Updated: 09/12/2016 3:51 PM | Print Story |  Email

Whole Grains Recipes

Cookbook author and chef Robin Asbell helped Steve and special guest host Marjorie Johnson celebrate Whole Grains Month with four recipes, including a tasty after-school snack!


Cheddar Chive Cornbread

Cornbread is iconic, especially down South, where every home cook has a jazzed up recipe of her own. This moist, delectable version is laced with savory cheddar cheese and zingy chives. Make sure to use whole grain cornmeal, not de-germinated, for all the corn flavor you crave.

(Reprinted with permission from The Whole Grain Promise by Robin Asbell, Running Press Books)
Serves 9

1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for baking pan
11/4 cups yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
13/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup minced chives
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded to make 11/2 cups

Preheat the oven to 400° F and oil or butter a 9-inch square baking pan, preferably metal. In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the buttermilk and canola oil.

Quickly stir the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture. Stir in the chives and cheddar, just to combine, then scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, then bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out dry.

Serve warm, or cool completely before wrapping tightly and storing in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Classic Squash, Wild Rice, and Apple Soup with Sage

Wild rice or any of the hearty rices will provide a textural counterpoint to the smooth, sweet squash. Unbleached white flour works best for this, as a whole wheat roux would be less smooth.

(Reprinted with permission from The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell, Chronicle Books)
Makes 8 cups, 6 servings

2-pound butternut squash (2 cups, puréed)
1/2 cup wild rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
3 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Dash of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and diced

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Oil a large baking sheet. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and put the squash halves, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake until very tender, about 30 minutes. Let the squash cool to room temperature, then purée in a food processor or blender. Measure 2 cups and save any extra for another use. Cook the wild rice in the water for 20 minutes to an hour depending on the variety. Drain off any excess water when the grains are tender.
2. In a soup pot, heat the butter or oil, then sauté the onion, sage and celery over medium heat until tender. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat so the mixture just bubbles gently for a couple of minutes.
3. Whisk in the puréed squash, and stir over low heat. Add the thyme, cayenne, salt, wild rice and apple, stirring over low heat just until warmed through.

Buckwheat and Seared Cabbage with Braised Squash Chunks and Smoked Almonds

Buckwheat is part of the Russian and Northern European food pantheon and is often paired with cabbage. The nutty, earthy taste of the buckwheat is perfect with tender squash. A little apple juice adds a tangy sweetness. Smoked almonds add crunch, umami, and protein, so dig in.

(Reprinted with permission from Great Bowls of Food, Grain Bowls, Buddha Bowls, Broth Bowls and More by Robin Asbell, Countryman Press)
Yield: 4 servings

4 cups cooked buckwheat groats
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups winter squash, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon salt, divided
3 cups shredded red and green cabbage
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup smoked almonds, coarsely chopped

Warm the buckwheat.

In a medium sauté pan with a lid, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and add the squash and onion. Sauté over medium-high heat for 4 minutes to soften the onions and brown the squash a little. Add the apple juice to the pan and quickly cover it, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 7 minutes, depending on the size of the squash cubes. Take the lid off and test by piercing a cube with a paring knife; the tip should slip in easily. Season with half a teaspoon of the salt and stir until the liquids are dry. Transfer the squash to a bowl and keep warm.

Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, until the leaves are lightly browned and softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for just a minute more. Season with remaining salt.

Serve 1/4 of the buckwheat in each bowl, topped with squash, cabbage, and smoked almonds.


Graham Sams

Ask any parent. Healthy snacks are always in demand, and if you don't plan for them you might end up snacking on something less than wholesome. Kids and adults alike love graham crackers, despite the fact that they were originally invented as a health food. Whole grains make the crackers wonderfully satisfying and delicious, and adding a tasty topping makes a hearty snack that will keep you going until dinner.

(Reprinted with permission from The Whole Grain Promise by Robin Asbell, Running Press Books)

2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Mix the maple syrup into the ricotta, stir in chocolate chips. Spread on graham crackers.