Tag Archives: light

Money Saving Monday–Grain Salads, or “Beets, Part Deux”, otherwise known as “Totally Flaked Last Friday so Here’s a Twofer”

Guys, I’m pooped. In a weeks time I had finals, Mike’s birthday, and my band had two gigs. I’m exhausted.

I had originally planned to get an update with a second beet recipe up on Friday. Well, I didn’t. Sorry. Instead, I was busy baking this monstrosity.

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Delicious, vegan, and soooo, soooo bad for you. The man is worth it though, for sure. When a good man says, “I want a vanilla and chocolate cake mixed together with candy baked in, cookies on top, and sprinkles!” after having cheerfully taken tantrum duty for you after a near death experience (for Olive, not me), you really have no choice but to deliver.

I’m not giving you the recipe, though. I love you guys too much to let you eat that.

Anyway, conveniently enough, the second beet recipe I came up with tied into an important “Money Saving Monday” tip, which I am happy to share with you. Readers, eat more grains!

It’s summer, and salads are light and refreshing. Filling? Not so much. Confession time: I’ve never particularly cared for salads. Sure, I’ll eat an especially tempting one from time to time and I love the ones they serve at restaurants, but at home they just take more effort that I’m usually willing to put in for a side dish and require more produce than I’m willing to part with for an entire meal. I’m more of a “roast,” “steam,” or “grill,” sort of girl, myself. Besides, leaves alone are not tremendously satisfying.

Grain, however, easily solves this problem. You can make a salad out of ANYTHING readers, and I mean, ANYTHING. Have too much rice in your fridge? Make a salad. Dying to figure out what wheat berries taste like? Make a salad. Want a meal in a bowl that lasts you the whole week and won’t require you to so much as toast bread? Make a salad.

Most grains are dirt cheap. A big ol’ bag of rice, wheat berries, or barley costs, at worst, two bucks. At that, you can find a ton of different varieties, and each one has a unique texture. If you’re feeling really fun, check out the bulk food section of Whole Foods (or other natural food store) for a large variety of surprisingly affordable, nutritious whole grains. The recipes can be as simple or complicated as you want them to be.

I chose simple.

Pink Barley Salad
3 beets, roasted in two tbs of olive oil (as per these instructions), chopped into bite sized pieces.
1 cup pearled barley
1/2 or one whole cucumber, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
4 tbs lemon juice, or to taste
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

Did your reserve the Olive Oil like you did last time?

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Good! You’ll need that!

Ok, this is going to be complicated. I want you to take all the ingredients, including the reserved oil, put them in a bowl, and mix them.

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The result? Beets blend well with the citrus and tomatoes, the peppers add a nice crunchiness, the barley is chewy and just right, it’s a bowl full of awesome nutrition…

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…and it turns bright pink! How cool is that? How cool would it be to bring that to a potluck? “Salad? Oh, you mean the princess salad. Yes, I made that.”

You can feel free to call it princess salad. I won’t judge. It’s the only way I could get Olive to eat it. Truth be told, she thinks she doesn’t like beets. She’ll eat pink food though.

The longer you marinate it, the better it will taste, so feel free to let this sit in your fridge over night, or even for an hour or two, before you start chowing down. Much like revenge, it’s best served cold. It will not, however, kill you.

Happy Monday, readers! I’m going to bed!

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