4 Grain Powered Salads to Boost Weight Loss and Stamina
Packed with slow-release energy, grain based grub should be your ideal grub for longevity and stamina at the same time it will boost your weight loss process. Grains are packed with life giving substances that will enhance your overall health.
High-carb, low-fat options work best most, providing a hit of easy-to-digest, slow-release energy leaving you raring to go in the morning. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can do with a pack of penne and a tin of tuna. Which is where this month’s recipes come in: full of flavor and packed with all the run-boosting nutrients you need, they should go some way to convincing you that your pre-race nosh needn’t be bland.
SUPERFOOD RAINBOW SALAD WITH MISO DRESSING
A well-flavored dressing can transform the simplest salad ingredients into a great tasting, healthy snack, and perfect for a lunchbox. For a gluten-free version, omit the couscous and use brown rice or buckwheat instead.
- 1 litre (1¾ pints) water
- 100g (3½oz) wild rice
- 50g (2oz) giant whole grain couscous
- 200g (7oz) broccoli, cut into small florets
- 100g (3½oz) baby corn
- 1 bunch radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- 50g (2oz) roasted cashew nuts or peanuts
- 4 tbsp chopped coriander
- 4 tbsp miso paste
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil or mild olive oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp clear honey
- Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan. Add the wild rice, cover with a lid and cook very gently for 45 minutes until just tender. Add the couscous and cook for 5 minutes or until both rice and couscous are soft. Drain thoroughly and tip into a large bowl.
- In a separate pan, steam or cook the broccoli in boiling water until just softened. Add the baby corn and cook for 2 minutes. Leave to cool completely before adding to the grains bowl.
- For the dressing, whisk together the miso paste, oil, soy sauce, vinegar and honey until smooth. If the mixture is very thick add a few drops of water.
- Add the radishes, spring onions, sesame seeds, nuts and coriander to the salad bowl.
- Just before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad and mix well.
WILD RICE & BUTTERNUT CURRY
Add the bite and texture of wild rice to this colorful veggie stew. It’s a complete dish on its own, though you might want to serve some warmed flat breads with it for mopping up the spicy sauce.
- 150g (5oz) wild rice
- 700g (1½ lb) butternut squash
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 liter (1¾ pints) vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp sundried tomato paste
- 100g (3½oz) creamed coconut
- 25g (1oz) jalapeño peppers in brine, drained and chopped
- 200g (7oz) fresh spinach
- Cook the wild rice in plenty of boiling water for about 30 minutes until the grains have softened slightly but are not cooked through. Drain.
- Discard the seeds from the squash and cut away the skin. Cut the flesh into 2-cm (¾-in) chunks.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large, shallow saucepan or frying pan. Add the celery and onions and sauté gently, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and sauté for another minute.
- Add the squash to the pan along with the drained wild rice, stock and tomato paste. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes until the wild rice is now tender. If the creamed coconut is solid, cut it into pieces before adding to the pan with the jalapeño peppers. Stir gently until the coconut has melted into the sauce.
- Add the spinach leaves, stirring them into the sauce until wilted. Season to taste and serve in shallow bowls.
BUCKWHEAT & ROASTED BEETROOT SALAD
Delicious and nutritious, this colorful salad combines plenty of flavor-packed ingredients. It’s a meal in itself, though you might want to serve it with some fresh grainy bread.
- 450g (1 lb) beetroot
- 4 red onions, cut into thin wedges
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chopped thyme
- 200g (7oz) buckwheat, rinsed
- 500 ml (17 fl oz) water
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 tsp grainy mustard
- 75g (3oz) watercress
- 200g (7oz) feta cheese
- 4 tbsp balsamic glaze
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Trim the ends from the beetroot and cut into wedges. Scatter into a roasting tin with the red onions and garlic cloves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle with the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 50–60 minutes, turning the vegetables once or twice until tender.
- Cook the buckwheat in the water until tender. Drain off any excess water and tip into a bowl. Once the vegetables are roasted, reserve the garlic cloves and add the beetroot and onions to the bowl. Leave to cool.
- Press the garlic pulp out of the cloves into a small bowl and mash with the back of a spoon. Gradually blend in the remaining oil. Add the lemon juice, mustard and a little seasoning. Remove any tough stalks from the watercress and stir the leaves into the salad.
- To serve, add the dressing to the salad and mix well. Crumble the feta on top and serve drizzled with balsamic glaze.
This is a slow-cook recipe that’s easy to prepare. The flavorings and ingredients vary from one posole to another, though hominy is essential. Use dried hominy if you can find it.
- 450g (1 lb) pork shoulder, in one piece
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 liter (1¾ pints) water
- 200g (7oz) dried hominy, rinsed
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 orange pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut the pork into 4 similar-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the meat, two pieces at a time, to brown. Add the garlic, onions, chilli, cumin and oregano and cover with the water.
- Bring to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Cook on the lowest heat for 45 minutes.
- While cooking, trim and thinly slice the radishes and shred the lettuce, discarding the core. Halve stone and dice the avocado. Mix with the lime juice. Place the radishes, lettuce, avocado and coriander in separate bowls ready to serve.
- Add the hominy to the stew and cook for a further 1 hour until tender. Add the peppers and coriander and cook for a further 30 minutes.
- Lift out the pieces of meat and transfer to a board. Pull into shreds with a fork, discarding any bits of fat, and return to the saucepan. Season with salt and heat through gently. To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve with the vegetable garnishes for spooning on top.