Thrift Kitchen: Getting a Grip on Grains


{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.


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.


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.


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?


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)!