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Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Whole Grains

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Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Whole Grains

By Chef Licia Jaccard
In Malibu Beach Recovery Diet

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for quinoa unharvested.jpgI know, I know… sometimes it’s hard to get suggestions on how to accommodate your eating habits with new products that you have never heard of before.  There are trends in the food industry in the same way as there are trends in the fashion industry.  Like the variations of hemlines, from the maxi to the mini-skirts, or the width of a jacket’s lapel, some things come and go in the fashion of food and we’re here to keep track of all those new ingredients that are thrown at you.  Remember the 90s with the “molten chocolate cake” and its warm gooey liquid chocolate center, or the decade of the “ceviche” that allowed any fish to be simply chopped and served raw and, more recently, “tiramisu” that now comes in multiple variations.  

There is, however, a trend that is linked with a better understanding of the digestive process and how the right foods impact the proper functioning of our major organs: yes, we are talking about the resurrection of grains.  With their high content in fiber, their slower digesting properties that keep us fuller longer, with all of the properties that vegetarians have appreciated for years, we are discovering the beauty and complex composition of the whole grain.  A better understanding of its structure is needed to see what we had been depriving ourselves of in the past.

A kernel of grain is comprised of three edible parts: the bran, the germ and the endosperm.  Some grains have a fourth part, the hull, which is an inedible protective coating.

  • The bran is the outermost edible layer that protects the kernel from insects and bacteria.  It is a concentrated source of dietary fiber, and an excellent source of Vitamin B and trace minerals.
  • The germ is the embryo or vital part of the grain: it contains vitamins B and E, essential fatty acids, phytochemicals and unsaturated lipids. The germ is located at one end of the kernel where the kernel connects to the stalk.  
  • The endosperm, is the largest portion of the kernel and provides the germ’s food supply It is made up of two types of starch, amylose and amylopectin and contains protein and Vitamin B.

When the grain is stripped of the bran and the germ to make white flour, it loses a significant portion of phytochemicals and phytonutrients which play a significant role in disease prevention.  

Scientific research has demonstrated with certainty that diets that include a significant portion of whole grains (3 or more servings per day) are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance, two common precursor factors of type 2 diabetes and a major requirement of the Malibu Beach Recovery Diet as it prevents insulin spikes and mood-swings, as well as lowering total cholesterol, reducing the risk of stroke and obesity and effectively protect against hormone-related and digestive system cancers.

While all this scientific research is going on, the awareness of the multitude of benefits of replacing white-stuff with whole-grain-stuff (bread, pasta, flours, etc…) has also generated a renewed interest in recipes, new and old, that showcase these grains perfectly and make them easy to incorporate into a new healthy food regimen.  

You will find these three recipes to be extremely tasty, surprising and rewarding in that they are absolutely delicious, easy to prepare and will shed a new light on incorporating whole-grains in your future meals. 

Click “Continue Reading” for the recipes

Bon Appétit,

Licia

Coconut Quinoa with Green PeasThumbnail image for Thumbnail image for red quinoa 2.jpg

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well

1 13.5-oz can unsweetened coconut milk

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 package (8-oz) frozen peas

1 tsp. kosher salt

Instructions

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add quinoa and cook, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes.  

Add coconut milk, peas, salt and 1 1/2 cups water and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and liquid is evaporated, 20 to 25 minutes.  

Let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

 

Pearled Farro with Mushrooms
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for farro.jpg

Serves 4 as a vegetarian dish and 6 as a side dish

Ingredients

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup diced shallots

24 oz sliced Crimini mushrooms, stems cut in half lengthwise and caps sliced in 1/2 inch slices
pinch salt
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar mixed with 1 Tbsp water 

1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme

3 cups cooked farro (see below for how to cook the farro. Cooked barley or brown rice can also be substituted.)

Instructions

To make 3 cups cooked Farro:
1 cup farro
1 3/4 cups water
pinch salt

Heat the water in a saucepan so that it is boiling when needed to add to the farro.

Heat a heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid.  Add the farro to the dry pan and toast over medium-high heat until it starts to look and smell toasted, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and pour in the boiling water (water will boil up and sputter when it hits the pan). Add the salt and turn the heat back on to a low simmer, cover pan, and let cook until the farro is tender, but chewy, about 20 minutes. Start checking after 15 minutes and add more water if needed.

In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the shallots and garlic and sauté until shallots are starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.

Add sliced mushrooms and stems, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and sauté over medium high heat until mushrooms have released their liquid and are well browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar/water mixture and cook until most liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the cooked farro and heat 2-3 minutes, stirring gently. When the farro is heated through and moistened, add the fresh thyme, stir, season with salt if desired and serve hot.

 

Farro Parfait with Ricottaricotta.jpg

Ingredients

1 container (15 oz) ricotta

2 Tbsp plain yogurt

3 to 4 Tbsp sugar-free orange marmalade

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves plus more for garnish

3 navel oranges, peeled

1 1/2 cups cooked faro

Instructions

To make 1 1/2 cups cooked Farro:
1/2 cup farro
3/4 cups water
pinch salt

Heat the water in a saucepan so that it is boiling when needed to add to the farro.

Heat a heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid.  Add the farro to the dry pan and toast over medium-high heat until it starts to look and smell toasted, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and pour in the boiling water (water will boil up and sputter when it hits the pan). Add the salt and turn the heat back on to a low simmer, cover pan, and let cook until the farro is tender, but chewy, about 20 minutes. Start checking after 15 minutes and add more water if needed.

Blend the ricotta, yogurt and 3 Tbsp of marmalade (more to taste) in a food processor until creamy, about 1 minute.  Add the mint and pulse until the mint is distributed evenly and coarsely chopped.

Cut each orange into 3/4 inch slices.  Separate each slice into segments, removing the skin in each segment.

Assemble the parfaits.  Place a heaping spoonful of the ricotta mixture on the bottom of each glass. Distribute a heaping tablespoon of faro on top.  Add a layer of orange segments.  Repeat with a second layer of ricotta, faro and oranges.  Top with 3 tablespoons of ricotta.  Garnish with a mint leaf.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

 

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