Figuring out which grains are safe for a gluten-free diet can be confusing, but once you get the hang of it, a whole new world of rich, nutty flavors opens up. There are certainly those who cannot tolerate any grains, for a number of reasons, and I am always happy to accommodate those diets, but for the rest of us, here’s the low down on ancient grains. I always make gluten-free meals because there is so much going on in our food system, we don’t even know what we don’t know about the effects of gluten or refined grains. When I choose a grain-based product, I make sure that it is a whole grain, rather than enriched; this ensures that the grain is being ingested as nature intended, and not as a synthesized approximation of nature.When one does not overindulge on the grains, they can be a valuable source of fiber, and the specific type of fiber can reduce the risk of breast cancer, like by HALF in some cases! Whole grains can be a wonderful source of trace minerals, too. It is a well-established fact that eating whole grains lowers the risk of heart disease, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes, but I would avoid processed forms of it, like wheat bread which likely has other weird ingredients, and opt instead for a whole grain salad made with millet, kamut, quinoa, amaranth, or buckwheat, to name a few. Servings: 4
1 C dry quinoa, rinsed
2 C veggie stock
1 large red beet
1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 rib celery, including leaves, diced
1/2 C golden raisins
2 T capers
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T raw honey or molasses
1 T fresh basil, minced
1/8 tsp celery seed
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350
Cut the beet in half, place it cut-side-down in a deep dish filled with 1/2″ of water. Cover with foil and place in the oven until the skin slides off, around 45 min to1 hour.
Toss the cubed butternut squash pieces in coconut oil, salt, and pepper, and spread them out on a sheet pan and pop them into the oven until they are roasted, about 20-30
If you have a rice cooker, use that to cook the rinsed quinoa in the veggie stock and a Tbsp of coconut oil with a pinch of salt and a bit of pepper. If not, use a pot on the stove. Bring the stock to a boil, add the quinoa, seasonings, and coconut oil. Return to a boil, and then cover, reduce, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until you see the circular germ separate a bit from the rest of the grain. Turn out the cooked quinoa into a bowl and fluff it with a fork
When the beet is cooked, drain off the water and slough off the skin with a dish towel. Trim off and discard the root and stem ends, and cube the rest of it. Add these pieces to the quinoa in the bowl.
Add all of the rest of the ingredients and carefully stir them well to incorporate it all evenly.
You can serve this immediately or refrigerate it for up to a week.
If you like, this goes very nicely with feta cheese.