In her inaugural book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, Amy Chaplin speaks almost as much to the importance of the pantry and preparing to cook as cooking itself. This is, in our opinion, one of the most inspired cookbooks of the year, celebrating the beauty of whole food cooking and the art of eating well.
In her discussion of the pantry, Amy talks grains. While there are a million great recipes out there for quinoa and brown rice dishes (including in this book) we want to highlight a few of the lesser used grains — namely, amaranth, millet and spelt — and how Amy is using them. Below, Amy lends some explanation to these three whole grains with recipes to get you started on adding them to your pantry and repertoire.
Millet is a lovely, sunny-colored, fast-cooking, gluten-free grain with a high amino-acid protein profile. It has a nutty, earthy flavor and is the only grain that has an alkalizing effect on the blood due to its high alkaline ash content, which also makes it easy to digest. Millet also helps strengthen kidney function and contains more iron than any other cereal grain. Cook millet up light and fluffy like in Plum Millet Muffins (page 142) or soft as in the Millet, Squash, and Sweet Corn Pilaf (page 138); it can also be cooked for longer with extra water and set like polenta. Of all the grains I keep on hand, I make sure millet is stored with a very tight seal, as it tends to attract bugs. It has a natural protective bitter coating called saponin, so be sure to wash it thoroughly before cooking.
Millet, Squash & Sweet Corn Pilaf With Tamari-Toasted Pumpkin Seeds