I made a big batch of quinoa over the weekend and put it in the fridge for weekly lunches. Sure, it’s a nutty and tasty, fairly quick-cooking whole-grain “superfood” (I hate that word and just saw a book claiming that kale is “the world’s most powerful superfood”), but tasty as it is, the key is what you put on it. So far this week, two hits: first, a South Indian vegetable and lentil curry I made and froze a few weeks ago, with aromatic curry leaves and the strange, funky spice-resin asafetida. Second, a half-cup of fresh tomato sauce left over from a spaghetti dinner, drizzled with a little extra olive oil and sprinkled with crunchy Maldon salt flakes.
Next up: Kamut with lady peas (which are kind of like black-eyed peas, popular in the South), flavored with bits of smoky bacon.
This idea—making a whole grain on the weekend and eating it during the week with a well-matched topper—is a favorite of my friend Mark Bittman, who lost 30 pounds when he changed the proportions of foods in his diet, and it’s definitely going into heavy rotation here.
Getting good grains is now so easy. Bob’s Red Mill, a leading and admirable whole-grains company, launched its “Grains of Discovery” line this spring, and I plan to try a new grain every week or so. On the list: millet, amaranth, spelt, and teff. I’ll report in on each grain.