A very exciting class that we have coming up at dish is Chef Paula Bashford’s Going with the Grain on February 6th.

She’ll teach guests how to cook with whole grains. “Whole grains are the whole kernels or seeds of a grain with only the inedible outer husk being removed, while the nutritious bran and germ are retained,” Paula explained. Many baked goods use refined all-purpose rice or wheat flour in which the bran and germ have been removed in order to give the product a longer shelf life. “Unfortunately, a lot of the nutrients are thrown out as well,” Paula elaborated. “You are then left with the starchy endosperm, the center of the grain, containing largely empty calories.”

Paula will be teaching guests how to put together a spelt crust pizza with fennel, prosciutto and apples. Spelt is a species of wheat that is often called “ancient” since there have been very few attempts to breed this crop. You’ll also be making quinoa cakes with smoked trout and lime mayo, Paula’s favourite grain to cook with. It’s also gluten-free. “It is very versatile, so it can be used in many different ways,” she said. “The seeds contains many different amino acids which then makes it an awesome source of protein. It cooks really quickly and you can tell when it’s done by just looking at it.” Quinoa (keen-wah) comes in many different colours so it is easy to create an attractive plate with black, purple, red, orange, yellow or ivory grains.

For the main course you’ll be making lamb stew with wheatberries in a red wine sauce, with pine nut bread and sun-dried tomatoes. Wheatberries are the entire wheat kernel (bran, germ and endosperm, everything besides the hull) and have a crunchy texture. For dessert you’ll create a beautiful dish of purple rice pudding with rose water dates and amaranth-walnut cookies.

photo from frannycakes.com

Whole grains are an excellent source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin E, antioxidants as well as fiber.

“Fiber may not be digested, but it helps your digestion and it keeps you feeling full longer,” said Paula. “A lot of people don’t eat whole grains and I think it mostly has to do with the fact that they don’t know how to cook them.” If this is true of yourself, sign up for Paula’s class where you’ll learn how to incorporate healthy whole grains into elegant meals.

February 6th, 6:30-9 pm, $135 per person, plus applicable taxes.

If you are interested in this registering for this class, please call dish cooking studio at 416-920-5559.