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Cookbook Review: Whole Grains for Busy People

Posted Apr 01 2009 2:33pm
After posting about the advantages of removing white flour from your diet, I realized that many people are a little confused (and scared) about how to incorporate whole grains into their daily lives.

Switching to whole grains doesn’t just mean switching to wheat flour when baking or from white to wheat bread. And it certainly doesn’t mean eliminating carbs from your diet. (Are you kidding? I would DIE.) There are so many delicious whole grains available – from those we’re all familiar with, like oatmeal, barley, brown rice and popcorn, to those we may have never heard of, like millet, farro and kamut - that it can sometimes seem intimidating to the beginner.

And that is where Whole Grains for Busy People, by Lorna Sass, can prove invaluable.

This is an awesome “light reading” resource for anyone who wants to learn more about whole grains – what they are, where to find them and how to cook them - without being overwhelmed.

The book provides information on quick cooking whole grains, whole grain flours, pastas and flat breads, including charts to show a description of each product, preferred name brands and where to buy them.

The 125 recipes themselves can all be made in 30 minutes or less, with a short list of readily-available ingredients. None of them are very complicated and I’m sure even a less-experienced cook can successfully make them. Each recipe also includes additional variations, as well as substitutions if you don’t have the original grain on hand.

One of the things I like is that many of the recipes are made in one dish – I especially like the “skillet suppers” – made in one pan on top of the stove - with recipes like Soft Chicken Tacos with Smoked Paprika Sour Cream, Any Grain with Sausage and Peppers, and Quinoa and Mushroom Skillet Pie. And Ham and Egg Couscous Cake? Funny sounding, but delicious!

With recipes for soups and stews, pasta dishes, whole grain salads and side dishes, breakfasts and desserts, there shouldn’t be any reason to think you can’t eliminate a lot of that white flour.

The only problem you might have with this book is the lack of nutrition information. BUT, if you’re just interested in eating healthier – and you’re not specifically dieting – that’s not really a big problem. There are no ingredients in any of the recipes that could be considered unhealthy.

If you want a book with even more information on whole grains (and want to make sure you get free shipping on Amazon!), check out her first whole grains book, winner of the 2007 James Beard Award, “Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way” which I really love. In fact, I would call it my Whole Grains Bible. TONS of information and even more great recipes.

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