A Simple Pot of Grain

Here's how to enjoy food that's freshly prepared—and therefore more healthful and satisfying—every day. It's so easy—simply cook a pot of grain, for example, and use it as the base of your next two meals. The night before you'll set out your grain of choice, quinoa for example, to soak. In the morning while you're fixing a cup of tea bring the quinoa to boil, and by the time you're out of the shower and dressed breakfast is waiting for you.

For breakfast, make one serving into a hot cereal and add your favorite accompaniments such as milk and cinnamon or maple syrupand butter. For a cold-weather lunch pack the second serving of quinoa into a thermal container and bring along a hot thermos ofsoup. For a warm-weather lunch, make a Main Course Salad, or, if you have other plans for lunch, leave the last portion of quinoa out on the counter loosely covered witha cotton cloth or a bamboo mat. Then, when you walk into the doorafter work it takes but a few minutes to cook it up into a stirfry with some fresh vegetables and tofu or chicken breast. (You can also use quinoa in a casserole or incorporate it into patties and grill, fry or broil them.) There you have it—two quick and satisfying meals a day.

In addition to quinoa, try millet, rice, polenta, wild rice, buckwheat, barley or amaranth. For variations in preparation method and cookingtimes see my books The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia and The Splendid Grain (two books in our collection here at Satya Center. See Rebecca's website address below to purchase these wonderful resources.) When you supplement your grains with a wide variety of seasonal produce and quality protein foods you'llcome up with endless meal combinations.

Please don't cook a huge pot of quinoa or any other grain to last you all week. Refrigerating cooked grains imparts a waxy texture and washes out their subtle flavors. How many times have you tossed, rather than used, week-old refrigerated grains? Freshly prepared foods satiate and energize; stale and leftover foods make us feel stale and leftover.

May you be well nourished,

Rebecca Wood

(Reprinted with the kind permission of Rebecca Wood, from her wonderful website)

Rebecca Wood, who learned gardening and foraging techniques from her grandparents and studied with leading experts in macrobiotics and traditional Oriental medicine, has taught and written about a sustainable diet since 1970.

Her book, The Splendid Grain, won both a James Beard Award and a Julia Child/IACP Award. Her most recent book, The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, was a One Spirit Book Club (Quality Paperback Book division) main selection. Rebecca has been an educational consultant to numerous organizations in the natural foods industry and currently offers cooking classes for Eden Foods throughout the Western region. She co-founded and directed the East-West Center in Boulder, Colorado, and has established several cooking schools. She currently teaches cooking classes from her home kitchen in Ashland, Oregon.

Rebecca offers a variety of services. To schedule an appointment, check out Rebecca's wonderful website for more information, articles, recipes and books. Each month new recipes and articles are posted.