I have a serious shopping addiction. But it’s not for clothes, or house wares, or even kitchen tools.
It’s for health food.
Although I am incredibly excited to go back to Canada every summer to see my family and friends, the other thing I unapologetically look forward to the most, is browsing the aisles of the natural foods co-op. Oh, I could spend hours upon hours wandering around, checking out what’s new and exciting in the world of loose leaf teas, gluten-free bread, vegan ice cream, and sampling the latest nut butters. Did you know they now sell dehydrated kombucha scobies in bulk? Omigod, reeeally? So yea. I have a problem and I’m not afraid to admit it.
This year I found something very thrilling, and that was sorghum. I had heard of it before, but only in relation to the syrup that is made from the plant. I didn’t know that the plant also produced a cereal! Omigod, reeeally? The silliest things light my fire. I guess you know this by now.
Anyway. Sorghum. It’s gluten-free, high in fiber and rich in iron and the B-vitamins. Sorghum is also very high in protein (more than quinoa!), yet it lacks lysine, an essential amino acid, so combining it with something that contains this amino acid is important. I chose chickpeas in this case so that we can cover our bases, and indeed make a perfect protein.
Sorghum originates from Africa, then traveled through the Middle East and Asia along ancient trade routes and the Silk Road. Today sorghum is a staple food in India and Africa, but did you know it is the third most important cereal crop grown in America? Insanity!
Sorghum is very similar to millet in its nuttiness and dry quality. For this reason, it is perfect for cold salads and pilafs as the grains don’t stick together. Like millet, this grain requires a lot of water for cooking too, at a 3:1 ratio. Although there was no mention of soaking the sorghum prior to cooking, I found that cooking it straight from dried took a very long time (more than one hour) and even required more water than suggested. When I cooked it again after soaking it overnight, the sorghum cooked a little faster (about 45 minutes) but still took almost 3 cups of water to reach the desired tenderness.
You can find sorghum (obviously) at health food stores and gourmet grocers. I suspect that it will get more attention in the coming years as words of its awesomeness spreads, so be on the lookout. You heard it here first.
As summer wanes, we begin to see the gorgeous produce burst forth from all the warm temperatures and soft rains. It’s a beautiful time of year because it’s the season when almost everything is in season! Tomatoes and cucumbers are at their best, fully ripe and juicy and sweet. My late summer abundance bowl celebrates all of this, with an Indian twist honoring the traditional Indian grain, sorghum. I played around with it quite a lot and eventually settled on using curry and coconut as base flavours, then combined with a kachumber salad and chickpeas. The cilantro, cumin seeds and citrus are bright and playful against the rich coconut-y vibes. You will love it.
Late Summer Abundance Bowl
Coconut Curry Sorghum
1 cup / 200g sorghum, soaked overnight in 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 ½ – 3 cups water
5 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 tsp. curry powder
2 slices organic lemon
¾ tsp. sea salt
¾ cup coconut milk
1. Rinse sorghum well, then place in a pot, cover with a few inches / centimeters of water (recently boiled is best) and add the vinegar. Stir. Let sit overnight (or for 8 hours). Drain rinse and add to a pot with 2 ½ cups of water, all spices, lemon, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 45-60 minutes. The sorghum is cooked when it is chewy and tender. If there is any crunch left in the grain after the water has been absorbed, add an extra half-cup (125ml) of water and simmer until the grains are tender.
2. Take sorghum off of the stove, remove the lemon and whole spices if possible (you can leave the peppercorns however). Pour in the coconut milk and fold to combine. The hot sorghum will absorb the coconut milk as it cools.
1 lb. / 500g variety of Heirloom tomatoes
1 large English cucumber, sliced
small handful cilantro, roughly copped
½ fresh chili, minced (green is traditional, but I used red Serrano)
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
1 Tbsp. lime juice
a few pinches sea salt
1. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds until fragrant (be careful not to burn them!).
2. Cut the tomatoes into whatever shapes you like, according to the size of the fruit (the larger Coeur de Boeuf tomatoes I left in generous, thick slices). Place in a large bowl. Add the sliced cucumber, chopped cilantro and chili.
3. Whisk the olive oil, lime juice and salt together. Pour over the tomatoes and cucumber and fold gently to combine. Sprinkle with cumin seeds and serve.
Coconut Curry Sorghum
1. Place sorghum, salad and chickpeas in a bowl. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and extra cilantro if desired. Serve and enjoy.
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Great news everyone!
Registration is now open for the cooking classes, lectures, and other events taking place next month in Amsterdam. I am so pumped to finally be teaching breakfast classes! Hoorah! My fav meal of the day plus tasty snacks – what could be better? Nothin’.
I will also be presenting 2 different lectures, giving a (free!) Q&A session at the America Book Center, and hosting a collaborative dinner at the world-renowned restaurant, De Kas.
I am over the moon to be touring, teaching, and above all, connecting with you in person once again.
Please visit Healthy Happy to learn more about all the events and book your space today. Looking forward to seeing you there!