Whole Grain Goodness

Mixed Whole Grains

Mixed Whole Grains For years and years it's been brown rice in my house. Brown rice, brown rice, brown rice. Organic, short grain to be specific. This old post is how I make the perfect brown rice every time.

It's nutty and filling and goes with almost everything. It's high in minerals and fiber and is everything whole grains are good for.

But, there comes a time in every mama's life when she has to reevaluate those things she cooks too much.

With all the change in our lives, a new home, new season, new, new, new, it was time for some new recipes.

Sometimes I lose hours on the internet looking for recipe ideas, design idea, kid stuff... It's a black hole! That said, often I come out with a new outlook, perspective, project list;)

I found this recipe on 101cookbooks.com. I love her site. Clean recipes, gorgeous images, bright ideas.

But you know I never go by a recipe. It's just not in my blood. So I've been making my own varietals of these mixed grains. Most recently this one has been my favorite:

1 cup short grain brown rice

1 cup quinoa

1/2 cup millet

-Rinse all of these and put them in a pot.

-Add a couple pinches of sea salt and (purified) water to about 1/2" above the top of the grains.

-Bring it to a boil.

-Then down to a simmer.

-Cover and cook for 45 min.

-Turn the flame off, but don't remove the top for at least 5 min.

-Fluff. Serve.

I've been topping it with fresh tomatoes, avocado, marinated tofu, chick peas, gomasio... Fresh summer dinner!

Summer Dinner

Cinnamon Spiced Zucchini

Love Life and Lollipops- Cinnamon Spiced Zucchini

With all the fresh summer squash in the markets these days, I've been cooking up so much of it as a side to our dinners in place of (or along with) our usual garlic greens.  They are so fresh and sweet and light and amazingly delicious!  I'm working up a vegan zucchini bread recipe, but in the meantime, I've been making this recipe as a side dish (though it takes up more than half my dish most of the time).  It's supereasy and relatively quick and a real stand out dish.

Here's how I do it:

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 summer squashes cut into coins (or as many as you like really)
  • 2 tablespoons of saute oil (mine is a combination of olive, coconut, and sesame: the perfect combination)
  • a generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a sprinkle of cumin
  • a sprinkle of paprika
  • a sprinkle of clove
  • a pinch or so of Himalayan sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Mix all of the above in a bowl until well coated (though honestly I skip the bowl which is just another thing to clean and mix directly on a baking sheet).
  3. Spread on a baking sheet so that the squash is in a single layer.
  4. Bake the squash for 30-45 minutes until cooked to your liking (I like them pretty well cooked so that some of the edges are starting to brown).
  5. Serve hot!

Coconut Cinnamon Raisin Yellow Rice

Love Life and Lollipops- Coconut Cinnamon Raisin Yellow Rice

A week or so ago, Richie invited a friend for dinner and in the craziness of my day, I figured rice and beans would be the easiest thing to prepare (thanks to my trusty VitaClays!).  Since I make some version of rice and beans oh so often, I wanted to jazz the dinner up a bit and heighten the flavors.

I decided to make these Jamaican peas since they're Richie's fave, but I wanted to try out a new rice.  I cooked up this amazing combination of brown rice and turmeric and raisins and cinnamon and coconut milk and dried coconut flakes.  It was superflavorful, a hit with the kids, and the perfect combination with the rich Jamaican peas.

Here's how I did it:

  • 1 cup of short grain brown rice soaked for 4-6 hours and rinsed
  • 1 can of organic coconut milk
  • 1 can of water
  • 1/2 cup of raisins (you can eyeball this and decide what the right amount is for you)
  • 1/2 cup dried coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  1. Put all the ingredients in the Vitaclay and put it on the brown rice setting.
  2. Otherwise, put all the ingredients into a pot, boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, cook for 50 minutes.

*Updated* Vegan Pumpkin Cornbread

Love Life and Lollipops- Vegan Pumpkin Cornbread

A while back I posted a vegan, pumpkin cornbread here.  It was gluten-free and really yum, but honestly, not fantastic.  The flavor was good, but it was a bit crumblier that I would have liked.  I wanted a more moist version that would pair well with my soups or chili or even some Jamaican style rice and peas, so last week I set out to make some.  I lucked out and hit the nail on the head on the first shot!

It was flavorful and moist and totally delicious!

Here's how I did it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1½ cups coconut milk mixed with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 1 can organic pumpkin
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1½ cups cornmeal
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a 9x9 or a muffin tin (I use a mini loaf pan cause I think it’s supercute) with parchment paper then coat with coconut oil.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer combine the maple syrup, coconut milk mixture, flax, germ, pumpkin, and coconut oil.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking soda and powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix until combined.
  6. Pour into pans and bake for 25 minutes.
  7. Serve warm with a bit of coconut butter spread or Earth Balance!

It was actually so good we all ate waaaay too much of it.  I had to give some away to friends down the street just to get it out of my house;)  Avi loved it too and ate a ton!  Check her out grubbing:

Turmeric, Yellow Rice, The Ultimate Anti-inflammatory

Love Life and Lollipops- Yellow Garlic Rice

More and more, the information functional medicine is putting out there is becoming increasingly public.  One big issue talked about in regard to most Western disease is how low lying inflammation is undoubtedly related.  Basically the SAD (standard American diet) is a wasteland of inflammatory foods.  And that inflammation can linger on our insides and we can be entirely unaware of it while it wreaks havoc on our systems.

By eating foods that balance our pH and are anti-inflammatory, we can counteract this deadly inflammation on a daily basis.  One of these strong anti-inflammatory foods is a spice called turmeric.  It is often used in Indian cooking (which I love and eat often, though many of us don't).  Unfortunately, since it's foreign to so many of us, we can't figure out how to incorporate it into our daily diet.  That said, it doesn't have a superstrong taste and gives food great color!

I often add it to my rice.  A perfect compliment to spanish beans is a yellow, garlic rice.  Just add a tablespoon of turmeric, a couple pinches of sea salt, and 5-7 cloves of garlic to the cooking water and cook as usual (click here for the perfect recipe), and voila!