A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kamut.....a cousin of the Wheat grain

Still in recovery mode, but improving a great deal.  I was hating the constant headache and facial pain I had one week ago, now my body has taken back the reigns and ridding itself of the MRSA crap.

I know the antiobiotics really helped, but I'm sure healthful food had its role too!  Daily cups of green, black, and herbal teas along with whole veggies can do wonders for our bodies.

I happened to make some beer braised pork chops with a side dish of Kamut.  Kamut comes from the wheat family, but has an edge up on the common grain.  It's name is the hieroglyphic word for Wheat and offers the following:
  • 3 times larger than the common wheat grain
  • 20 - 40 percent more protein
  • Provides more vitamins and minerals than wheat
  • Easier on the digestive system than it's cousin
A quote from http://www.livestrong.com/article/305670-the-benefits-of-kamut/ says this about Kamut:

"It is incorporated into many products, such as pasta, cold and hot cereals and breads products. The kernel grain is also milled into a flour and the actual grain is soaked and added to salads. It has not been modified with modern agricultural methods and is "untouched" which contributes to its high nutritive value. Unlike some grains, kamut has a low oxidation level and retains most of its nutritive value even after grinding and processing. While kamut does contain gluten, and is not appropriate for individuals suffering from celiac disease or a wheat allergy, it may be easier on your digestive system than wheat, according to the Purdue University Department of Horticulture."

I like to rotate the grains I use to keep things interesting and to benefit from the various nutrients each food has to offer.  To incorporate Kamut into one of our weekly meals, I cooked it with some veggies as a side dish to some beer braised pork chops.

What you need:
  • 2 pork chops, butterflied and trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 cup Kamut
  • 4 - 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 12oz bottle of good beer - I used Rahr & Son's Iron Thistle (tastes like Guiness, but is from a local Fort Worth brewery....have to support the locals!!)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped - I buy onions that are frozen and already chopped (this makes cooking faster and I don't cry as much)
  • Any of your favorite veggies or whatever is on hand.  I added frozen green beans and broccoli as that's what I had at the time.
  • 3 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Celery Seed
  • 1 T Basil
  • 1 T Parsley
  • A few squeezes of brown mustard
Start by heating a medium sauce pan on med-high heat.  Once to temp, add chopped garlic and onions and allow to sweat for 3 - 4 minutes.  Add spices to pan and allow to cook into garlic and onions for 1 minute.  You will really smell the spices cooking!  Add the Kamut and continuously mix for a minute to let the kernels get a little toasted.  Add the 2 cups of broth and scrape the bottom for all of the flavor.  Now add in any veggies you wanted with the dish and mix everthing together.  Turn the heat to high and allow to come to a boil, cover and reduce to low heat, allow to simmer for 1 hour.  Kamut is a very hardy grain and will be a little chewy.  I like it this way, you'll have to try it for yourself to see if you do.

For the pork chops, heat a saute pan on medium-high heat.  Sear the chops for 2-3 minutes on each side and remove from pan.  If there is any fat in the pan, you can leave for a little extra flavor or rinse off if desired.  Open beer, take a few sips to enjoy the taste, and pour the rest in the pan.  Add about 1/2 cup of chicken stock and a few squirts of brown mustard and mix.  Bring the liquid to a simmer and add Pork Chops (they should be half covered with liquid), cover with lid and leave a small opening to let steam escape.  Let Chops braise for about 30 minutes.  Cut the thickest spot and make sure they aren't too pink.

Chops after braising in beer....mmmmm

Serve the chops over a bed of Kamut w/ veggies, add some sea salt and pepper to taste.....I always add a little more cayenne too, and dig in!  I love how moist the chops are from cooking in beer, really intensifies the flavor.

Pork chops "chopped" and mixed in with Kamut...ready for work lunch!

Post comments on your own variations, I'd love to try something different.

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