Italian Fried Grains
May 19, 2010

Why, good evening.

Thank you for your thoughtful responses to my guest post on self-acceptance at Cake! They mean a lot to me. It’s not always easy to write about these more harrowing topics, so the feedback is appreciated. I hope you’ll all check in for part two tomorrow.

Tonight’s dinner came together at the last moment. I didn’t expect to be home in time to cook anything (my hours are late these days), and I’m a little low on groceries. Fortunately, a few things I’m always sure to have in stock are dark leafy greens, grains, and nuts and dried fruit. So when I saw Diana‘s recipe for Italian Fried Rice, I knew I was in lucky. Greens? Check. Raisins? Check. Walnuts? Check. Rice?

Oh, wait. I didn’t have any rice. But I did have the dregs of a bag of quinoa and a bag of millet, which, put together, amounted to enough for a single serving of mixed whole grains. So I turned Diana’s recipe for Italian Fried Rice into Italian Fried Quinoa+Millet, and dinner was born.

Given the haste with which I prepared it, I didn’t necessarily expect a blogworthy meal, but of course I should have: when is a recipe by Diana not blogworthy??  There’s a lot more to this raw dessert diva than her skills with a date+nut pie crust, friends. If I could glean but a fraction of Diana’s skills as a chef, I’d be a lucky woman. Diana, you are a culinary goddess, and I bow at your altar.

Now, I did do some tweaking to Diana’s recipe. I changed portions around to serve one person. I say below that you should prepare 1/4 – 1/2 cup of dry grains; 1/4 probably wouldn’t be enough for me, so I recommend making 1/2 cup. If you can’t finish it, you can always save it to toss over a nutrient-dense salad the next day at lunch! I also omitted the garlic (duh) and added some bell pepper (just cause I had some leftover). You should feel free to modify this recipe liberally. Any greens will work, and most grains would be nice in it. I think it would be great with sundried tomatoes, too–the possibilities are endless!

Italian Fried Grains (serves 1)

1/4-1/2 cup (dry) quinoa, millet, or rice
1 very heaping cup dark leafy greens (collard greens, spinach, kale, etc.), chopped
1/3 bell pepper, chopped
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Olive or coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the grains according to package instructions. Set aside.

Heat some coconut or olive oil in a pan (I used coconut), and add the bell peppers. Sautee till they’re just tender. Add the greens, raisins, and walnuts, and stir, adding some vegetable broth or a drop of extra oil if they get dry.

When the greens are just tender, throw the cooked grains in the pan, and give it all a good stir. Add the lemon, nooch, and salt and pepper to taste, and heat through.

You’re done!

Diana enjoyed her dish straight up:

But because I’m apparantly incapable of eating a meal that doesn’t involve raw kale, mine got served over some massaged greenies. Doesn’t it look heavenly?

It was only after inhaling finishing the dish that I realized I should have dotted it with some of my raw, fermented “goat” cheese. Next time! I can’t wait to try it with real brown rice, too.

Nothing beats dinner in a hurry–let alone dinner in a hurry that also happens to be fantastic. And I’m in luck, because Mz. D happens to be having me over for her famous raw kale and veggie crackers tomorrow night. Two nights of Dianspiration in a row? My cup runneth way over.

With a happy belly, I’m off to edit.

Night night.


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  1. I just wanted to let you know that I tried this recipe last night. I was taking my kids to the park and had asked my husband to start making this and that I would finish when I got home. I got home from the park and he asked me if I was really planning on making this for dinner…. well I did and am pleased to say that he said that it was pretty good.
    We are really trying to change our eating habits, but am finding it to be very challenging. My husband is overweight with some health issues and wants to eat vegan when it suits him. I am okay with it but still find the need to eat meat 1 or 2 a week because I don’t feel I get enough protein. I also have 3 girls who are very picky when it comes to eating. I am also finding that our schedules are getting very busy and don’t always have the time to make 2 meals at dinner.
    Thank you for the dinner idea and I will be back frequently for ideas!

  2. Haha, I’m equally incapable of eating any meal without raw kale. I notice that people often cook with quinoa, rice, or millet — have you ever tried buckwheat? Do you think it’d work OK too?

  3. This looks delicious! It’s been a while since I haven’t cooked millet, and I just haapen to have a huge bag on hand. But maybe I’ll substitute quinoa for buckwheat. I’m out of quinoa, and was just looking for ideas to eat more buckwheat as it has interesting detoxification power.

    Love the idea of using leftovers on a big salad too.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Simple + delicious, this sounds amazing. I swear all the bloggers this week are out of groceries. I’ve been digging through my pantry all week. I’ve noticed a few others doing the same..too funny!

  5. “But because I’m apparently incapable of eating a meal that doesn’t involve raw kale, mine got served over some massaged greenies.”

    Haha, I think we have that in common! 🙂 I am so making this next week. Give me raw kale with anything and I’ll eat it..well maybe not ANYTHING! XO

  6. I needed to make something for breakfast today, food shopping day.
    Had all of the ingredients (except pepper) along with leftover rice.
    Smushed it all together put it in a spelt wrap and was off to the market. YUMMY!

    Thanks for your blog and this wonderful recipe.

  7. ‘Twas fate that you were out of rice because fate knew you’d be having rice for dinner tomorrow night.

    I do not deserve this homage, but I thank you for it nonetheless! Totally flattered. I feel compelled to point out, however, that you are no culinary slouch yourself, madam!

    Seeya tomorrow. 😀

  8. I saw that rice on Diana’s blog and commented on it when she posted it, that I was waiting for “a trick”, i.e. cauli rice or turnip rice or something. ha! It really was, real rice.

    Love what you did with it. And not surprised to see it over kale coming from your kitch!

    The last post about the “cheeze” wraps…yum. Must make that cheeze!

    Your Guest Post on Cake. Great read. I commented. I am guilty of doing all the things you shy away from…But. There is a reason, thoughtful purpose, and with consideration. I am not just “succumbing” to the pressures of society so to speak. Anyway, I can’t wait for installment 2.

    And hot diggity girl, you’ve been a posting machine the past 2 days!

    love you!!!!

  9. What a great idea…I love the addition of the raisins and walnuts! I am all over anything that has a bit of sweet and sour in it.

  10. Hi Miss Gena 🙂
    Your salad looks terrific. And I ADORE Diana!!
    I have your miso dressing of yours on my to-make list and was wondering if you have any idea of how long it’ll last in the fridge. I wanted to make it up a few days ahead of time.

    Also, I sent you an email, so if you didn’t get it, can you let me know so I can re-send it? (I feel like the biggest jerk to ask about it, but you know I don’t trust my email!)