5 dishes to make with unusual grains

Photography by Mitch Mandel. Food styling by Marina Velasquez

1/ Curried cauliflower sorghum salad

Gluten-free sorghum is very high in protein and is a source of iron.

Serves 6

Ingredients

120g sorghum

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tbsp curry powder

2 carrots, shredded

3 spring onions, sliced

Seeds from 1 pomegranate

40g unsalted pumpkin seeds

Dressing

80ml light coconut milk

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tsp curry powder

¼ tsp salt

1/ Place the sorghum and 500ml of water in a pot. Bring to the boil, then simmer covered until tender (about 50 mins). Drain.

2/ Heat your oven to 220°C. Toss the cauliflower with oil, curry powder and a little salt. Spread on a baking tray. Roast until darkened (about 30 mins).

3/ In a bowl, toss the sorghum, cauliflower and remaining salad ingredients. Whisk the dressing and toss with the salad.


2/ Quinoa fruit salad with maple dressing

Tricolour quinoa packs a big antioxidant punch.

Serves 6

Ingredients

130g tricolour quinoa

320g blueberries

320g diced pineapple

80g dried tart cherries

25g coconut chips

40g unsalted pistachios

10g chopped fresh mint

3 tbsp hemp seeds

Dressing

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp grated lemon zest

Juice of ½ lime

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp salt

1/ Place the quinoa in 350ml of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 12 mins or until grains are tender and the water has been absorbed. Set aside, covered, for 5 mins, then fluff with a fork.

2/ Place the quinoa in a bowl and toss with the remaining salad ingredients. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the quinoa salad.


3/ Spelt, tuna and roasted fennel salad

This ancient variety of wheat contains energy-boosting iron.

Serves 6

Ingredients

200g spelt

1 fennel bulb, sliced into 1cm pieces

4 tsp rapeseed oil

275g (25-30) cherry tomatoes

425g tinned tuna, drained

170g mini bocconcini (mozzarella) balls

Dressing

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp fresh oregano

½ tsp smoked paprika

½  tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

1/ Place the spelt and 700ml of water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until tender (about 45 mins). Drain well.

2/ Heat your oven to 200°C. Toss the fennel with 2 tsp oil, spread on a baking tray and roast for 20 mins, stirring once. Toss the tomatoes with 2 tsp oil; place on the tray with the fennel. Continue roasting for 12 mins. Let cool.

3/ In a bowl, toss the spelt, veg, tuna and bocconcini. Whisk the dressing ingredients and toss with the spelt salad.


4/ Shaved vegetable freekeh chickpea salad

Freekeh, a roasted “green” wheat, is high in the potent antioxidant duo of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Serves 6

Ingredients

225g cracked freekeh

1 butternut squash, peeled

2 medium carrots

230g canned chickpeas

2 stalks celery, sliced

Handful chopped parsley

175g sliced dates

170g diced Gouda cheese

40g toasted unsalted sunflower seeds

Dressing

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp fresh thyme

½ tsp ground cumin

½  tsp salt

¼ tsp red chilli flakes

1/ Bring 600ml of water to a boil in a pot. Add the freekeh, return to a boil, then simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed (20 mins). Let stand, covered, for 5 mins, then fluff with a fork.

2/ Slice the peeled squash lengthwise into thin ribbons. Place in a bowl, cover with boiled water and let soak for 15 mins. Drain and pat dry. Slice the carrots into thin ribbons.

3/ In a bowl, toss the freekeh, squash, carrots and remaining salad ingredients. Whisk the dressing and toss with the salad.


5/ Millet chicken Waldorf salad

Not just for the birds – millet is high in manganese, a mineral necessary for efficient metabolism and bone formation.

Serves 6

Ingredients

120g millet

330g chopped curly kale

450g sliced cooked chicken

2 large apples, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

40g dried cranberries

Dressing

60ml extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp cider vinegar

2 tbsp water

30g chopped walnuts

1 shallot, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp salt

1/ Place the millet and 475ml of water in a pot. Bring to the boil, then simmer, covered, until the water is absorbed (about 20 mins). Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

2/ Blend the dressing. Place the kale in a bowl; add 2 tbsp dressing and massage with your hands until the kale is tender. Add the millet and remaining salad ingredients and toss with the remaining dressing.