First - Steel Cut Oats:
As I'm sure I've mentioned before, steel cut oats are my favorite type of oats to eat. They are very minimally processed, which means I'm getting the full effect of the nutrients they contain.
Since steel cut oats take awhile to cook (about 25-30 minutes) I like to cook four servings at once (1 cup of oats to 4 cups of water). Then I portion the servings out during the week when I want to have oats for breakfast. And I never eat them plain! Oh no! I add all kinds of goodies to my oats to make them really fun to eat! Such as nut butters of all kinds, dried or fresh fruit, special "milk", seeds (chia, sunflower, pepitas, flax), and even cinnamon, coconut shreds, or cacao nibs. Whenever I make oatmeal for breakfast I make sure it is nutritious and calorie dense to keep me full for several hours since I do a lot of moving in the mornings.
While the oats were cooking, I put my little rice cooker to work and started a small batch of short grain brown rice (this is the grain that is in the photo at the beginning of this post). My rice cooker will also steam veggies while the rice is cooking, so after debating whether I wanted asparagus or broccoli tonight, I opted to toss some fresh asparagus into the steamer:
Then the quinoa was set to soak for about 30 minutes. It is important to rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove the bitter outer coating. I do this by soaking it and then giving it a quick rinse.
Quinoa can be cooked on the stove top or in a rice cooker. I found this great website recently and this link will take you directly to some really tasty quinoa recipes (in case you were wondering what on earth you do with quinoa - I know you're thinking this!) and tips on cooking it. I don't have any finished photos of the quinoa, but there are several servings tucked away in my fridge/freezer that can be used for breakfast (substitute it for oats!) or stir fry (in place of rice) or as a side dish (imagine a pilaf-like creation with some almonds and dried cranberries mixed in!).
I only recently "discovered" quinoa and can't believe I have lived so long before without this grain in my diet! One of my favorites now!
This grain - called Hard Red Wheat-berries - has a high protein count (like quinoa). It takes longer to cook than the other grains I've mentioned (about 45 simmering minutes on the stove top), but is well worth the effort. I like to toss a tablespoon of cooked wheat-berries on a green leafy salad or mix them in my morning oats. I'm searching the internet and my cookbooks for more recipes to incorporate these little gems into healthy meals. If you have a favorite, please send it my way!
Tonight's meal started with heating some grapeseed oil (a stable cooking oil that is good for high heat - does not smoke) and stir-frying onion and orange bell pepper together, adding the steamed asparagus and brown rice, mixing in some seasonings for a little kick and enjoying to the fullest!
Simple, quick, and very nutritious!
I ended my meal with a cup of fresh pineapple. I try to eat at least 3 whole (raw) fruits each day.
Today I had a white peach about mid-morning, a cup of fresh blackberries after lunch, and the pineapple tonight. All organic and loaded with vitamins.
Are you trying any whole grains? If so, I'd like to hear your comments about them and please share any good recipes you have - I'm always looking for different ways to cook grains and make them a part of my daily meals.