see dirt or stones in the pack. Cooking both heats and hydrates the grains. Here is a basic cooking method: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring water or salt-reduced stock to the boil over high heat. Sprinkle in the grains. Generally, the proportion is one part dry grain to two parts liquid (water or salt-reduced stock, or a combination of the two), but some grains require more liquid per cup of grain. Bring the liquid back to the boil, stirring to prevent the grains from sticking. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and then simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and drain any leftover liquid if necessary. Do not add salt to the saucepan: it tends to prevent the liquid from being fully absorbed.

oil, and then add hot water or salt-reduced stock. Simmer, covered, until the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the grains gently with a fork before serving. How do you tell if the grains are cooked? Like pasta, it is best to test a few grains to see if they are “al dente”—tender, but still firm to the bite. Cooking times will vary, and depend on the size of the grain; whether it is whole, cracked, or pearled; and whether it has been steamed already, such as buckwheat groats or rolled oats/barley. In this book, you will find cooking times within the individual grain entries and at the beginning of the recipes. Many people are missing out on the adventure of ancient grains because they have little idea of how to cook and incorporate these grains into their meals. This new book goes a long way toward changing that. It shows—with easy-to-follow instructions, practical advice, and gorgeous photographs—how simple it can be to make these nutritious, delicious grains a part of your everyday meals.

Some grains—such as amaranth or buckwheat— taste better if they are toasted. Heat the grains in a large, dry, heavy-bottomed skillet or frying pan, stirring constantly, until they are golden brown. For pilafs, coat the grains in a little olive RIGHT Preparing millet for cooking

The Story of Grains



NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION The chart below shows how much of the adult recommended daily intake value is found in a serving of quinoa. This is based on a standard serve size of 1 1⁄2 oz/45 g* of uncooked quinoa.

Quinoa FORMS Ivory/tan grains, Red grains, Black/gray grains, Flakes, Puffed, Flour

Quinoa was originally grown in the Andes mountain range in South America, and it was one of the staple foods of the Incas. Easy to prepare, high in protein, and gluten-free, it has become so popular in recent years that there is scarcely enough left in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador to feed the locals. In recognition of the historical importance and nutritional value of quinoa, the United Nations declared 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa.”

Botanically a relative of spinach, chard, and beets, quinoa is not technically a “true” grain at all, but is instead what we call a “pseudocereal”—a term for seeds that are cooked and eaten like grains and have a similar nutrient profile. Other “pseudocereals” include amaranth, buckwheat, chia, and teff. As with spinach, you can eat the leaves of the quinoa plant, but these are not as commercially available as the seeds.








Thiamin (B1)

Pyridoxine (B6)

Folate (B9)



Low GI


Culinary Uses The most popular form of quinoa is the creamcolored round grain (also known as yellow or ivory quinoa), which is similar in appearance to sesame seeds. But you will also find red, purple, and black quinoa. It cooks quickly, in about 10–15 minutes, and creates a light, fluffy side dish. Quinoa is comparable to couscous—but much more impressive nutritionally—and I successfully substitute it for couscous in many different recipes. I like to use quinoa as the basis for interesting salads in summer (one of my favorites is cooked quinoa tossed with purple onion, baby spinach leaves, mushrooms, goat’s cheese, and toasted pine nuts, and then finished off with something slightly sweet such as pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries). But it also makes a


Ancient Grains Directory

In addition to its savory uses, quinoa can also be enjoyed with sweet accompaniments such as dried fruit and maple syrup. Quinoa flakes and quinoa flour are becoming increasingly available, usually at health-food stores, and they are being added to commercial breads, muesli bars, and breakfast cereals.

Nutrition Points

*11 ⁄2 oz/45 g of uncooked quinoa supplies 695 kilojoules (166 calories), 6 g protein, 3 g fat, 29 g carbohydrate, and 3 g fiber.

delightful addition to soups, and a great hot side dish for chicken or fish. It is a lot less “nutty” in taste than brown rice, so you will need to boost the flavor with vegetables, fresh herbs, onion, and garlic.

Quinoa is a good source of fiber, it is rich in iron—an unusual characteristic for a grain— and it is an excellent source of other minerals (magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and calcium) and vitamins (vitamin E, as well as the B-group vitamins). Add to this the fact that quinoa is a sensational base in which to showcase other flavors, and you can see why sales have been booming in recent years. Quinoa’s nutritional profile allows it to stand head and shoulders above similar grain foods such as couscous, barley, and bulgur (cracked wheat). Its qualities are extraordinary—it has double the protein of most grains, and about three times more fiber than brown rice. It also has a low GI (53), which is close to the maximum for slow carbohydrates, making it slow to absorb and therefore ideal for anyone with diabetes. Quinoa has a much lower GI than polenta (68), couscous (65), or even brown rice (59–87). The good news for vegetarians and vegans is that quinoa is a complete protein source, so you know you are getting all of the essential amino acids that are usually obtained from animal products such as eggs, milk, or meat. In addition, quinoa is high in antioxidants, with a greater concentration of the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol than is found in



The “Mother Seed” of the Incas


Basic whole-grain quinoa use as you

The Incas revered quinoa, and they referred

had his men destroy the quinoa fields to

to it as chisaya mama or the “mother of all

undermine the Incan culture, which relied

would couscous or rice, including as a base for cold salads

grains.” Legend has it that each year, the

heavily on rituals that almost always involved

COOKING TIME 10–15 minutes

Incan emperor would sow the first quinoa

quinoa. Only small pockets of wild quinoa

seeds during a solemn ceremony. Quinoa

at high altitudes survived, and it was all but

came close to disappearing in 1532 when

forgotten until its “rediscovery” by the Western

1 cup (61⁄2 oz/185 g) quinoa seeds 1 1⁄2 –2 cups (12–16 fl oz/360–480 ml) water Pinch of salt if desired

Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro

world during the 1970s.

Soak the quinoa in cold water for 5 minutes, stirring gently to loosen any saponin residue. Pour the quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer, rinse it under running water, and drain it thoroughly. Place the quinoa into a heavy-bottomed saucepan (that has a tight-fitting lid), and add 11⁄2 –2 cups (12–16 fl oz/360–480 ml) of water. Adding salt is optional; it will result in firmer grains and add a couple of minutes to the cooking time. Bring the quinoa to the boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook with the lid on tightly for 10–15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed; check 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, and add more water if necessary. Avoid stirring the quinoa while it is cooking, as this will cause stickiness. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let it stand, with the lid on, for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork before serving. NOTE When some or all of the germs (small, white filaments) release from the grains and unfurl, the grains are done or nearly done.

famously high-flavonoid foods such as cranberries, and it also features a range of anti-inflammatory compounds. Like most grains, quinoa has almost no salt and is relatively low in fat. However, it does have a higher fat content (in the form of monounsaturated fats, such as oleic acid, and polyunsaturated fats, including small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids) than many grains, and is best stored in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent the fats going rancid.

Cooking Notes •• Natural quinoa has a bitter coating called saponin, which should be rinsed off using a fine-mesh strainer before cooking; a 5-minute soak before rinsing is optional •• 11⁄2 –2 cups (12–16 fl oz/360–480 ml) of liquid to 1 cup (61⁄2 oz/185 g) of quinoa •• 1 cup of dry grain yields approximately 3 cups of cooked grain •• 10–15 minutes cooking time

Pour the milk or rice milk into a heavybottomed saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the milk starts to boil. When the milk is simmering, add the drained quinoa and the salt. Place the lid on the saucepan, leaving it slightly ajar, and reduce the heat to low, cooking the mixture for 10 minutes. Stir in the maple syrup or brown sugar, and cook the mixture for a further 10 minutes, stirring every 2–3 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat. To serve, divide the porridge between four bowls, top with dried fruit or chopped nuts, and add milk.

Quinoa breakfast porridge a protein-

rich, nutrient-packed, and low-GI start to the day COOKING TIME 25 minutes

1 cup (61⁄2 oz/185 g) quinoa seeds 2 cups (16 fl oz/480 ml) milk or rice milk Pinch of salt Maple syrup or brown sugar to taste 1 ⁄4 cup mixed dried fruit or chopped nuts Milk to serve

Soak, rinse, and drain the quinoa as for basic whole-grain quinoa.


Ancient Grains Directory




NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION The chart below shows how much of the adult recommended daily intake value is found in a serving of millet. This is based on a standard serve size of 1 1⁄2 oz/45 g* of uncooked millet.

Millet FORMS Whole grains, Flakes, Puffed, Flour

Varying in color from white to gray, yellow, and red, this small-seeded yet hardy grain has been an important crop in the semiarid tropics of Africa and Asia for centuries. Along with sorghum, it is still the principal source of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals for millions of the poorest people living on those continents today. The term millet refers to a number of grains from different genera, but the most popular edible species are Panicum miliaceum and Setaria italica. Millet species are often referred to as “coarse grains” or “poor people’s crops,” as they grow in harsh, hot environments where other crops fail or yield poorly, they can thrive when there is little water, and they do not need expensive fertilizer. Millet is the leading staple grain of Nigeria, Niger, India, and northern China, where it makes up a large portion of the basic diet for many farm households, usually in the form of stiff or thin millet porridge. Millet is also commonly eaten in Russia, Somalia, Chad, Uganda, and Nepal.

Millet Types Also known as proso millet, hog millet, or broomcorn, common millet (Panicum miliaceum) is the millet of ancient times. It is believed to have been domesticated in central and eastern Asia, and it was often grown by nomads because of its ability to mature quickly. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica) is a key food crop in the drier regions of northern China, where it is generally cooked like rice.


Ancient Grains Directory







Thiamin (B1)

Niacin (B3)

Pyridoxine (B6)

Folate (B9)



Low GI


*11 ⁄2 oz/45 g of uncooked millet supplies 710 kilojoules (170 calories), 5 g protein, 2 g fat, 33 g carbohydrate, and 4 g fiber.

Finger millet (Eleusine coracana) is also known as African millet, koracan, and ragi (in India). Native to Africa, it is a staple grain in eastern and central Africa, in particular within Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. It is malted for making beer, and is made into a gritty porridge that is improved nutritionally by the addition of greens, sorghum malt, pigeon peas, or peanuts. A fermented porridge that resembles a congee is also popular. Also known as bulrush millet, spiked millet, and bajra (in India), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is the second most widely grown native African grain and almost certainly originated in tropical western Africa. About 4,000 years ago, the species was carried to eastern and central Africa and also to India, where it became established in the drier and hotter areas because of its drought tolerance.

It can be baked in both flatbreads and leavened breads, boiled into porridge, and cooked in the same way as couscous. Barnyard millet (Echinochloa species)—the fastest growing of all the millets—can produce a crop in just six weeks. Farmers in India and China use it as a substitute for rice when the paddy fails. Once harvested, the millet seeds can be stored for a long time without being damaged by insects, which is another reason for its popularity.

Cooking and Nutrition Regardless of the type, millet is a mild-flavored and delicate grain. Its consistency relies on how it is cooked—it can be thick and creamy like a solid porridge, thin like a congee-style soup, or fluffy and separate like couscous. Millet is



delicious and versatile—you can make it into an Indian-style pilaf or a hearty kasha, and add it to soups, stuffing, and salads. It also makes a soft and healthy baby food. To give the millet a nuttier flavor, you can lightly toast the grains before utilizing them in your cooking. Place the millet in a dry saucepan or frying pan over medium heat, and stir the grains frequently. When they have turned golden, the grains are ready. Millet meal is often added to bread doughs or muffin mixes, while flatbreads such as roti are made from ground millet. Millet flakes can be made into porridge or added to muesli. Millet is also fermented into beverages known as ontaku or oshikundu. Millet is a nutritious grain that is a good source of protein and essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. It is a good supplier of most of the B-group

vitamins, especially thiamin (B1), niacin (B3), pyridoxine (B6), and folate (B9). Because the seeds are enclosed in their hulls, which are difficult to remove by conventional milling, millet contains a high proportion of insoluble fiber, which is important for digestion and bowel health. Additionally, since millet is gluten-free, it is a smart alternative for people who are intolerant of gluten.


Basic millet this moist, fluffy, and mild-

tasting side dish is a pleasant alternative to rice or couscous COOKING TIME 25–30 minutes

1 cup (7 oz/200 g) hulled millet 2 cups (16 fl oz/480 ml) water or salt-reduced stock Pinch of salt (optional) 1 ⁄2 tablespoon butter or olive oil (optional)

Cooking Notes •• Rinse and drain hulled millet grain before cooking •• Pretoasting is optional, but will add flavor •• 2–21⁄2 cups (16–20 fl oz/480–600 ml) of liquid to 1 cup (7 oz/200 g) of hulled millet •• 1 cup of dry grain yields approximately 31⁄2 cups of cooked grain •• 15–20 minutes cooking time, plus 5 minutes standing time

Rinse the millet in a colander or strainer until the water runs clear. Preheat a heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat, add the millet, and stir constantly until it dries and darkens in color. Add the water or stock, stir in the salt and butter or olive oil (if desired), and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the

Out of Africa Millet is believed to be native to Ethiopia, where it has been eaten since prehistoric times. It even makes an appearance in the Bible, described as an ingredient in unleavened bread. Up until the Middle Ages, millet was a staple in European cuisine—millet porridge in particular was widely consumed by the poor—until it was replaced by potatoes and corn (maize) from the New World. Millet was often used to augment meager crops of wheat or barley, stretching out the amount of flour so that an almost-decent loaf of bread could be produced. Today, millet

saucepan, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed; if the millet seems dry or tastes gritty, add hot water a few tablespoons at a time, and allow it to absorb. Remove the saucepan from the heat, fluff the millet with a fork, and serve immediately.

Creamy millet and cauliflower mash it makes a comforting and healthy alternative to mashed potatoes COOKING TIME 40–50 minutes

1 cup (7 oz/200 g) hulled millet 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, peeled and chopped 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1 medium-sized cauliflower, roughly chopped 4 cups (32 fl oz/960 ml) salt-reduced stock 1 tablespoon butter (optional) 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve

Rinse the millet in a colander or strainer until the water runs clear; drain it thoroughly. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, and garlic, and cook the mixture until the onion goes translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the rinsed millet and cauliflower, and mix well. Add the stock, and bring the mixture to the boil. Cover the saucepan with a lid, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30–40 minutes or until the cauliflower is cooked through and soft. The mixture should look thick and creamy; if it looks dry, add water a tablespoon at a time and stir until it reaches the desired consistency. Mash thoroughly with a potato masher, or use a stick blender for a smoother consistency. Stir in the butter and parsley, and serve immediately.

is used mainly for birdseed and livestock feed, although it is becoming popular as a nutritious gluten-free substitute for wheat.


Ancient Grains Directory



world. Chia seeds contain 24 percent ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids, which is important for heart health and brain function.



Chia seeds are also notable for their fiber content (37 percent), which is high in soluble fiber and mucilages (gelling compounds). They have the ability to absorb a high volume of liquid and become thick and gelatinous. This, coupled with their low level of carbohydrate, means that they are absorbed slowly.

FORMS Whole seeds, Bran, Ground seeds, Oil

Originating in Central America, chia is an ancient oilseed crop loaded with fiber, healthy fats, and protein. Today, chia is not only grown in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, and Peru, but it is also cultivated in Australia—in fact, Australia is the world’s biggest chia producer.

Chia seeds contain over 15 percent protein—as much as wheat—yet they are gluten-free. There is a variety of vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in chia seeds, including manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus, as well as iron, zinc, copper, and selenium. Like almonds, they have a surprisingly high calcium content, but it is not as well absorbed as the calcium in milk.

Chia seeds look like tiny sesame seeds and can be creamy white, black, or gray. With their neutral taste, chia seeds are more of a nutritious “boost” than an ingredient. You can sprinkle the seeds over salads, cereals (I like to add


Chia gel it may be added to many foods,

including smoothies, yogurts, peanut butter and other spreads, and sauces PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes

2 tablespoons chia seeds 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) water, fruit juice, vegetable juice, salt-reduced stock, or rice milk (depending on your taste or intended use)

Combine the chia seeds and liquid in a small mixing bowl, whisk continuously for a few minutes, then allow the mixture to rest for a few more minutes. Whisk the mixture again, then allow it to stand for 10–15 minutes. Stir the mixture one last time, before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use the chia gel as needed.

Cooking Notes NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION The chart below shows how much of the adult recommended daily intake value is found in a serving of chia. This is based on a standard serve size of 1 1⁄2 oz/45 g* of uncooked chia.










Pyridoxine (B6)



Low GI


them to my homemade muesli), or yogurt. Toss them into smoothies, juices, and soups, and use them to coat hamburger patties. If you soak the seeds in water for 20 minutes, you get a clear gel that can be used as a substitute for oils and fats in your desserts, baked goods, and sauces. In Mexico, locals make a refreshing drink known as chia fresca from soaked chia seeds, fresh lime juice, and a little sugar.

*11 ⁄2 oz/45 g of uncooked chia supplies 915 kilojoules (219 calories), 7 g protein, 14 g fat, 19 g carbohydrate, and 16 g fiber.


•• Add a few tablespoons of chia seeds to your favorite cake mix, muffin mix, or pancake batter •• Presoak to soften the chia seeds, then add them to smoothies or milkshakes •• Sprinkle chia seeds over cold and hot cereals •• Add chia seeds to dips, sauces, spreads, scrambled eggs, and pilafs

Ancient Super Food for Aztec Runners

With around 30 percent fat, chia seeds are high in fat compared to other grains. But it is almost all “good” fat, in the form of polyunsaturated fat with an extraordinarily high level of omega-3 fatty acids—which is unusual in the plant

Ancient Grains Directory

Domesticated in 2600 bce, chia seeds were

mixed with water and drunk as a beverage,

a cornerstone in the Mayan and Aztec diets

milled into a paste, and pressed for their

along with corn (maize), beans, and amaranth.

nutritious oil. Known as “running food,” tiny

Tributes and taxes were paid to rulers in chia

chia seeds could be easily carried on long

seeds, which were then offered to the gods

trips; they served as a high-energy food for

during religious ceremonies. Chia seeds were

Aztec messengers, who would carry them

eaten as a grain alone or with other grains,

in a small pouch.



Wheat Berries


the germ, the bran, and the endosperm. The wheat berries are then processed to varying degrees (removing the bran and/or the germ) to produce bulgur and couscous.

Resembling other whole grains such as brown rice, wheat berries are nutrient rich, have a nutty flavor and texture, and tend to take a long time to cook. You can add them to soups or stews, make a pilaf or salad with them, enjoy them on their own as a side dish, germinate them for cooked greens and salads, grind them into flour, or (when they have been precooked) boost your baking with their whole-grain goodness.

No matter how you spell it—bulgur, bulgar, bulghur, burghul, or bourghul—bulgur is one of the only “processed” grain foods that is ready to eat with minimal preparation: after it has been soaked in water or stock, it can be mixed with other ingredients without being precooked. Bulgur is made by parboiling whole wheat berries, then parching them (to dry them) before grinding them. The outermost bran layer is removed, and the grains are cracked.

I like using these quick-to-prepare ancient grains products to add variety to meals. But because bulgur sizes vary and there are numerous couscous products, such as Israeli couscous and Lebanese couscous, I always check the preparation instructions on the packaging for optimum results. I do not add salt when preparing them; I much prefer seasoning them with herbs and spices such as parsley, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or saffron.

When shopping, you are more likely to find wheat berries on the shelves of health-food stores or organic food markets than in your local supermarket. You may also find that you have different berries to choose from, based on the growing season (winter/spring), gluten content (hard wheat/soft wheat), and color (red/white). However, all of these berries can be used interchangeably in recipes— just check the packet for cooking times.

The germ and most of the bran are retained, making bulgur a quick-cooking, versatile, whole-grain product—with a slightly chewy texture and a pleasant nutty taste—that you can use as a side dish on its own or in a variety of recipes. It is a popular addition to breakfast cereals, tabbouleh, pilafs, vegetable burgers, stuffings, salads, and soups, and it can be utilized in baking to impart whole-grain goodness and texture.


Wheat Products FORMS Wheat berries, Bulgur, Couscous

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION The chart below shows how much of the adult recommended daily intake value is found in a serving of bulgur. This is based on a standard serve size of 1 1⁄2 oz/45 g* of uncooked bulgur.

The berries of Triticum durum (a hard, highprotein wheat) have been the grain of choice for making those versatile Middle Eastern and Mediterranean staples bulgur and couscous for centuries. Bulgur and whole-wheat couscous are nutritious whole-grain foods packed with vital B-group vitamins, protein, and minerals including magnesium and phosphorus. Step one in the wheat-milling process gives us wheat berries. At this stage, only the hull (the inedible outer layer of the grain) is removed, so the remaining whole kernel (known as a “berry”) contains all three parts of the grain:






Thiamin (B1)

Niacin (B3)

Pyridoxine (B6)



Low GI


*11 ⁄2 oz/45 g of uncooked bulgur supplies 650 kilojoules (155 calories), 6 g protein, less than 1 g fat, 34 g carbohydrate, and 8 g fiber.

Ancient Grains Directory

Cooking Notes (Wheat Berries) •• Soaking in cold water overnight is recommended •• 2 cups (16 fl oz/480 ml) of liquid to 1 cup (7 oz/200 g) of wheat berries •• 1 cup of dry grain yields approximately 21⁄2 cups of cooked grain •• 35–45 minutes cooking time

Cooking Notes (Fine-grain Bulgur) •• No soaking or precooking required •• 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) of liquid to 1 cup (5 oz/140 g) of bulgur •• 1 cup of dry grain yields approximately 3 cups of cooked grain •• Approximately 10 minutes steaming time

Mesopotamian Marvel Possibly one of the first foods processed by humans, wheat domestication dates back some 10,000 years to the origins of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent. Early Sumerian culinary texts tell us that breads made from wheat were an integral part of elaborate court meals. Although the recipes do not survive to this day, we do have this evocative verse translated from the eleventh tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh (written about 4,000 years ago): “He will bring you a harvest of wealth, in the morning he will let loaves of

Cooking Notes (Whole-wheat Couscous)

bread shower down, and in the evening a rain of wheat.”

•• No soaking or precooking required •• 11⁄2 cups (12 fl oz/360 ml) of liquid to 1 cup (6 oz/170 g) of couscous •• 1 cup of dry grain yields approximately 3 cups of cooked grain •• 10 minutes steaming time Bulgur is sometimes sold in a variety of grades for different purposes—fine grain (for combining with ground meat), medium grain (for meat stuffing or tabbouleh), and coarse grain (for stews, soups, and pilafs). Do not confuse bulgur with cracked or kibbled wheat; these latter products are coarsely milled to lightly crack the whole wheat grain and have not been parboiled.

Couscous Known as seksu in the language of the Berber people, couscous is the signature dish of Maghrebi (North African) cuisine. It is both the name for the tiny balls or granules of dough (seksu means “well rolled” or “well rounded”) and for the dish of stock, vegetables, and meat,


chicken, or fish with which it is traditionally served. Couscous is usually made from the semolina (milled and refined wheat middlings) of durum wheat, but these days you can also buy barley couscous, millet couscous, and a combination corn (maize) and rice couscous.


Bulgur stuffing utilizing coarse bulgur

results in a fluffy stuffing that can be used to stuff a chicken or vegetables ahead of baking

Commercial forms of processed and instant couscous are widely available and widely used—even in North Africa. But it was not so very long ago that North African women put a lot of effort into making their own couscous, first spreading a few handfuls of semolina over a large, shallow, wooden or earthenware bowl, then moistening it with a little cold, salty water, and finally rolling it in their hands to form the very tiny dough balls. These were then steamed, dried, and stored.

Ancient Grains Directory

COOKING TIME 20–25 minutes

1 1⁄2 cups (12 fl oz/360 ml) salt-reduced chicken or vegetable stock 1 ⁄2 cup (5 oz/140 g) coarse-grain bulgur 1 teaspoon olive oil 2 tablespoons onion, chopped 1 ⁄2 cup vegetables (such as mushrooms, celery, bell peppers [capsicums], or zucchini [courgettes]), chopped 1 small garlic clove, peeled and minced

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the stock to the boil. Add the bulgur, cover the saucepan tightly with a lid, and cook over very low heat for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. In a small frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the chopped onion, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chopped vegetables to the onion, and cook for a further 5–10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender; add the garlic in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Stir the cooked bulgur into the vegetables, and use the mixture to loosely stuff a chicken or vegetables.

Wheat Products


VT SERVES 9 muffins PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes COOKING TIME 25 minutes

Breakfast Muffins with Feta and Basil Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly grease nine 1⁄3 -cup muffin tray cups. Sift the quinoa flour, durum wheat flour, and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the chia seeds, and stir to combine. Add the crumbled feta, and stir into the dry ingredients. Shred the basil leaves by placing one on top of the other. Roll them together lengthwise, then cut through the leaves to make fine strips or shreds. Add the basil to the flour mixture, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine the buttermilk, eggs, and grape-seed or canola oil. Add the liquid to the flour, chia seeds, feta, and basil mixture, and stir with a large spoon until the ingredients are just combined; the batter should be lumpy. Use a slightly heaped 1⁄4 -cup measure to take batter from the bowl, placing each measure into a greased muffin tray cup. For lighter muffins, do not touch or flatten the batter. Cook the muffins for 25 minutes or until they are golden; a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin should come out clean. Remove the muffins from the oven, and allow them to stand in the tray for a few minutes before taking them out of the tray and placing them on a wire rack to cool.

1 cup (4 oz/115 g) quinoa flour 1 cup (5 oz/140 g) plain durum wheat flour 3 teaspoons (1⁄3 oz/11 g) glutenfree baking powder 2 tablespoons white chia seeds 4 oz/115 g fat-reduced feta, finely crumbled 1 ⁄2 cup (1⁄2 oz/15 g) fresh basil leaves, loosely packed

Flaked salt to taste Freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) buttermilk 2 free-range eggs 2 tablespoons grape-seed or canola oil Cream cheese or butter to serve

Serve the muffins warm with cream cheese or butter. They are best enjoyed on the day they are baked.

NOTE By shredding the basil leaves rather than finely chopping them, you will retain the delicious oils found in these aromatic leaves, thereby adding extra flavor to your muffins.

Breakfast and Brunch








COOKING TIME 45 minutes

COOKING TIME 35 minutes

Warm Grains Salad with Fresh Herbs and Goat’s Cheese 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) water ⁄2 cup (3 ⁄2 oz/100 g) oat groats



5 fl oz/150 ml water (extra) ⁄2 cup (3 ⁄2 oz/100 g) black quinoa 1


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ⁄3 cup ( ⁄2 oz/15 g) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 1


2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves Flaked salt to taste

Creamy Farro with Sweet Coconut and Lime

Place 1 cup of water into a medium saucepan, and bring it to the boil. Add the oats, reduce the heat to low, and cook with the lid slightly ajar. Simmer the oats for 35–40 minutes or until they are tender but still have a slightly chewy bite.

Place the water into a medium saucepan, cover, and bring it to the boil over high heat. Add the farro and star anise, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 25–30 minutes or until the farro is tender and slightly chewy.

When the oats have been cooking for 30 minutes, place 5 fl oz/ 150 ml of water and the quinoa into a second small saucepan, and cook, covered, over low heat for 10 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed.

Drain the cooked farro, and discard the star anise. Return the farro to the saucepan; add the coconut cream, lime rind, and sugar, and stir gently to combine. Reheat the farro over low heat for 2–3 minutes or until it is just heated through.

Drain the oats through a strainer. Heat half the extra virgin olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the oats, quinoa, parsley, oregano, and thyme, and gently stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle the remaining extra virgin olive oil over the mixture.

Serve the farro warm with fresh mango slices and mint leaves.

1 cup (5 1⁄2 oz/155 g) farro, rinsed 2 star anise 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) coconut cream 1 lime, rind finely grated 1 oz/30 g finely grated dark palm sugar or dark brown sugar 1 mango, cut into slices, to serve

NOTE Creamy Farro can be served with other fruit, such as ripe papaya, peaches, or nectarines.

Serve the Warm Grains Salad with sliced avocado, crumbled goat’s cheese, and toasted pine nuts. Include lemon wedges on the side of the plate to squeeze over the salad.

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 cups (24 fl oz/720 ml) water

Mint leaves, roughly chopped, to serve

1 avocado, sliced, to serve 31⁄2 oz/100 g marinated goat’s cheese to serve

TIP Both the oat groats and quinoa could be cooked ahead of time, even the day before. Keep the cooked grains refrigerated, then fry them as instructed above. Allow a little extra time to warm the grains through.

⁄4 cup (2 oz/60 g) toasted pine nuts to serve 1

4 lemon wedges to serve


Breakfast and Brunch

Breakfast and Brunch



Buckwheat Pancakes with Baked Pears Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a flat baking tray with kitchen baking paper. Cut the pears in half, scooping out the seeds and leaving the stalks and skin intact. Place the pears onto the tray cut side up, and drizzle with maple syrup. Bake the pears for 30–40 minutes or until they are tender. Turn the pears over half way through the cooking time. Meanwhile, to make the pancake batter, sift the buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, and baking powder into a medium bowl. Make a well in the center. Combine the rice milk, lightly beaten egg, and orange rind, and pour into the center of the flour. Whisk together the wet and dry ingredients until a smooth batter is formed. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a little butter, allowing it to bubble before starting to cook the pancakes. Use a ¼-cup measure to place batter in the pan, cooking two pancakes at a time. Cook on the first side for 2 minutes or until small bubbles begin to appear within the batter, then turn the pancakes over and cook them for a further 1 minute. Place the pancakes onto a baking tray, cover them loosely with foil, and place the tray into the oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining pancakes. To serve, place two warmed pancakes on each plate, and top with two baked pear halves, a portion of yogurt, and a sprinkling of roasted pecan nuts. Drizzle with maple syrup.

4 small pears ⁄4 cup (2 fl oz/60 ml) maple syrup


⁄2 cup (21⁄2 oz/70 g) buckwheat flour 1


⁄2 cup (2 oz/60 g) quinoa flour

1 1⁄2 teaspoons (1⁄5 oz/6 g) glutenfree baking powder ⁄4 cup (6 fl oz/180 ml) rice milk


1 free-range egg, lightly beaten ⁄2 teaspoon orange rind, finely grated 1

1 tablespoon butter for cooking Fat-reduced Greek-style plain yogurt to serve ⁄3 cup (1 1⁄2 oz/45 g) roasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped, to serve 1

Maple syrup to serve

NOTE To roast the pecan nuts, place them onto a second baking tray and bake them in the oven with the pears for 10–15 minutes or until they are lightly toasted, tossing them once during cooking.

Breakfast and Brunch


VT GF SERVES 1 x 10-in (25-cm) round bread PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes COOKING TIME 20–25 minutes

Olive and Rosemary Flatbread Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a large baking tray with kitchen baking paper. Sift the millet flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir through the almond meal, xanthan gum, salt, and chopped rosemary. Add the olive oil, lightly beaten eggs, honey, olives, and water, and stir until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture forms a soft dough. Shape the dough into a round. Place the dough round in the center of the prepared baking tray. Using your fingers, spread out the dough to form a 10-in (25-cm) diameter circle of even thickness. Using a sharp knife, slash the top of the dough diagonally, and then sprinkle the top with rosemary sprigs and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Bake the flatbread for 20–25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the base is crisp. Set it aside to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes, and then place it on a wire rack. This flatbread is best eaten slightly warm.

1 cup (5 1⁄2 oz/155 g) millet flour ⁄2 cup (21⁄2 oz/70 g) quinoa flour


⁄2 cup (2¾ oz/80 g) brown rice flour 1

1 teaspoon (1⁄10 oz/4 g) glutenfree baking powder 1

⁄2 cup (1 3⁄4 oz/50 g) almond meal

1 teaspoon xanthan gum 1 teaspoon sea salt 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped, plus sprigs to decorate 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to drizzle 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten 2 teaspoons honey ⁄3 cup (2 oz/60 g) pitted green olives, roughly chopped 1

NOTE The dough for this flatbread is softer than regular bread dough.


⁄2 cup (4 fl oz/120 ml) water

TIP Xanthan gum is often used in gluten-free baking as it does the same job as gluten, giving the dough stability and helping the ingredients to bind.

Breads and Baked Goods



Quinoa, Amaranth, Roasted Tomato, and Bell Pepper Soup Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a flat baking tray with kitchen baking paper.

8 oz/230 g whole ripe tomatoes

Cut the tomatoes in half, and place them onto the baking tray. Quarter and deseed the bell pepper (capsicum), and place the pieces onto the tray. Bake for 1 hour or until the bell pepper is soft, turning the vegetables once during cooking.

1 medium (about 8 oz/230 g) red bell pepper (capsicum)

When the vegetables are ready, remove them from the oven. Place the bell pepper pieces into a plastic bag to cool (this will allow them to sweat a little, which makes it easier to remove the skin), before taking off the skin. Place the tomato and bell pepper flesh into a blender jug and mix until smooth.

1 tablespoon olive oil

Finely chop the onion and celery. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add the onion, celery, and fennel seeds. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pureed tomato and bell pepper, as well as the vegetable stock. Cover and bring the soup to the boil over medium–high heat. Add the quinoa and amaranth, and cook the soup for 40–50 minutes or until the grains are tender. If the soup begins to thicken too much, add extra water 4 fl oz/120 ml at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup topped with parsley as well as a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

1 large brown onion 2 celery sticks

1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted 4 cups (32 fl oz/960 ml) saltreduced vegetable stock ⁄3 cup (2 oz/60 g) red quinoa


⁄3 cup (21⁄2 oz/70 g) amaranth grain 1

1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) water Flaked salt to taste Freshly ground black pepper to taste Flat-leaf parsley to serve Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle

TIP To toast the fennel seeds, preheat a small frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the seeds, and cook for 2–3 minutes or until they are fragrant and lightly browned.

Soups and Starters






COOKING TIME 2 hours 15 minutes

COOKING TIME 1 hour 20 minutes

Ham Hock, Green Pea, Farro, and Millet Soup Prepare and finely chop the onion, carrot, and celery. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add the vegetables. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

1 large brown onion 1 large carrot 2 celery sticks

Add the split peas, water, ham hock, and bay leaves. Cover and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the soup, covered, for about 11⁄2 hours or until the meat begins to fall off the bone (test by pulling the meat gently with tongs). Stir occasionally during cooking. Remove the ham bone and attached meat, and place them into a bowl. Cool for 30 minutes before pulling away and discarding the skin and fat. Remove the meat from the bone, and break it into smallish pieces.

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 cup (7 oz/200 g) split green peas, rinsed and drained 6 cups (48 fl oz/1.5 L) water 1 smoked ham hock (about 1 3⁄4 lb/800 g) 2 dried bay leaves ⁄2 cup (3 oz/85 g) semipearled farro, rinsed 1

⁄3 cup (3 oz/85 g) millet grain


Freshly ground black pepper to taste Flat-leaf parsley to serve

Meanwhile, add the farro and millet to the soup pot. Cover and cook over low heat for a further 45–60 minutes or until the farro is tender. If the soup begins to thicken too much, add extra water 4 fl oz/120 ml at a time. Remove and discard the bay leaves; return the cooked ham meat to the soup pot, and stir well to combine.

Spinach, Lentil, and Bulgur Soup Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic and ground cumin, and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the lentils and vegetable stock. Cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium–low, and simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 1 hour or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the bulgur, return the mixture to a simmer, and cook with the lid slightly ajar for a further 10 minutes. Cut the stems from the spinach, and soak the leaves in a large bowl (or sink) of cold water, swirling them occasionally to dislodge any grit. Rinse and drain the leaves, then chop them into small pieces. Add the spinach to the saucepan, and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the spinach has wilted. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve the soup in warmed bowls, topped with a spoonful of yogurt. Dust lightly with paprika, and sprinkle with mint. Include the lemon wedges beside the bowls.

1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 cup (7 oz/200 g) green lentils, rinsed and drained 8 cups (64 fl oz/2 L) salt-reduced vegetable stock 1 cup (6 1⁄2 oz/185 g) bulgur 1 large bunch English spinach 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 ⁄2 cup (5 oz/140 g) fat-reduced Greek-style plain yogurt to serve

Paprika to dust 3 tablespoons shredded mint to serve Lemon wedges to serve

Season with pepper to taste. Serve the soup topped with parsley.

VEGAN OPTION Omit the yogurt. NOTE You can replace the spinach with any dark leafy greens you prefer, such as cavolo nero or Swiss chard.

NOTE Semipearled farro is used because it cooks quicker than whole-grain farro, but has more fiber than pearled farro.


Soups and Starters

Soups and Starters


Main Courses Spelt, Olive, and Chickpea Casserole with Basil Pesto


Roasted Salmon, Wild Rice, and Watercress with Chia Dressing


Beef Burgers with Oats and Balsamic Onions


Parmesan Teff-crusted Pie with Asparagus, Leek, and Tomatoes


Chicken, Barley, Leek, and Apricot Stew


Slow-cooked Lamb with Wheat Berry and Pomegranate Salad


Brown Rice with Lentils, Dried Cranberries, and Roasted Carrots


Polenta-crumbed Chicken with Fennel, Radish, and Cabbage Salad


Warm Farro with Pine Nuts, Tomatoes, Mint, and Balsamic Vinegar


Baked Tomato and Fennel Couscous with Shrimp


Quinoa, Zucchini, Dill, and Ricotta Pie with Hot Smoked Salmon


Slow-cooked Beef with Rye, Horseradish, and Cauliflower Mash


Roast Chicken Stuffed with Brown Rice, Dates, and Herbs


Spring Pasta with Zucchini, Peas, Basil, and Ricotta


Spicy Pork and Quinoa Lettuce Wraps


Butternut Squash and Bean Stew with Spiced Millet


Stir-fried Buckwheat Noodles with Garlic, Tofu, Gai Lan, and Tamari


Stir-fried Chili Tofu with Ginger and Sesame Black Rice


Couscous with Black Beans, Chicken, Lime, and Avocado Salsa


Amaranth and Millet Fritters with Tahini Dressing


OPPOSITE Roasted Salmon, Wild Rice, and Watercress with Chia Dressing p. 125

SERVES 4 PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling time COOKING TIME 50–55 minutes

Beef Burgers with Oats and Balsamic Onions Heat a large, nonstick frying pan over medium heat, and spray it with olive oil. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, for 2–3 minutes. Add the carrot and zucchini (courgette), and cook, stirring, for a further 3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the tomato paste, and cook, stirring, for a further 1 minute. Place the mixture into a large bowl, and set it aside to cool. Once the vegetable mixture has cooled, add the mince, oats, and egg. Use clean hands to combine the ingredients, and then season the mixture with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Divide the mixture into four equal portions, roll them into balls, and then flatten them slightly. Place the burger patties on a tray, cover them with plastic wrap, and refrigerate them for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the balsamic onions. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick frying pan over medium–low heat. Cook the red onions, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until they are lightly golden and beginning to caramelize. Add the balsamic vinegar, and cook the onions for a further 2–3 minutes or until they caramelize. Set the onions aside to cool. Heat a large, nonstick frying pan over medium–high heat, and spray it with olive oil. Cook the burger patties for 4 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown and cooked through. Serve the burger patties on whole-grain buns with sliced tomato, baby romaine (cos) leaves, and the caramelized onions.

1 small onion, finely chopped 1 small carrot, grated 1 small zucchini (courgette), grated 1 tablespoon no-added-salt tomato paste 14 oz/400 g lean beef mince 1 ⁄2 cup (1 1⁄2 oz/45 g) quick-cook rolled oats

1 free-range egg Freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 large red onions, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Whole-grain buns, sliced tomato, and baby romaine (cos) leaves to serve

TIP Quick-cook rolled oats are great to use instead of bread crumbs in recipes such as meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf.

Main Courses


GI SERVES 4 PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes, plus soaking time COOKING TIME 2 hours

Slow-cooked Beef with Rye, Horseradish, and Cauliflower Mash Casserole ⁄2 cup (31⁄2 oz/100 g) rye grain


2 teaspoons olive oil 1 1⁄3 lb/600 g blade steak, trimmed and cut into small cubes 5 1⁄2 oz/155 g lean (short-cut, rindless) bacon, diced 1 large brown onion, finely chopped 2 sticks celery, diced 2 carrots, trimmed and diced 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Soak the rye grain in a bowl of cold water for 3–4 hours, or overnight if possible. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Heat the olive oil in a large, flameproof casserole dish (that has a lid) over high heat. Cook the beef, in batches, for 2–3 minutes each batch or until it has browned. Place the beef on a plate, and set it aside.

Meanwhile, to make the mash, cook the cauliflower and potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water over high heat for 10–12 minutes or until they are tender. Drain the vegetables well, return them to the saucepan, and mash them until they are smooth. Cover the saucepan with a lid to keep the mash warm.

Place the same casserole dish over medium heat. Add the bacon, onion, celery, and carrots, and cook, stirring, for 6–7 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for a further 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, and stir to combine. Return the beef to the casserole dish, and add the soaked rye, bay leaf, water or beef stock, and the extra 1¼ cups of water. Stir to combine the ingredients, and bring the mixture to the boil over high heat.

To steam the green beans, place enough water in a large saucepan so that it reaches 1 in (2.5 cm) up the sides, and bring the water to the boil over high heat. Fit a steamer basket over the boiling water, add the green beans, and cook them for 5–7 minutes or until they are just tender.

14 oz/400 g cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets 101⁄2 oz/300 g potatoes, peeled and diced To Serve 14 oz/400 g green beans, trimmed

Serve the beef on a bed of cauliflower mash, with steamed green beans to the side.

Cover the casserole dish with a lid, and place it in the preheated oven. Cook the beef for 1½ hours or until it is very tender. Once the beef has cooked, stir in the horseradish cream.

2 tablespoons no-added-salt tomato paste


NOTE The green beans may also be steamed in a microwave. Simply place the trimmed green beans into a microwave-safe dish, add 1 tablespoon of water, cover the dish with a plate, and microwave on high for 1–3 minutes.

1 fresh bay leaf 2 cups (16 fl oz/480 ml) water or salt-reduced beef stock

TIP Soaking the rye prior to cooking is not essential; however, it results in a slightly softer grain.

1¼ cups (10 fl oz/300 ml) water (extra) 1 1⁄2 tablespoons horseradish cream


Main Courses

Main Courses



Farro and Orange Salad Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over high heat. Rinse the farro in a sieve, and add it to the saucepan. Return the water to the boil, and cook the farro for 20 minutes or until the grains are tender. Drain the farro well, and set it aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, cut a slice from the top and bottom of an orange, and stand the orange on a chopping board. Use a small, sharp knife, cutting downward, to slice the skin and white pith from the orange. Hold the fruit in the palm of one hand, over a bowl to catch the drips, and cut the segments from between the membrane. Squeeze the remaining membrane in your hands to release more juice into the bowl. Repeat the process with the other orange. Place the warm farro into a large bowl. Pour half the orange juice over it, and use a large metal spoon or a rubber spatula to fold the orange juice through the farro. Allow the farro mixture to cool to room temperature. Cut the onion in half lengthwise, and then cut it into very fine slices. Trim the radishes, and slice them very finely.

1 cup (5½ oz/155 g) cracked farro 2 small oranges ½ red onion 5 small radishes 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Sea salt to taste Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Add the orange segments, onion, radishes, and parsley to the farro. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil, and then pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to combine the ingredients. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE Cracked farro has had the grains broken slightly, which speeds up the cooking process. TIP White balsamic vinegar gives the same sweetness as regular balsamic vinegar, without the dark color. You can replace the white balsamic vinegar with white wine vinegar that has had a good pinch of sugar added to it.

Side Dishes and Salads


GF SERVES 8 PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes COOKING TIME 30–35 minutes, plus at least 21⁄2 hours chilling

Vanilla Cheesecake with Millet Base Lightly grease an 8-in (20-cm) springform pan. Lay a large sheet of kitchen baking paper over the bottom of the pan, then sit the sides on and clip them into place so that the extra paper sticks out between the bottom and the sides of the pan. To make the base, combine the millet, sugar, and water in a saucepan. Cover and bring just to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30–35 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Cool slightly, then spread the base mixture over the bottom of the springform pan in an even layer, using the back of a spoon. Cool, and then chill for 30 minutes. For the filling, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ (icing) sugar, and vanilla extract until the ingredients are combined. Add the cream gradually, beating until just combined. Put 2 tablespoons of cold water into a small bowl, and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Leave the gelatin for 1 minute or until it has softened. Microwave the gelatin for 30 seconds, and then whisk it with a fork so that it dissolves. Stir a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture into the gelatin to equalize the temperatures, and then stir the gelatin into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the springform pan. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the cream cheese mixture has set. To serve, remove the sides of the springform pan. Slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate, and top with fresh fruit. Cut the cheesecake into wedges to serve.

Base ⁄2 cup (4 oz/115 g) millet


1 tablespoon sugar 1 1⁄3 cups (101⁄2 fl oz/315 ml) water Filling 9 oz/255 g block fat-reduced cream cheese, at room temperature, chopped ⁄3 cup (1 1⁄2 oz/45 g) confectioners’ (icing) sugar 1

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup (8 fl oz/240 ml) fat-reduced heavy (thickened) cream 2 tablespoons cold water 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin (gelatine) To Serve Seasonal fruit such as berries or stone fruit

TIP Vary the flavor of the cheesecake by replacing the vanilla extract with the finely grated rind of a lemon, orange, or lime.



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