Cookbook Review: Whole Grains for Busy People

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

After posting about the advantages of removing white flour from your diet, I realized that many people are a little confused (and scared) about how to incorporate whole grains into their daily lives.

Switching to whole grains doesn’t just mean switching to wheat flour when baking or from white to wheat bread. And it certainly doesn’t mean eliminating carbs from your diet. (Are you kidding? I would DIE.) There are so many delicious whole grains available – from those we’re all familiar with, like oatmeal, barley, brown rice and popcorn, to those we may have never heard of, like millet, farro and kamut - that it can sometimes seem intimidating to the beginner.

And that is where Whole Grains for Busy People, by Lorna Sass, can prove invaluable.

This is an awesome “light reading” resource for anyone who wants to learn more about whole grains – what they are, where to find them and how to cook them - without being overwhelmed.

The book provides information on quick cooking whole grains, whole grain flours, pastas and flat breads, including charts to show a description of each product, preferred name brands and where to buy them.

The 125 recipes themselves can all be made in 30 minutes or less, with a short list of readily-available ingredients. None of them are very complicated and I’m sure even a less-experienced cook can successfully make them. Each recipe also includes additional variations, as well as substitutions if you don’t have the original grain on hand.

One of the things I like is that many of the recipes are made in one dish – I especially like the “skillet suppers” – made in one pan on top of the stove - with recipes like Soft Chicken Tacos with Smoked Paprika Sour Cream, Any Grain with Sausage and Peppers, and Quinoa and Mushroom Skillet Pie. And Ham and Egg Couscous Cake? Funny sounding, but delicious!

With recipes for soups and stews, pasta dishes, whole grain salads and side dishes, breakfasts and desserts, there shouldn’t be any reason to think you can’t eliminate a lot of that white flour.

The only problem you might have with this book is the lack of nutrition information. BUT, if you’re just interested in eating healthier – and you’re not specifically dieting – that’s not really a big problem. There are no ingredients in any of the recipes that could be considered unhealthy.

If you want a book with even more information on whole grains (and want to make sure you get free shipping on Amazon!), check out her first whole grains book, winner of the 2007 James Beard Award, “Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way” which I really love. In fact, I would call it my Whole Grains Bible. TONS of information and even more great recipes.


MizFit said...

I want that book.

(never seen it before so thanks for the review. now to see if I can procure it used :))

Housewife Savant said...

I [heart] you.
You make it sound so easy.
When I read your posts I'm encouraged, and enlightened, and confident I can Kick Food's A**, figuratively speaking (lest it kick MINE.)
Thanks for making it seem effortless and possibly a tiny bit enjoyable. =)

Camevil said...

This all sounds DEE-LISH.

But you kinda had me at "Smoked Paprika Sour Cream."

Midwest Mommy said...

You might not know this about the Hubs but he loves books like this. I only have cookbooks/food books because he buys them, lol.

Tiffany said...

Thanks for the review. I never think of popcorn as a whole grain - I don't know why. It makes me feel better about eating it if it counts as a whole grain. Maybe it could count as a vegetable too ;-)

Brandy said...

The recipes you mentioned do sound good...I might just have to check this out.

Ms Cupcake said...

Added to your blog follower widget.

Frenzymom said...

I'll have to check the book out! The Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way sounds good. I have a hard time getting my family to eat the brown rice. They tell me its too chewy. The other book sounds good for recipes I'll have to check them both out. I need to get my kids eating healthier.

Karen Brown Letarte said...

I love Lorna Sass's stuff. I have actually not read any of her books, just the articles she writes in various food mags. This is a great cookbook to know about! I might actually be able to get my bf to eat some whole grains! Jane Brody's food book was my bible for years.. but I agree with you, life is not worth living without bacon! My big rule is, I don't care how healthy it is, if it don't taste good, I ain't eatin' it! :) K

Makeup Theory said...

I'm a cookbook addict. You HAD to go and recommend another one. And as a (mostly) vegetarian, I do a lot of whole grains already. Barnes & Noble, here I come.

Laura said...

wow that looks like a great book
we eat whole grains everyday and I always looking to add another recipe or 2