Cuisine Fiend

Grain based dishes

Sat, 31 August, 2019

The best thing about grain-based dishes is that you can use basically the same recipe swapping out ingredients and slightly varying techniques, and get a different result every time. Grains plus tomatoes, leaves and greens – salad. Or with peppers and onions. Next step, cook those peppers and onions. Or add the grains into the pan to cook together into a pilaf or risotto. Add cooked meat. Cook the meat with the lot. Bake the whole thing in the oven. Throw some cheese at it. And then do it all again with pasta – which is after all made from grain.

Those who are currently keto or paleo can still find a grain that will be acceptable for them: bulgur or oats. And anyway you can have all your carbs allocation for lunch and eat cream cheese for the rest of the day. (Just joking.)

Time for some recipes then, though remember I said it is one recipe template and you can improvise upon the theme. Couscous salad with chicken is a classic but it can be twisted by using giant, or Israeli couscous and adding roast peppers. A rice and smoked fish salad bowl with oriental flavours might sound tempting, but you can use those ingredients to make a smoked fish rice pilaf.

A veggie option will be three mushrooms baked rice; a meaty one – chicken rice pilaf. If we’re into other grains, there’s bulgur wheat pilaf with red peppers; or savoury porridge, an all-day breakfast dish.

I couldn’t skip breakfast at this point as grains and cereals are such good brekkie materials. Granola, fruity couscous or overnight oats, and then we have flapjacks and oatmeal cookies that will work as a mid-morning snack or dessert. Grains reign supreme!