Food Is Not Your Enemy

Forbidden Rice With Onions and Garlic
January 28, 2013, 12:58 pm
Filed under: Grains, Recipes | Tags: , , , , ,

Have you ever tried black rice, a.k.a. “forbidden” rice? It’s a delicious and healthy whole grain that I’ve recently started making as a side dish. I’ve prepared it a couple of different ways at this point; here’s my favorite method:

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup forbidden black rice, rinsed

1 3/4 cup water

1/2 strip kombu seaweed


Warm the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for one minute more. Add the dry rice and saute for a few minutes, until you hear sizzling. Pour the water into the pan along with the kombu and cover. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for five minutes. Remove the kombu and discard it. Fluff the rice with a fork, salt to taste, and serve.

Spaghetti Con Ceci
September 16, 2009, 9:46 am
Filed under: Beans, Grains, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , ,

New York magazine published this recipe before the last New York City marathon, pushing this dish as a great way to carbo-load. It’s also a great weekday-night meal, quick to prepare and utterly delicious. I use Bionaturae brand whole-wheat spaghetti, bacon instead of pancetta sometimes, regular organic diced tomatoes from a can, and organic chickpeas (no need to track down any special kind).

Bread: Safe or Scary?
May 14, 2009, 9:02 am
Filed under: Food/Health Blogs, Grains | Tags: , ,

With the re-emergence of low-carb and no-carb diets in the past decade, bread has become the Voldemort of the food world. We’ve heard that the Food That Shall Not Be Named makes you fat. It’s nutritionally bankrupt. It gives you type 2 diabetes. But is any of this true? Check out my latest “Safe or Scary?” column over at AOL’s ParentDish to find out whether bread is really the villain it’s been made out to be.

April 30, 2009, 9:36 am
Filed under: Grains, Recipes | Tags: , , ,

Have you ever tried millet? It’s a whole grain that’s widely eaten in much of Asia and parts of Africa, and it’s a great source of B vitamins and protein. Here’s the recipe for a millet dish I cook regularly at home–my kids love it, saying it “tastes like macaroni and cheese.” I serve it as a main dish, with a green salad on the side, but this could certainly be a side dish as well.


Millet and Chickpea Pilaf with Saffron and Tomatoes


2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup millet, rinsed

1/2 onion, finely diced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Pinch saffron threads

1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed

1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Salt and freshly milled pepper

2 1/2 cups boiling water or a mixture of water and tomato juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Gruyere (optional)


Serves 4 to 6.


Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet, add the millet, and cook over medium heat until the grains begin to color, 4 to 5 minutes. Scrape the millet into a bowl, return the pan to the heat, and add the remaining tablespoon oil along with the onion, basil, and saffron. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to color, 5 to 7 minutes.


Reduce the heat to low and add the millet, chickpeas, tomatoes, and paprika. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and add the boiling water. Cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the millet is done, about 35 minutes. If it’s still a little raw, add 1/4 cup water and continue cooking. Gently break up the grains with a fork. Taste for salt, season with pepper, then stir in the parsley and cheese.  


Recipe from “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” by Deborah Madison (one of my favorites).