journal, thrift kitchen

Thrift Kitchen: Getting a Grip on Grains

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{received this Sample Cereal package last christmas from an Iowa family farm Paul’s Grains, so yummy}

Grains are one of the best ways to add interest to your cooking and save money all in one fell swoop. If you make a vegetarian chili you can easily round it out with some rice or bulgar. If you want a spring dish, cook some couscous in broth and add some raisins and walnuts and much with some fresh spinach.

The main point is that rice and beans can get a little dull. If you add some wild rice, it changes the whole thing up.

Here are the three basic grains I always have on hand and a few of my favorite uses for each. Having them makes it easy to quickly round out anything I might have in the pantry or leftovers from the night before.

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Brown & wild rice mix – Jason came up with this great mixture, mix together 1 part long grain brown rice to 1 part wild rice and cook 1.5 parts water to 1 part rice in your rice cooker. It takes about 25 minutes to cook. We have been eating this with everything lately–as a side with curry, in burritos, and on its own tossed with some dressing and nuts.

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Bulgar – You can cook with soy milks, broth, or even plain ol’ water. I cook it about 1 part liquid to 1 part bulgar. It makes a tasty breakfast: cook it with soy milk and when finished mix in some jam. A great lunch dish: cook with broth, raisins, and walnuts.

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Couscous – Similar to bulgar (but quicker cooking) you can cook with soy milk, broth, or water. I like cooking it with garlic and fresh herbs. It’s amazing! I love to toss it with dried fruits or cilantro or beans or everything. Yum yum yum.

What’s your favorite grain? What’s your favorite way to cook it?

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Spend Thursdays in the Thrift Kitchen with me. I learn about eating thrifty, delicious food and share what I learn along the way. The Thrift Kitchen series has 4 main goals: to keep me accountable to using all my groceries (stop wasting food), to eat healthier (lose weight), to eat out less (save money), and to try new things (keep it fun)!

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