Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spring Clean-spiration

With the most recent ReDux challenge on my mind, I started sifting through my cupboards. You might also be in a bit of a 'spring clean' mood/mode in your kitchen. I know my mom said she was working her way through a few things in her freezer. I took a look at my pantry and spices. I often look for recipe inspiration in my own kitchen and then perhaps google ingredients to see what I can try together. It's not only a great way to clean, but also to help with meal planning, and budgeting.

Source: HealthLine
I found some freekeh (young green wheat; an ancient grain) in my cupboard and decided to be brave and try it. I also have wheat berries that I've been meaning to use, and the two are very similar. Of course, I followed the cooking directions and my husband asked "what did you cook it in?" and I said "water" to which I think he was a bit disappointed, but we had mushroom pork in the slow cooker and peas to go along, so I think in the end he was satisfied with the flavours. He's perhaps more adventurous with spices and experimenting in the kitchen. I love my time in the kitchen, but I tend to be more of a baker (which my monthly foodie group could attest to), so I'm more of a rule follower (in life as well!).

Oats, pasta, rice, and tortillas are probably the grains we see more often in our kitchen, with the occasional quinoa, bulgar, barley, bread, pitas, English muffins, bagels, or naan. I enjoy big batch cooking to help us through our busy days. I sometimes make granola, spiced oatmeal, overnight oats, or breakfast quinoa to get us through a few rushed mornings. I think it's a great reminder that grains can be both savory or sweet. I also attempt to add them to salads; I've had many great salads with rice, quinoa, bulgar, pasta, and wheat berries, but it's not really in my repertoire yet. I just think it's a great way to make a salad into a meal, which I find many people do in the spring and summer months. There are many whole grains to play around with - check out this A to Z list for inspiration.

I just tried a lentil granola recipe since some of my clean-spiration is also motivated by new recipes I've come across recently. One recipe on my 'to-make' list this spring/summer is Tropical Breakfast Couscous.
What have you found in your cupboard or what's on your 'to-make' list right now?

Enjoy the sunshine!
Steph Langdon, RD