Sunday, January 8, 2012

Whole Grains Sides - Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf

Another dish using staples in the pantry….

When I had to go gluten-free, I had no clue what to eat other than avoid wheat. I, as I am sure most in the same situation, started buying things that said ‘gluten-free’ without taking into account whether it was nutritious or just plain ‘junk food’.

As I was learning which grains to avoid, I became aware of other gluten-free grains that I had never heard of.  So of course, I went out and bought some of those grains!

I bought sorghum, oat groats, buckwheat groats, amaranth, millet, quinoa, kasha(roasted buckwheat), and hulled buckwheat (outer skin removed).

Amaranth is just too small to really make a meal, so it is best ground into flour. Millet is great added to whole grain bread.  Kasha has a short shelf-life, but is good overall.  Quinoa and buckwheat groats are very similar in cooked texture.  I like both.  The hulled buckwheat was not something I liked.  I finally just ground the sorghum into flour.

I have also tried a few other whole grains, like Wehani (whole brown rice; outer covering intact).  It reminds me of wild rice.

I have learned that when you want to try something new (and can’t find it at the local grocer), take a trip to Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe’s.  You will find things that may not be in your typical neighborhood grocery stores.

For instance, I bought 365 Rice & Lentil MedleyGerminated Brown Rice, Black Lentils and Black Rice (not japonica, all black).  Of those, I love the Germinated Brown Rice.  Was a bit tepid on the Rice & Lentil Medley because I do not like mushy.  Maybe I overcooked the mix.  I haven’t tried the Black Lentils yet, still looking for a good recipe.  I know I will like the Black Rice, because I love Black Japonica and Wehani.

I also bought some grain mixes at TJ’s, but had to pass on to one of my sisters, because, it was discovered that they had barley or some other member of the wheat family.  But I do love those salt-free chips and brazil nuts!

There was this small sweet potato lying on the counter, so I picked it up and decided I was going to cook it today. Well, I need to step back a bit on sweets, so that meant an meal.  I have added sweet potatoes to collards, quinoa, black beans and just shredded and sautéed.  This needed to be a little different!
Well, back to the pantry of whole grains. I use rice and quinoa quite a bit. I needed to use the Buckwheat groats before they started going rancid, so it got picked.

So the beginning of Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf came about with black beans, buckwheat groats and that small sweet potato!

Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf - served III

Buckwheat Groats Black Beans and Sweet Potato Pilaf


1 6-oz. sweet potato
1 16-oz. can black beans, rinsed drained

2 tbsp olive oil (EVOO)
1/2 tbsp dehydrated onion
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt-free spice mix (like Mrs. Dash)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 small garlic clove, cooked

1/2 cup whole grain buckwheat groats, uncooked
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon
Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf - raw groats quinoa & Better N Bouillion II A
Buckwheat groats and quinoa  compared


1. Peel and slice sweet potato very thin.  Optionally julienne the slices.

Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf - sliced sweet potatoes

2. Place the EVOO in an iron skillet and heat to hot. Add sweet potatoes and sauté for about a minute.  Reduce heat and stir a few times.

3. Rinse and drain the buckwheat groats.  Place in a pot with 1 cup boiling water.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.  When tender add Better Than Bouillon and mix.

Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf - cooked Buckwheat groats

4. In the meantime, rinse and drain the black beans.  Add to the skillet and stir.  Add all Seasonings and stir.

Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf - potatoes and beans cooking

5. Once the Groats are ready, stir into the skillet. 

Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf - mixed finishing cooking


Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf - Dished II

Buckwheat Groats Black Beans & Sweet Potato Pilaf - served II

Servings: 4
Yield: 4 sides

Nutrition (per serving): 225 calories, 8.1g total fat, 5.1g monounsaturated fat, <1g polyunsaturated fat, <1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 32g carbohydrates, 7.5g fiber, 24.5g net carbohydrates, 2.1g sugar, <1g starch, <1g fructose, <1g galactose, <1g glucose, <1g sucrose, 0g maltose, 342.2mg sodium, 394.1mg potassium, 8g protein, 31mg calcium, 1012.7IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, 0mcg vitamin b12, <1mg vitamin c, 1mg vitamin e, 4.3mcg vitamin k, 2.9mg iron, <1g lysine, 2.2mcg
selenium, <1mg thiamin, 1.2mg zinc, 0mg caffeine.

If the cooking steps aren't coming together quite right, remove the skillet from the heat to prevent over-cooking the sweet potatoes.  It can be returned to the burner to heat to hot again, once everything is mixed.
The sweet potatoes can also be further cut into julienne strips.
Feel free to substitute Quinoa for the Buckwheat Groats.
Substitute 1 1/2 cup cooked black beans for the canned beans.

Buckwheat Groats used are the whole grain version without any processing.  They are sold by Bob’s Red Mill.

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