Vegetable Groatto

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I have been obsessed with whole grains lately, I feel like they are my gateway to superpower and health.  Latest one that has been on my mind and stove is groats.  Groats are whole grain oats that include the cereal germ, fiber-rich bran and the endosperm.  Okay so I agree they can be a little time consuming to cook as they take about 45 minutes to an hour to get done.  The effort is worth it and far better than the quick, mushy oats that you are accustomed to eating every morning.  Groats can be made sweet or they can be done as a risotto or pilaf on the savory side.  I have tried it both ways and enjoy how it holds the textures and shape.  The recipe here is for savory, but the time and the water to groats ratio stays the same either ways. 

For this recipe I just took whatever I had in my fridge and basically made it in to a vegetable groats risotto.  What would the combined name for this be? Risoats or Groatto, I think I like goratto much better.  The texture came out to be nice and creamy, and in all seriousness my mouth is watering as I am typing this.  So the ratio is pretty simple 1 part groats to three parts liquid.  Usually when I make this for breakfast I put them in individual mason jars and top it with different things.  That is the beauty of this; you can top it with anything that you are in the mood for.  For the morning I make mine with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, grated apple, and cinnamon, chia and flax seeds.  You do have to pay attention and stir it every so often so it doesn’t stick.  There are methods on the web with double boiler and overnight process that you can follow as well. Here is a link to one such method. I do use Bob’s Red Mill groats and these instructions are on the back of the packet as well. 

Vegetable Groatto

Ingredients –

  • 2 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1 cup groats – soaked overnight if possible
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • ¼ cup each red and green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 cups chopped assorted mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 small to medium tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro (if you are not a fan you can skip it of course, you knew that didn’t need my permission)
  • ¼ cup chopped spring onions to garnish
  • 2 tbsp. Paella spice mix (I picked it up on my travels to Spain; you can easily find it at a spice store or substitute it with Tagine spice mix)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (I used Trader Joes and it was very yummy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method –

Heat the pan with EVOO, add the groats (if you have them soaked, please drain the liquid before adding it to the pan) and sauté them for two minutes.  This is going to give them a nice toasty flavor, add onion to the pan and let the onions soften with just a hint of color.  We are not looking to brown the onions as we do with Indian cooking.  Add the crushed pepper flakes, salt (please be careful as the stock has sodium in it as well) and paella spice mix to the party and let the spices cook for a minute or so.  One of the most important things I have learned is to let the spices cook before adding liquid to the mix. 

Once the spices are nice and toasty, add the peppers, celery, mushroom and tomatoes.  Add the stock, stir and let it come to a boil.  Turn the heat to low-medium, cover the pan and let the groats cook for 45 minutes. If they were soaked they should be done by 45 minutes if not let it cook for an hour.  Make sure to stir every so often so they do not stick to the pan.     Taste, and adjust the seasoning if you would like, mix in the cilantro and stir.  Serve it topped with green onions, don’t wait now go make and eat it.

You can make this in a bigger batch as it keeps well in the fridge.  Use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, once you know the ratio and the cooking method rest is what you want and are craving for. 

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