21 Mon, 2011 § 10 Comments
The bulk food bins & I have bonded deeply the last few years.
You know it’s serious when your husband says,
“I’ll leave you to it – this is like Disneyland for you,”
before he darts off for the meat & cheese counters.
Buying bulk is less expensive & less wasteful, especially if you BYOB [bags]. It offers variety & a chance to try small quantities of something, by buying only what you need; this means your goods are likely fresher. It also seems fresher to pour my grains, seeds, beans, nuts & dried fruit from glass rather than plastic bags or containers.
We keep a lot of our bulk items in our favorite snap containers from World Market. I always have more bulk than I have containers for though, so I also store food in mason jars as well as reuse other food jars, which once held oils, pickles, etc. Food storage does not have to be expensive; in fact, it can be downright cheap.
As long as it stays fresh, I am happy.
Dave is right: the bulk section makes me embarrassingly excited. Whatever my food mood, I can generally fill it here.
Lately, my Spring [fever] mood has been light & distinct, using only a few ingredients to highlight simple flavors.
Five[or six]-ingredient grain salads.
[I have seen variations of these online but can't find the links now. Sorry.]
Lentils & Barley with Cardamom
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 cup almond or hemp milk
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup coconut, toasted
- 1 tsp cardamom
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 cup cashews, toasted
Combine & rinse barley & lentils. Combine with water & milk & bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover & simmer 30 – 40 minutes until most of the water is absorbed. Toward the end of cooking, stir in cardamom, salt & raisins. Once water is absorbed & grains are cooked, allow to rest a few minutes. Stir in coconut & garnish individual servings with cashews.
Tarragon Vinaigrette over Quinoa & Roasted Beets
- 3 T champagne vinegar
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T tarragon [fresh if available; I used ~1 tsp dried]
- ~6 medium beets, roasted
- ~2 cups cooked quinoa
- pumpkin seeds, toasted
- sea salt & fresh pepper
Combine vinaigrette ingredients & toss with quinoa & roasted beets. Sprinkle with salt & pepper & top with roasted pumpkin seeds. Tarragon is my new favorite combination with beets. I can’t wait to get my hands on some fresh.
Do you shop the bulk section? What has been your favorite find?