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Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
Clarkson Potter, published November 2006


Talk about "timing is everything" in life!  This book is just what consumers need right now to help wade through all of the information we are being bombarded with daily about whole grains!  It's good news that whole grains are getting their due respect, finally!  But the bad news is that in the quest to "jump on the whole grains bandwagon" there is a lot of misinformation that consumers are also getting.  Everything from the nutritional claims printed on packaging to TV ads, to print ads for foods with whole grains in them.

The book begins with "Whole Grains 101" - answering all the questions you may have as to selecting whole grains, how to store them, how to cook them, what equipment you'll need, followed by a chapter on Grain Profiles and Basic Recipes (150 recipes)  which will educate and introduce you to dozens of grain you may not have experienced such as amaranth, barley, farro, hominy, kamut, Job's tears, quinoa, black rice, spelt and many more.

Again, my thanks to the editors of this book in noting the page number for the recipe shown in the photographs! There is a 16 page folio of full color photographs in this book and each one just draws you into the photographed food and makes you want to cook it!  I was immediately attracted to the photograph of Farro Salad with Prosciutto and Asparagus (page 134) - I went to the recipe immediately  and determined that I had all of the ingredients necessary in my pantry....alas...except for the farro!   A feature of Lorna Sass's recipes is that she provides the cook with a "grain exchange" so if you can't find a particular whole grain called for in the recipe you can use another one.  In the case of the farro recipe, Lorna suggests that pearl barley or short grain brown rice can substitute for the farro. 

Other chapters include recipes for soups, salads and main courses, side dishes, breakfast and brunch and finally, desserts and baked goods.

If you are changing your diet to include more whole grains, then you are most likely a cook who isn't scared off by recipes calling for more than 5 ingredients.  If you are a cook, you will already have a dry pantry filled with many of the basic ingredients called for in the recipes in this book such as packaged chicken and vegetable broths, dried herbs and spices, canned organic tomatoes, olive oil,  and a stash of refrigerated basics such as red peppers, fresh herbs, and other basics so all you will need to buy are the whole grains themselves and whatever other main ingredients are needed.  So no excuses for not cooking any of these wonderful recipes with whole grains!!  

Some of my other favorite recipes include Farro Risotto with Butternut Squash, Ham, Sage and Toasted Walnuts (page 146), Bulgur Pilaf with Moroccan Roast Chicken (page 152), Quinoa and Chili-scented Pork Chops with Roasted Red Pepper dressing (page 156),  Wild and Brown Rice with Sesame-soy Glazed Salmon (page 162) and a most delicious-sounding recipe for the next time I need a dressing side dish for a roasted fowl....Wild Rice and Chestnut Stuffing (page 212).  And finally, by the time you read this review, I will have made the Whole Wheat Yogurt Waffles with Blueberries (page 243) but first I have to borrow a waffle iron from a friend!

About the author:  Lorna Sass is an award-winning author of more than a dozen cook books, including the bestselling "Cooking Under Pressure".  She holds a doctorate in medieval literature from Columbia University and lives in New York City.  Visit her at www.LornaSass.com

Ann's note:

Caveat Emptor my fellow consumers....a whole grain kernel is made up of the bran, the germ, and the endosperm.  Consumers must learn to read the labels on food packaging more closely to determine the whole grain content and value of that food.  If the ingredient list on the label does not have the word "whole" as the first word such as "whole grain flour" it won't be a bad food but it just doesn't contain whole grain kernels with all three parts (bran/germ/endosperm).   Some food manufacturers have been incorporating the following label on their products which ensures the whole grain content of the food.

For even more information about whole grains, go to http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/

 

 

 

 
     
 
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