Monday, 18 May 2009

Cookbook Review - Whole Grains for Busy People

James Beard award-winning cookbook author Lorna Sass has come out with a follow-up book to her tremendously popular Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way. Titled Whole Grains for Busy People, the book is just that. We all know by now that the smart thing to do is to add whole grains and healthy foods to our diet, what we don't always have is the time to do this successfully. In this new book, Lorna has provided 125 recipes that are, for the most part, one pot meals and ready within half an hour.

Quinoa Paella with Chicken and Chorizo

Lorna incorporates quicker cooking grains, like quinoa, millet, buckwheat, bulgur and whole wheat couscous, as well as introducing us to some pre-prepared grains like quick cooking barley, wild rice and brown rice.
She shows how to identify whole grains as ingredients while shopping, how to substitute whole grains in quick breads,and explains the nutritional benefits of the grains.
I found the information that she provided very helpful.

Aztec Couscous Salad

I love the concept of this book. I am so happy to have a cookbook that I can turn to when I didn't plan ahead, and still get a healthy meal. The recipes are tasty and economical too. Exactly what we need right now.

One caveat that I have is that I find Lorna seasons lightly in her savoury dishes. The seasonings are well chosen, I just like more. This is easily remedied though, just modify to your own tastes. Oh, and the use of granulated garlic. In my life there is always time for fresh garlic.

These points are minor though, the book is an asset to anyone making the effort to eat better and enjoy doing it.

The book is in trade paperback, which means it is not too expensive, and there is a section of glossy photos in the middle.

Spelt Buttermilk Waffles

Some of my favourite parts of Whole Grains for Busy People were the quick mixes in the Breakfasts and Quick Breads chapter. There are recipes for basic dry mixes that you can prepare at the beginning of the week, for pancakes, scones, waffles, biscuits, etc. All you need to do when you want to bake them up is measure out the amount needed of the mix that you made, add the wet ingredients and flavourings and voila! Never buy a mix from a store again. Plus you know exactly what went into your mix because... you made it! Genius.

Cran-Apple Scones

All in all I find this to be an excellent book, and recommend it highly. Of the recipes that we tested, my favourite was the Quinoa Paella with Chicken and Chorizo (my daughter went back for thirds!) and hubby's favourite was the Spelt Buttermilk Waffles.

Other recipes that I have bookmarked - Quinoa Banana Pudding with Dried Mango, Bulgur Salad with Tuna, Olives and Feta, Goat Cheese and Corn Enchiladas, Coconut Chicken Curry with Thai Black Rice, Moroccan Spiced Beef Burgers with Harissa Couscous.. the list goes on. This is going to be a tasty summer!