May 29th

theresa albert - my friend in food


Good Grain Salads


You only want to party with the well dressed.

The difference between a good grain and a bad grain is all in what it’s wearing. A good grain comes to the party wearing a tan colored jacket made of fiber which is holding in its nutrients.  It is lightly dressed with colorful accessories that add flavor and nutrients.  In contrast, a bad grain comes wearing white, having left its jacket behind and been robbed of his charismatic nutrient contributions. As a result, he is heavily covered in salty, fatty flavor makers and is all bluster and no substance.

All kidding aside…grains and carbs are a necessary part of your diet. They come with crucial fiber and nutrients in little energy containing packages.  Eating the right ones in reasonable amounts (1/2 cup serving-3-6x per day)  is your best way to control your glycemic response (blood sugar).

Give up your pasta salad and spend more time with one of your deeper friends!

Here is how:


(Pronounced keen-wah) is a grain that originates from the Andes Mountains of South America.  It is gluten free and easily digested and is a great substitute for cous cous or bulgur.  This is the highest protein grain with a nearly ideal amino acid balance (more like a nut than a grain, without the fat).  It is also a good source of fibre, calcium, phosphorous, iron and vitamins B and E.

Directions for 3-4 servings:

1 cup quinoa + 2 cups water or low sodium chicken broth.

Rinse quinoa thoroughly in pot and pour off as much water as possible, through a sieve if necessary.  Add water or stock to pot and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 8 minutes.  Serve hot as is or turn into:

Greek Cold Quinoa Salad

Stir in:

Garlic and oregano, yogurt, ½ tsp extra virgin olive oil, chopped baby spinach and cucumber.


One of the least allergenic and easily digestible grains and is gluten free.  High in B vitamins and has a good amino acid profile, it looks like tiny round yellow couscous.  Great in place of rice or bread in casseroles, soups and stuffings.

Directions: for 3-4 servings

3.5 cups water +1 cup millet

Bring water to a boil and stir in millet, simmer, uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

To use as a stuffing side dish…Brown 1 onion, chopped, 2 stalks celery and 1 grated carrot in a skillet with 1 tbsp butter.  Stir in poultry seasoning and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Stir millet into veggies and serve in a casserole dish.

Millet with Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad

When cold, place a scoop onto a bed of mixed greens, top with an ounce of blue cheese and a handful of chopped walnuts.


Directions: for 5-6 servings

Barley is a very high fiber, high magnesium grain that has been shown to help diabetics control blood sugar.  It becomes slightly creamy when cooked which lends itself to a “risotto” like side dish.

1 cup  pot barley +   3      cups          chicken stock +     1/4  cup           grated parmesan cheese

Simmer barley in chicken stock until soft, adding water if necessary, for about 50 minutes.

Drain if any liquid is left over.  Remove from heat, taste, add salt and pepper if necessary.  Let cool, 4-6 minutes.  Add parmesan cheese and stir.

Summer Barley Salad

Toss cooked barley risotto with cooked shrimp, fresh basil and minced green onions, serve on a bed of arugula.

Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert

I love food, try to watch my weight, know more than I want to about healthy living (sometimes I wish I knew less so I wouldn’t feel so guilty when I stumble), am a daughter, sister, friend, mom and wife who worries and scurries the meals onto the table. It is for all these reasons that I completed my nutrition, RNCP designation, wrote my book, hosted my Food Network show, consult with food companies to urge them to get it right (or at least better), constantly write about it, research it, all of this so I can cut through the nutrition and food “news” clutter. Happy to share with friends!


One Response

    Mary Fabiano
    July 1, 2011 at 7:56 am Reply

    Love these! Can’t wait to try them for our next summer picnic.

Leave a Comment


To keep your mind sharp, answer this question to post your comment!

What is 2 times 9?


Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved.