Hearty whole grains are a vital and versatile component in a well-balanced meal plan. However, more mainstream grains tend to get all the publicity (I’m looking at you, brown rice and quinoa!). Switch things up the next time you’re cooking by making kasha. The fancy-sounding moniker for toasted buckwheat groats, kasha boasts a nutty, rich flavor and is easy to prepare. It also has a multitude of nutritional benefits, including high levels of magnesium for lowering blood pressure, rutin to strengthen capillaries and prevent clotting, and zinc, copper, and all eight essential amino acids.
This unique, savory side can easily accompany any protein. Around the holidays, it makes an excellent gluten-free alternative to traditional turkey stuffing, plus it cooks much faster!
Savory Kasha with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, medium dice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup kasha
1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 onion, small dice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 celery stalks, small dice
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway. Potatoes should be tender.
- While the potatoes are roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the kasha and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
- Carefully stir the boiling water into the kasha—it may splatter a bit at first! Add a pinch of salt and bring back to a boil. Cover immediately and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, until water is absorbed.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sauté until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add celery and thyme, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes more.
- Combine sweet potatoes, kasha, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Top with fresh sage and serve.
- Kasha with Roasted Root Vegetables. Substitute your favorite root vegetables for the sweet potatoes—parsnips, carrots, and beets are great options.
- Kasha Breakfast Bowl. Top kasha pilaf with your favorite style of eggs for a breakfast that will carry you through the busiest of mornings.
- Kasha with Sautéed Greens. When the onion mixture is almost ready, add 1 to 2 cups of fresh spinach and sauté until lightly wilted.
Heat retention is imperative when cooking kasha with this absorption method. No peeking once the lid is in place!
Whole grains are much lower on the glycemic index than their processed counterparts, so blood-sugar levels will stay in check. High fiber content also guarantees satiety and assists in timely digestion and elimination.
For more health information visit the Yoffie Life Food Encyclopedia on kasha .
While “wheat” appears in the name, buckwheat groats/kasha are not wheat and do not contain gluten, so they are an ideal choice for those with celiac disease and those who are gluten-sensitive.