Most people know they should be eating more whole grains. Most people don't have the time to.
Whole grains may taste better and be healthier for you than refined grains, but they also generally take much longer to cook. Brown rice, for example, can take twice as long as white.
Now food writer Lorna Sass has written a cookbook to help bridge that whole grain divide. Her "Whole Grains for Busy People" offers numerous recipes for simple, speedy whole-grain cooking.
In addition to plenty of recipes calling for whole-grain pasta, Sass introduces readers to less common grains, such as quinoa, rye flakes and bulgur, and includes innovative uses for ingredients such as popcorn (it is a whole grain), as in her Squash Bisque with Curried Popcorn.
A short but handy chapter introducing readers to the best quick-cooking whole grains is particularly nice.
This easy, flavorful soup uses quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), which is available alongside rice at most grocers and natural foods stores. Canned black beans or chopped cooked chicken are excellent additions to this soup.
QUINOA SOUP WITH AVOCADO AND CORN
Start to finish: 20 minutes
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/3 cup chunky salsa, to taste
1 ripe but firm Hass avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges, for serving
In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the quinoa, reduce heat to medium-high, and continue boiling, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Stir in the corn and salsa, then return to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the avocado. Season with salt and stir in the cilantro. Ladle into large bowls, accompanied with lime wedges.
(Recipe adapted from Lorna Sass' "Whole Grains for Busy People," Clarkson Potter, 2009)
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.