Sunday, 22 October 2017

VeganMoFo 2017 #22: Recipe Round-Up: The Great Vegan Grains Book

22nd: Unconventional grains – Cooking with freekeh, buckwheat, sorghum, etc – try something you wouldn’t usually!

I enjoy using all sorts of different ingredients, and I love playing with different grains. When The Great Vegan Grains Book came out, it was a natural fit for me. This book covers all sorts of grains! There are your old standards like rice, polenta, barley and quinoa, as well as a huge array of others - freekeh, farro, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, rye... and a lot of something called einkorn. I have never found einkorn, and I can only imagine the cost of it if I ever did, but the book has plenty of suggestions for alternative grains to use in most recipes.

Cost is also an issue when playing with fancy ingredients. Years ago, I used to be able to buy boxes of freekeh at Coles for a pretty reasonable price, however since it has become a 'super grain', it is now harder to find and much more expensive. There has been a bag of cracked freekeh sitting at the health food market near my work for many months now... it costs $16 for 350g. No thank you! So it becomes a matter or finding some good deals on certain grains where you can. I wanted to play around with some new to me grains for this challenge, and I was very happy to find both sorghum and rye berries at super reasonable prices last month.

So let's see what I have been making in this mini-round-up for MoFo. I haven't blogged about this book before, so there aren't any other posts to check out, but there will be more in the future. I have chosen recipes with four different grains.

Tempeh and Buckwheat Bowl: I was sold on this bowl because of the peanut sauce, plus the earthy buckwheat and tempeh. It sounds like a great combination. The sauce is nice, but you need at least a double batch to make it saucy enough for me. I added a splash of veggie broth and Braggs to the tempeh and vegetables while they were cooking to give a bit more flavour and so it wasn't too dry. I got three servings from this.
Rating: :)

Tempeh Buckwheat Bowl

Roasted Radish Freekeh Bowl with Mustard Miso Sauce: Holy yum this is good. I had never roasted radishes before, but I am a convert of it now. The radishes are roasted with the broccoli, served on top of cooked freekeh, and then topped with a delicious sauce. I also added some chickpeas to bulk it up a bit, and got two very filling serves. I also made a double batch of the sauce, it was so good.
Rating: :D

Roasted Radish Freekeh Bowl with Mustard Miso Sauce

Rye Shakshuka: This is a tasty, warming dinner. Cooked rye is added to a tomatoey sauce and topped with eggy fried cubes of tofu. The sauce is meant to have capsicum in it, I used carrots. I also decreased the heat by using just 1/4 tsp of harissa rather than the full 2 tsp. I followed the suggestion of making this with double the rye, rather than serving with bread, as I wanted to have a decent amount to get leftovers. As you can see, even with double the rye it was still very saucy! I liked the rye a lot, it was a nice and chewy grain.
Rating: :)

Rye Shakshuka

Hearty Sweet Potato Sorghum Curry: The recipe says to cook the sorghum first until it is completely tender, with no chewiness, but after an hour mine was still a bit chewy. I ate it and it was fine, I liked it. This is a comforting curry, I made it mild by using 2 tsp of mild curry powder and just a sprinkle or harissa. It gets thick pretty quickly, so I had to add a bit of extra liquid. I had already added some water by diluting out a 270mL tin of light coconut milk to 400mL (the recipe actually calls for full fat, but not for my intolerances), so I added some oat milk as the extra liquid to keep it creamy. I also added some peas, and lots of cilantro (rather than just using the cilantro as garnish). This made 3.5 smallish serves.
Rating: :)

Hearty Sweet Potato and Sorghum Curry

Cute Kitty Photo of the Post - Month of Sahara

Sahara and her Kickaroo

Sahara absolutely loved her Kickaroo! I allowed her to release the wild cat within, and she would grip it and chew it and kick it with so much joy.


  1. I haven't cooked with a lot of grains besides rice and quinoa. And Bulgur of course but now that isn't gluten free so. You are so right, the minute something is considered "super" the price goes way up.

    1. I get so cranky and 'superfood' surcharges. Food in Australia is expensive enough!

  2. Gawd, that saucy freekeh does look so yummy. And I don't even like radishes!

    Cats kicking things has to be one of the best things to witness in life.

    1. Raw radishes are just OK, but I love roasted radishes. If you haven't tried them, you should, see if it changes your mind.

      Sahara had powerful hind legs. I have a couple of precious, precious scars from her using me as a launching pad and accidentally scratching me as she went.

  3. I REALLY want this cookbook. I am particularly aware of how we eat the same grains over and over again now that I have a little kid. Oats, wheat, and rice. That's it. Worst is that I make homemade plant milk with leftover rice, oats, and coconut. (thank god for coconut lol)

    I am thinking einkorn is just a fancy word for wheat berries? Wikipedia is telling me that einkorn is just wild wheat.

    1. I thought it was some fancy form of wheat, but wheat berries would probably be the closest substitute?
      This book is definitely a lot of fun for trying different grains!

    2. Further googling shows that einkorn can be a flour or wheat berries. So I guess you will have to read the recipe and judge if they use flour or berries. I guess if it looks like flour you could use whole wheat?