Healthy Exotic Grains You Should Try

Using Brown Rice and Bulgur Wheat – Curried Brown Rice Pilaf Recipe

Brown Rice and Bulgur can be cooked with other ingredients to create amazing flavorful meals. They are equally healthy and wholesome and have a nutty appealing flavor. Times have changed, Whole grains are cool, and they are in the spotlight of positive publicity. Whole grains have been pumped up by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and major health organizations such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and American Diabetes Association. Researchers continue to discover their benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and stroke and improved satiety for weight maintenance. Another strong point; they hold up easily for 7 months in the pantry, so if purchased in bulk they can be an economic staple. They both provide quick energy through Carbohydrates, and are a significant source of dietary fiber.

The modern chefs secret now is adding some of these ancient grains to dishes in trendy new ways. The premise is par boiling a big pot of bulgur or brown rice at the start of the week, then add a cup of to a bulk up a green garden salad, toss with an herb vinaigrette dressing to stand on its own, another cup might go into a a hearty soup or stew and lastly add to some roasted vegetables for a quick vegetarian meal. Both grains can stand up nicely with Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors, so that gives room for recipe experimentation. This enhances the versatility of the grains and the recipes themselves, so you can add cooked grains to any number of dishes, or make the same dish with a combination of different grains.

Curried Brown Rice

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil ( or ghee if not worried about fat)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated or minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup hot water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the curry, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Let flavors infuse a minute or two.
  2. Add the rice and toast 2-3 minutes, add water or broth to thoroughly reheat and hydrate par cooked rice.
  3. Fluff with a fork and add sliced scallions.

Bulgur Cakes

  • 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup Bulgur, soaked or pre-cooked
  • 1/3 c minced red peppers
  • 1/3 c Finely sliced shallot
  • 1 c Bulgur; preferably fine
  • 1/2 cup carrot, finely shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  1. Add 1/4 cup of the flour and form in a 1/4 cup measuring cup into 4 cakes
  2. Heat olive oil and dust cakes with additional flour
  3. Sear cake for about 2 minutes on each side, browning nicely
  4. Serve with Yogurt Sauce


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