Diana MirkinDiana Mirkin has taught thousands of people how to make healthful foods taste delicious. She is co-author of four books with her husband, Dr. Gabe Mirkin: The Healthy Heart Miracle; The Good Food Book; The 20/30 Fat and Fiber Diet Plan; and Fat Free, Flavor Full. Each of these books includes 100 or more of her recipes featuring whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. For many years Diana co-hosted The Dr. Gabe Mirkin Show, a syndicated radio show taking call-in questions on health, nutrition and fitness. Although the show is not in production at this time, it is still widely aired via their web site, www.drmirkin.com . She co-writes their weekly newspaper column, eZine, and blog covering the same topics. Diana is a graduate of Vassar College and has an MBA from Loyola College. When she's not writing or inventing tasty new recipes, she's usually out riding her bicycle, gardening or exercising her dogs.
Diana Merkin: I am Diana Merkin and now I am going to show you how to use your countertop steamer to cook whole grain. Remember, we filled the base of our steamer with some water and I showed you this white bucket that has holes in it. We cant put our whole grains into the steamer basket the way we did asparagus because they would fall right threw the holes. So, we use the next piece that comes with your steamer. This is a little pan, they call the rice bucket and we put our grains right in there. Again, I am cooking a whole pound of grains just because I like to make a big basket once and we need a steamer that is this sized to cook a whole pound, two and a half cups of grains and then I am going to cover them with water too. Remember, there is water in the base of the steamer and I am adding more water right in with the whole grains up to about a half an inch from the top of the rice bucket. The quantities that I have used are a pound of whole grains, two and a half cups of water grains and four cups of water. If you are not sure about those amounts, you can always go to our website and all of the detailed information is there, but it is very simple. A pound of whole grains, water up to about half an inch from the top of the steamer basket, then I am going to add a little bit more bouillon, just as we did when we cooked grains on the stovetop to give them a little flavor boost. You put the rice bucket into the streamer basket; put the lid on, set the timer, it is plugged in. We are going to set the timer. I am setting the timer all the way over to 75 minutes. 75 minutes in the steamer is just about perfect for almost of your whole grains. You might want to check them once in a while to make sure that they are nice and tender at the end, but generally you dont even have to do that. The reason I love using my countertop steamer to cook whole grains is because I dont have to stick around. Once I have set my whole grains up, I can leave, I can go to work, I go to sleep, I can shopping, and when I come back two hours later, six hours later, 12 hours later, my grains are sitting here perfectly cooked in their little steel basket waiting for me to use them. Much, much more convenient then cooking on the stovetop thats why I always recommend to anyone, who wants to add whole grains to their life, to get a countertop steamer and you make the process very simple for yourself.
Next, we are going to talk about how to use whole grains once they are cooked.