the taste space

Naked Oats with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Crumbled Tempeh

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian), Favourites by janet @ the taste space on May 30, 2013

Can oats taste like rice?

The folks who sell Cavena Nuda seem to think so.

I disagree.

Cavena Nuda is a Canadian innovation: a new hull-less form of oats. The oat grows with the hull, but it falls off much more easily than standard oats. Regular oats need to be heated and milled until they can be de-hulled. As such, they are more environmentally sound and nutritionally superior to regular oats. After Angela tried them, it took me a while to find them but I eventually located it at Ambrosia and later at Bulk Barn.

They don’t taste like oats, though. Cavena nuda is the complete oat kernel, so while they are in the shape of rice, they remind me more of farro or oblong wheat berries than rice per se.

That didn’t stop me from trying to cook it into a risotto-style dish, though. Lacking rice and cheese, I am hard pressed to call this a risotto but it is a nice meal. Since it has a few components, this is a dish that will dirty up a few pots but it is delicious and worth the effort. To simplify the recipe, you could skip the tempeh as it was good even without it, although it adds a flavourful protein component.

Here, you cook up the cavena nuda (or farro, or rice, or even orzo as Isa suggests), which is added to some cooked onions, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Spinach is wilted at the end. The topping is a crumbled tempeh spiced with fennel and coriander. It is a nice addition but certainly not necessary if you are short on time, or short on tempeh. ;)

Other dishes with farro I’ve spotted:

Scarlet Rosemary Chickpea Farrotto from Keepin It Kind
Farrotto with Tomato and Artichokes
from Eating Well
Farrotto with Shiitake Mushrooms and Beets from TasteFood
Spiced sprouting broccoli with roast parsnip farrotto and citrus-rosemary butter from For the Love of Food
Purple sprouting broccoli with leek and shallot farrotto from Denis Cotter at BBC
Risotto-Style Farro with Caramelized Onions, Squash, and Kale from Cate’s World Kitchen
Baked Coconut Kale Salad with Farro from Super Natural Every Day
Farro and Millet Risotto from 101 Cookbooks

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Lucia, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday and to and to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

Naked Oats with Spinach and Sundried Tomatoes and Crumbled Tempeh
Adapted from Post Punk Kitchen

1 cup cavena nuda, farro, rice or 8 oz orzo
2.5 cups water or vegetable broth

8 oz tempeh
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, then julienned
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper, to taste
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 bunch spinach, destemmed (~300g prepped)

1. Rinse cavena nuda and place in a medium pot with 2.5 cups salted water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Strain excess water and then allow to steam by placing the lid back on. Set aside until needed.

2. Meanwhile, tear the tempeh into bite-sized pieces and place in a microwave safe dish with 1 cm of water. Microwave on medium-high for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and set aside until needed.

3. Meanwhile, soak your sun-dried tomatoes and chop your veggies.

4. In a separate, small nonstick frypan, heat it over medium heat. Add the tempeh, mashing it into crumbles with your spatula as you brown it for 10 minutes. Add the spices and soy sauce, and saute another 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover until ready to use.

5. Heat a large frypan with oil over medium heat. Add onion with a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.

6. Add rosemary, wine and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and turn the heat up to bring the sauce to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat and allow to reduce by about half, around 5 minutes.

7. Stir in broth and nutritional yeast. Add the spinach in handfuls, letting each batch wilt before adding the next. Cook until spinach is thoroughly wilted then turn the heat off, add the cavena nuda, mix well, and serve topped with tempeh crumbles.

Serves 4.

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14 Responses

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  1. Johanna GGG said, on May 30, 2013 at 7:03 AM

    cavena nuda sounds very odd but I am glad to be more informed about how oats are processed – was trying to explain to sylvia yesterday morning when she got a husk in her porridge. I like the sound of this dish but I would probably just try it with rice or even buckwheat groats – I try to limit my buying of this wholegrains because I don’t tend to use them quickly enough – love the sound of the tempeh crumbles on top

    • janet @ the taste space said, on May 30, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      I am quite notorious for buying random ingredients so now I am busting them all out before we move. I like dishes like this because multiple whole grains could definitely be used instead.

  2. sprint2thetable said, on May 30, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    How cool! I’ve never heard of these but I think I’d like them – farro is one of my favorites. I really like that you added tempeh and red wine. Two of my favorite things. ;)

  3. Joanne said, on May 30, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    I’ve never heard of naked oats before but I love the texture of wheat berries so I can’t imagine not loving these! In fact, all of the flavors in this just sound so good!

  4. Reba - Not So Perfect Life said, on May 30, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    This recipe looks good! I love farro. Something about the texture of the grain is right up my alley.

  5. Hannah said, on May 30, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Heh. Nekkid.

    (My guess is they do the “Tastes like rice” thing to try and win over the people in this world who don’t know what things like maca, sorghum, and coconut nectar, for example, are ;) )

    • janet @ the taste space said, on May 30, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      Maybe… but to me it is so far off from rice, it does it a disservice. This is better than rice! (says the one who doesn’t really like rice)

  6. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on May 30, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Whatever these taste like, they do look lovely! What an attractive dish.

  7. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on June 2, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    I’ve never heard of this crazy grain! Very cool!

  8. […] is Janet of The taste space from Toronto, Canada. She  introduces us to a Canadian innovation, “Cavena Nuda it’s […]

  9. Jacqueline said, on July 10, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    How unusual! I have never heard of it before. The things you learn on food blogs!

    Thanks for entering it into Bookmarked Recipes. The roundup is now live.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on July 10, 2013 at 6:58 AM

      Thanks Jac! I swear, food blogging is terrible for me wanting to try new things.. although I feel I must be at my peak.. there couldn’t be too many whole foods I have yet to try, right? :)

  10. […] White Bean, Quinoa and Kale Stew with Fennel Asparagus, Nectarine and Baby Lima Bean Lettuce Wrap Naked Oats with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Crumbled Tempeh Tomato-Basil Zucchini Noodle Salad Chickpea Piccata Brown Sugar Cardamom […]


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