Buckwheat is our featured food this week. Despite the name, buckwheat does not contain “wheat” and is gluten free. We refer to buckwheat as a whole grain, yet is it actually a fruit seed related to the rhubarb family- “a fruit disguised as a grain”. In any event, buckwheat has great versatility and offers a very healthy nutritional profile.
Buckwheat has much more than just fibre and great taste to offer! In fact, buckwheat contains all eight essential amino acids, which makes it closer to being a complete protein than many other plant food sources and It is rich in B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and selenium.
Buckwheat has been a staple food in many cultures and countries for centuries. Buckwheat groats are common to Western Asia and Eastern Europe and were brought to America by Russian and Polish immigrants who called it “kasha”. Buckwheat noodles play a major role in the cuisines of Japan (Soba noodles), Korea and the Valtellina region of Northern Italy. Buckwheat pancakes made as a savory or sweet meal , are a common food in Russia, France, and Belgium.
Whether it be a groat or side such as Kasha, a soba noodle in a soup or pasta dish, or a pancake made into a savory meal or a dessert crepe, we recommend you try buckwheat in all its wonderfully tasty and healthy options.
KASHA CABBAGE ROLLS
Serves 6 (makes 12 rolls)
(adapted from Leslie Beck’s website)
- 12 medium sized green cabbage leaves
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 Tbsp fresh chopped dill (or 2 Tbsp dried)
- 2 cups cooked kasha/buckwheat, cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1 lb ground chicken or turkey
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- 2 cans (28oz/796 ml each) diced tomatoes (no sodium added recommended)
- Freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
2. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch cabbage leaves until they are slightly softened and wilted. Remove carefully and shake off any water.
3. In a large bowl, combine onions, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, 3 Tbsp fresh dill, kasha, eggs, ground poultry and ground flax.
4. Cover the bottom of a large dutch oven/corning ware dish with one can of tomatoes.
5. On a plate or clean counter, lay out one cabbage leaf, add ½ cup kasha mixture on top of leaf, roll up the leaf, firmly folding the ends under and sealing the kasha inside. Place roll in dutch oven. Repeat to create 12 rolls. Snugly arrange the cabbage rolls in the dish in a single layer.
6. Pour remaining tomatoes over rolls. Season with pepper and remaining 1 Tbsp of fresh dill.
7. Cover and bake for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until tomato mixture is bubbling and the meat is cooked through.
(per 2 cabbage roll serving–made with no salt added canned tomatoes)
(adapted from cooks.com)
- 1 cup kasha (buckwheat)
- 2 cups water
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill or 2 Tbsp dried dill
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- Sea Salt Ground Pepper
1. In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Add kasha and cook/simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool.
2. Sauté onion in 1 Tbsp canola oil.
3. Place kasha mixture in a bowl. Add onion, dill, dash of salt, pepper and enough flour to achieve a firm consistency.
4. Form buckwheat mixture into patties and place on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
5. Suggested serving on a bed of lettuce with tomato and a dollop of sour cream or in a multigrain bun served up with melted cheese on top and condiments such as low fat mayo, ketchup and mustard and veggies such as lettuce, onions and tomatoes- and a dill pickle!