Saturday, November 28, 2015

How to Cook Healthy Whole Grains For Kids : Farro

Congratulations are in order. I've experienced some personal growth. My mom stayed over my place the other night to watch the kids so Cassie and I could go out. The next morning, I figured I would show my appreciation by cooking my mom breakfast. I decided to introduce her to quinoa and make her a mushroom quinoa risotto.

I knew it would take some time for the quinoa to absorb the chicken broth and soften, so I made every effort to wake up early. Of course, my mom woke up just as I was starting to cook. I knew she wouldn't want me to go though any trouble, so I tried to hurry the process along.

That was the first problem. You can't rush risotto. It takes time for grains to absorb hot broth, whether you're using rice or some other kind of grain like quinoa. Whole grains take even longer to soften up due to their tough fibrous exterior. The second problem was it's never easy to introduce my parents to new food. As supportive as they are, it is especially difficult to change their food tastes. I knew I had my work cut out for me.

I made the risotto and placed a sunny side up egg on top. I like my egg yolk runny, but I knew my mom would like hers cooked through because she is afraid of eating anything raw. I served our breakfast and carried on conversation like normal. I ate a spoonful. Oh no. I didn't cook it long enough. The quinoa was crunchy. My mom does not like to chew her food. Did she notice? Maybe she didn't notice. After all, she doesn't know what quinoa is supposed to taste like, let alone quinoa risotto. I took a sidelong glance at her bowl. It was barely touched.

I decided not to get upset. This was a huge moment of personal growth for me. I used to be very sensitive about my cooking. And of course, I am very sensitive about my mother's opinion. But you know what? Home cooked dishes don't always come out perfectly, but they're always made out of love. At the end of breakfast, I stole one more glance at my mom's bowl. She actually ate the whole thing, undercooked quinoa and all. Next time I'm gonna try making her this farro risotto with pear, prosciutto, and sage!

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