This winter discover the tasty appeal of adding “ancient grains” to your favorite seafood meals. Ancient grains are grains that have been around for millennia unlike corn, rice and some varieties of wheat which have been selectively bred and cultivated over the past few centuries. Ancient grains have been rediscovered by our modern culinary culture for their nutritive benefits and robust taste and texture. Try combining these ancient grains with your seafood meals…I’ve included recipes to help.
Ancient Grains — A simple primer: spelt (hulled wheat), amaranth (seed sized but more like an herb or even vegetable), millet (several different small-seeded grains), triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye), quinoa (a seed, like rice or barley), einkorn (the first variety of wheat), emmer (like wild rice), and teff (cereal like). Many believe these ancient grains may better deliver the benefits of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. All are now easily within reach via the internet, specialty food stores and even some of your local markets. Note: When using these grains for the first time, I suggest following the package directions carefully until you get a feel for how they cook and handle. For more information on ancient grains start your exploring here.
After the holidays we all seem to get back to watching our carbohydrate and calorie intake. Seafood to the rescue: most varieties of seafood are low in fat and carbs and a great source of protein and now perhaps ancient grains may help too. I have included the first five ancient grains on my list in some of my winter recipes. I’ve also included a recipe for spelt as a side dish. I found the spelt, triticale, and quinoa easy to use and delightful to eat. Though for me this year, lentils are my personal favorite side dish. Lentils are the fastest-cooking legume and they just taste so good, go well with any seafood meal… plus, lentils get 30% of their calories from protein!
Winter Fruits & Veggie Ingredients: persimmons, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, apples, pears, kumquats, tangerines, beets, turnips and their greens, etc… not to mention the variety and types of each. Quiz: How many types of apples are available now? Answer: There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples. My current favorite is the Arkansas Black. Hint: Whenever possible, I like to use the peels of fruit not only for the color, in the case of apples, but also for the texture, taste and fiber. Choose your favorites and try adding these winter fruits, vegetables and ancient grains to your seafood menus, they should delight your family and friends throughout the winter months when the warmth and good cheer of mealtime brings us all closer together.
Festive Winter Recipes!
- Tilapia With Apples and Kumquats
- Tilapia With Bok Choy and Water Chestnuts
- Tuna With Sweet Potato and Tangerine
- Tuna With Fuyu Persimmon And Ginger
- Mahi-Mahi With Apples And Greens
- Mahi-Mahi With Roasted Butternut Squash
- Flounder with Radish and Turnips
- Flounder With Goat Cheese And Olives
- Mussels With Cream And Capers
- Mussels With Hard Cider
- Coho Salmon With Caramelized Onions
- Coho Salmon With Stone Ground Mustard And Pears
- Lentil Salad