Funky Grains Are in Da House

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Long time, no blog! What were you up to this past week? Here’s what I did:

I ate a lot of this:

Greek yogurt with banana and Aletheia‘s GREEEEEENola! With added coconut and goji berries as flair πŸ˜€

And some of this:

Savory oats topped with a sunny-side up egg, cheese, and fresh ground black pepper … mmm-MMM!

I did some of this:

And some of this:

I presented some of this:

And did lots of this:

Only I wasn’t driving a Smartcar. And I wasn’t smiling.

I did some of this:

Only my belly is not so adorably fuzzy.

Lastly, my classmates and I had our “Funky Grains” food lab, where we used unusual grains to make delicious dishes. What dishes, you ask? I shall tell you, my friends.Β  I will also give you links to the recipes so that you, too, can enjoy some funky grains.

First up: Chicken, Green Bean Corn, and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese

I’ve been so excited to try farro ever since I saw how much Nicole loved it, and I can see why she does! This dish was full of fabulous tastes and textures, and the farro was chewy and nutty. I want to make this dish again!

Buckwheat Pasta Primavera:

You know, I usually like really strong flavors, but the buckwheat soba noodles were a little much for me. I think of noodles as a vehicle for sauce, so I don’t like them to have a lot of taste. Even so, if you like earthy noodles, try these! The sauce on this dish was wonderful. I’d love to try it over some regular whole grain pasta.

Black Rice with Scallions and Sweet Potatoes:

Remember when I tried Forbidden Rice? I love that nutty flavor, so I was excited to try this recipe – but, the dish itself is a little bland. I would add some soy sauce and/or cayenne.

Barley and Shiitake “Risotto” (I couldn’t find the recipe online – sorry! I’ll keep looking.)

This dish was my favorite! I can say that it contains cream and Parmesan, and boy, was it creamy! I think I’ll try making a lighter version of this dish, although I’m not sure if I can replicate the creaminess.

Molasses Muffins with Flax and Dates:

I thought these muffins were perfect – the dates added just the right amount of sweetness. I prefer my desserts a little less sweet than other people, so some of the girls added honey to theirs, which they seemed to like better πŸ™‚

Fruit-and-Almond Gratin:

The almond flour used in this recipe isn’t a grain, but one of the main ideas of this food lab was to explore alternatives to grains with gluten (other than the barley, of course, which contains gluten). Have you ever roasted fruit? You should! Roasting brings out the natural sweet flavor of the fruit. I loved this dish.

Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant-Tomato RagΓΉ and Smoked Mozzarella:

As a lover of all things quinoa, I knew I would like this dish. This recipe contains just about all you would ever need, especially since quinoa is a complete protein (vegetarians and vegans, take note!). Besides, it’s so darn delicious.

Amaranth Souffle:

Fluffy and eggy, this dish is pretty bland on its own, but I’ll bet it would be good with a little honey or maple syrup drizzled on top as a nice contrast to the cheese. Amaranth looks like a small version of quinoa, and when cooked it resembles a pudding:

Mixed with peanut butter and chocolate chips, you have the most amazing whole grain pudding ever made.

I ate more than my fair share of that deliciousness.

Kristen and I were assigned to make White Bean and Vegetable Cassoulet with Millet Crust:

Have you ever tried millet? This tiny grain reminded me of Grape Nuts after we baked it. I’d never tried it before, but I’m going to look for it in the stores now. This recipe is a great way to get a lot of veggies in one meal!

And that’s it!

Early on this week, I knew I wasn’t going to be blogging much during this past week. With last-minute projects and papers this week and finals coming up next week, I’ve been running around like a Maddies during one of her midnight crazies. In the interest of getting as much sleep as possible (a priority right now, which it hasn’t always been), I’m not going to be blogging much over the next week. School and work and sleep and Peter come first, of course! πŸ™‚

Q: How do you keep balance in your life during crazy busy times?

Also, have you ever tried any of these crazy grains? What did you think?


  1. All those dishes looks so interesting and yummy. I’ve never had any of the grains, I know I need to branch out.

    Crazy times are constant as a Military family with 2 little Midgets so I just roll with whatever the day brings. I try to have a schedule, structure, etc but sometimes it’s just not going to happen.

    Like you my family and house hold (job) come first so blogging doesn’t happen sometimes and I am ok with that.

  2. thank you for your comment, and yea if uve got clients/patients that might like product ideas feel free to show them- i think thats awesome! <3 thanks again. xoxo!!! πŸ˜€

  3. Hi Jessie,
    Your “flair” choice is awesome – and my personal preference exactly. πŸ™‚

    Thank you SO much for taking the time to showcase all these neat ways to incorporate healthy – and funky – grains into our diet. I personally suffer from a total lack of awareness of how to eat most grains (I just see them and buy them but they’re all just sitting in my pantry), but seeing all of this culinary grain-y diversity makes me think – “Hmm! I’m just going to have to give grains a shot!” Thanks for the much needed inspiration, as always. And thank you for demonstrating your human-ness by letting us all know that you’ll be taking a blogger-break for a while in order to take care of important human needs. Like sleep. See? That’s why I love you. You’re amazing.

    πŸ™‚ aletheia

  4. Hello my sweet friend!! First I must say your comment on my blog cheered me up like you would not believe. Thank you for always being so nice to me. You are pretty much awesome!! πŸ™‚

    All of your grains look sooooooo good!! I’m especially intrigued by the White Bean and Vegetable Cassoulet with Millet Crust that you made. I’ve never had millet (that I can recall), but I would love to try it out sometime soon! The fruit and almond gratin looks pretty wonderful too! I love fruit that’s been roasted… so amazing!! I’m curious if it changes the nutritional value?

    Anyway, hang in there with the end of your classes. Lots of luck and love to you!!!!!! πŸ™‚ Happy Weekend!!

  5. Wow, what a lovely presentation of great dishes! I want to eat that barley risotto right now! I’ve had millet lots of times before, it’s delicious. When I was in Italy I saw farro in pretty much every single restaurant, it was a local specialty in the area where I was I suppose πŸ™‚ I’ve never tried buckwheat noodles but I regularly eat buckwheat groats (that haven’t been refined so they don’t turn into slimy porridge). I buy the groats in a cute little Russian food store which adds to the fun πŸ™‚

    Good luck on all of your projects and papers and exams!!! I hope you get a chance to enjoy the weekend as well!

  6. I really love millet but mine always seems a little chewier than it should be. Maybe I’m not cooking it long enough? Anyway, I like it quite a bit and yours looks delicious. So do all your other amazing meals.

    I hope you get caught up on all your work this weekend and have a weekend to enjoy too! Happy Friday!

  7. that picture of you in the smart car is cute πŸ™‚ and your dog always has such a relaxed pose lol.
    Wow! look at you go with all those different grains. thank you for sharing all those meals with us. i have to admit, i’m not much of a think outside the box type of person so i’d have to say i usually stick to my white rice. i know, how boring can i get? but on the a brighter note, i got to try that five spice tofu recipe that you blogged about a couple posts ago. LUV LUV LUVED it my friend! thank you so much for sharing that recipe. gosh i need to step outside the box more ;-)i’m going to post about that with your award soon. sounds like you’re going to be pretty busy soon, if not already so take good care, get lots of rest, and best of luck with your studies πŸ˜€

    1. I’m so glad you liked the tofu! Have a wonderful weekend, LeQuan πŸ™‚

  8. How do I find balance? I am definitely still working on that one. I tend to get very overwhelmed. Somehow I always make it out alive, but I’m not quite sure how.
    I loved your recap!
    I have tried a few of the “crazy grains”. I have tried quinoa and millet- love them both!
    I’m intrigued by farro- thats one I’ve never come across (or haven’t really looked for..but will do so now)
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend Jessie! And take all the time you need off from blogging…sometimes life gets pretty demanding and you need to prioritize.

  9. I’ve actually tried ALL of those grains you mentioned…a pat on the back for me! Never was a fan of millet, though….just not that much of a texture…I prefer grains that are plump, and a bit bigger sized, like barley. πŸ™‚

  10. wow, I don’t think I could pick a favorite – everything you had looks delicious!

  11. Wow, what amazing eats! I’ve never tried farro, but I’ve been meaning to. Glad you enjoyed it! And I agree about the “earthy” flavor of soba noodles. I think they’re great in the right dish, but they can’t just be substituted for other pastas.

  12. Wonderful dishes. Seems like you have been quite busy. Your dog is very cute. Cheers!

  13. I have no balance…so I need the suggestions here…great post girl!! I need to try these savory oats…and I am SO all over those muffins πŸ™‚

  14. I find balance by doing what I need to in order to not go crazy. If that means not answering phones, going golfing when I shouldn’t,etc. then so be it!

    Those funky dishes look good!

  15. Those look like some new and tasty dishes, variety keeps food fun for sure!
    I keep a balance by reminding myself that if I don’t get my rest and TLC, then I’ll have a hard time getting my studying and other work done.

  16. All of those dishes look amazing! Yay for hematology – one of my favourite subjects. I definitely prioritize sleep, work, Allen over blogging when thing get busy!

  17. I can not seem to get into millet but I love millet bread.

    Right now, I am having a really hard time with balance, as you already know from my post yesterday. The part that freaks me out about it is that my school starts tomorrow and I don’t know how I am going to add in one more thing. But, I am just going to have to make taking care of myself a priority instead of letting it slip when things get so busy.

    1. Good for you, Christie! I’m so proud of you for what you have accomplished so far, and for having the courage to embark on a whole new stage of your life! πŸ™‚

  18. I keep seeing goat cheese in the blog world this weekend, yay! πŸ˜€

    All of the foods look so good, I’m curious about the pasta primavera.

  19. You have been a busy lady! Your eats look incredible though! I’ve been wanting to try amaranth…I’d love to make that souffle!

  20. Whoa, you weren’t kidding…funky grains indeed!! I love coming to your blog because it seems like you’re always eating new, interesting things πŸ™‚

    I’ve never thought of roasting fruit, but it sounds like a wonderful idea. Roasting is my favorite way to cook vegetables because of how well it brings out the flavors, so it only makes sense that it would do the same for fruit! YUM!

  21. looks like you had a great week with lots of good eats! i have been eating barley lately-nothing too exciting but different for me πŸ™‚

  22. Ok, there was way too many grains I haven’t tried..faro, buckwheat, millet. I need to get on this..STAT. haha.
    Looks like you got to sample lots of tasty eats.

  23. Wow – you have been busy!

    I don’t think I’ve tried any of those “crazy” grains – I think I should though :-).

  24. Wow! So many dishes, and so many types of grain! I’ve only tried buckwheat and black rice – really intrigued by the black rice with sweet potatoes and scallions πŸ™‚ Now I want to go out and buy some millet LOL I think they’re very pretty grains and have always wondered what they taste like…

  25. I’ve always wanted to try millet, however I am fairly sure it has wheat in it…right? That’s what I always thought.
    I also really want to try savory oats! I have been saying that for such a long time now, but have never tried it. I think I crave sweet stuff in the morning so it’s hard to part from my blueberries and yogurt with oats, but one day I will try the savory!!

    You look great in that smart car πŸ™‚ It’s so…..small!! I can’t get over it.
    Also, love your computer. It’s the same as mine!!

    1. I don’t think millet has wheat in it – I think the only ones with gluten are wheat, rye, barley, and “contaminated” oats. It’s always good to make sure that your millet or other grains hasn’t been processed in a facility with gluten if you’re intolerant to gluten! πŸ™‚

  26. I tried quinoa, millet, buckwheat… I actually eat them pretty often!
    During crazy times..well, for me, that usually means lots of studying, panicking, anxiety attacks and good food πŸ˜€

  27. Laughing my tush off at: “Only I wasn’t driving a Smartcar. And I wasn’t smiling.” πŸ™‚

    That farro dish sounds amazing! Corn and goat cheese…and farro! MMMM!! Definitely trying!

    And anemia…you will use that information πŸ™‚ If that helps make it any more fun to learn about πŸ˜‰

    During stressful weeks…months…whatever, I always have to set aside a few minutes for a walk or just relaxation through meditation. I only meditate when I’m stressed, and it works!

  28. I really want a smart car! I’m totally the picture leaning over the computer staring. I can’t figure out this school stuff to save my life.

    You eat such great grains! I have been living on popcorn and cereal as my only carbs lately (it sounds so unhealthy; I promise I’m trying to be good). I’m going to look into some of those rice/millet options. Where is the best place to start?


    1. I think we both need a break from school πŸ˜› Great question about the grains! Did you know that popcorn is a whole grain? (Yes, popcorn!) It’s really good for a whole grain snack (as long as it’s not dripping in butter πŸ˜‰ ). There nothing wrong with popcorn and whole grain cereal as your main sources of carbs – I eat oatmeal or Barbara’s Squares every day! I do like looking into other grains for fun, to switch things up a bit. Have you tried having oatmeal for breakfast? I’ve also eaten quinoa flakes for breakfast (they cook like oatmeal). It’s a nice change!

      If you want to try something really new, try the farro recipe. Farro is really mild, so it’s easy to try as a first new grain. It’s texture is like rice, so it’s not too bizarre, either πŸ™‚ Let me know how it goes!

  29. We did a lot of these grains on grain night at my culinary school. I loved that class! Who knew there were so many different ways to enjoy grains!? Loving that pb chocolate chip pudding…sounds fabulous!!

  30. I try to keep balance in my life but also have a tendency to get overwhelmed. I’m learning as I get older to de-stress and put things aside long enough to enjoy my life and not feel over-worked or flustered

    Roasting fruit rocks. I had broiled grapefruit at breakfast the other morning and we often put peaches and pineapple on the grill. A houehold fave!

  31. Wow. Those dishes look amazing! I’m so envious.

    I’ve heard such good things about farro and have yet to try it. I’m with you on the buckwheat noodles – the only time I find them palatable is if I use a really spicy sauce (not a prob in our house) on them.

    I’m a huge fan of barley…I think I could just eat a bowl of it plain. I have quinoa for brekkie too sometimes – I mix it into my slow cook oats – love that it gives the oats a protein kick.

    Hope you have a good week!

  32. Oh man there are so many grains in this post I have never tried!!! I really want to try Farro and Millet now!!! What a great class, thanks for sharing all of these rocking recipes can’t wait to try them once I am home πŸ™‚

  33. I love farro! I just made some actually…it’s so nutty πŸ˜€

    I don’t think I’ve ever tried millet! I’ll have to add that to the list

  34. Looks like a great bunch recipes! I need to expand my grain horizons!

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