Kamut Berry Salad

12 Tue, 2011 § 3 Comments

Have you ever had kamut berries?  I am in love.  They are much bigger than wheat or spelt berries & have a nutty flavor with nice, “pop” texture.

Sometimes I do not plan or prep my workweek meals very well & end up hungry mid-day, stranded without sufficient calories.  My blood sugar drops, my mood turns c.r.a.z.y & I “nearly ruin the night” — or so I have been told. 😉  Harsh?  I certainly hope so.  He assured me “once you get food, everything is kosher again.”  I am definitely one of those eat-something-small-every-couple-hours kind of girl…otherwise Hyde emerges.

A big batch of grain salad made over the weekend is perfect to last throughout the week & gives me one more snacking option to keep my blood sugar level.  I was determined to plan my work meals better this week; so when I saw kamut berries at the store on Sunday, I knew what was going in the pot that afternoon.  This salad has been my mid-morning or early afternoon snack.

It is pretty simple & basic, but like I said, I’m in love.

Kamut Berry Salad with Cranberry Beans, Raisins & Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Rinse ~1.5 cups kamut berries & add to 4 cups boiling water [I like my grains a bit chewier, so I use less water than the 4.5 cups recommended but check on them to make sure they don’t run out of water].  Simmer 1.5 – 2 hours until water is absorbed & kamut is cooked.  Allow to sit covered ~10 minutes, then fluff.

Mix with cooked cranberry beans [I soaked & cooked ~3/4 cup dry beans], 1/4 cup raisins & 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds.

You can stir in a dressing or leave it “naked” like I did.  This way I can customize each serving so I don’t get tired of one strong flavor throughout the week.  I like it with champagne-tarragon vinaigrette, simply a little flax oil & sea salt or maybe a splash of white balsamic; & sometimes, I just leave it as is [“naked”].  I also have artichoke hearts & citrus-stuffed olives on hand I can add on a whim.  You can always play with other herbs, like basil, or reheat it with a bit of milk, cinnamon & maple for an alternate to the usual oatmeal breakfast.

I highly recommend making big batches of meals that stay fresh or develop flavor before your busy week starts.

It is only Tuesday, but so far, we’ve only seen Jekyll. 😉  [I think — I don’t know, ask Dave.]

~

Have you tried kamut berries?

Do you plan or prep any week-day meals during the weekend?

Leftover Magic

18 Thu, 2010 § 2 Comments

Leftovers are gross.

This is what I thought growing up.  Next-day-food was either mushy or stale, bland or overwhelming.  Then my family was introduced to leftover spaghetti & garlic bread sandwiches…& they were even better than the original dish.  Maybe leftovers weren’t so bad after all.

The trick is to transform them.

These days — though I love a freshly prepared meal — I’ve not only come around to but really enjoy finishing off leftovers.

I have found myself making large batches of favorites for lunches throughout the week, prepping dinners like casseroles, stuffed peppers [that end up missing ;)] & other dishes in advance & revamping leftover meals.

Several dishes hold really well — some even get better — over a few days: soups, chili, baked pasta, bean burgers, grains, etc.

It’s convenient to make large batches & reinvent leftovers; & it often makes healthy eating easier because you are left with fewer excuses to just eat out or make lunch from a box.

But it can’t get boring, so think outside the box & play around with a few of these suggestions for using up leftovers without feeling like you’re eating leftovers:

Bake a dish you normally wouldn’t bake…like leftover ravioli filling tossed with rice or quinoa.

Crumble bean burgers over salads…or top your salads with casserole mixings…or stuff your mixings into a wrap.

Use soup as the base for pasta sauce…or casserole…or use pasta sauce to make crazy enchilada sauce.

When you’re really desperate to use something up, sometimes a little magic happens.

I turned a leftover 7Layer Guacamole Bean Dip from Friday’s game night into a tasty lunch that was completely different than its original appetizer vibe.

7[un]Layered Bean Dip Casserole

1 large or 2 small servings

  • ~1.5 C leftover 7Layer dip
  • ~1 C cooked Harvest Grain Blend [a mix of various rices, quinoa, etc that I picked up from the bulk section at Whole Foods.]
  • 2T toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1T vegan “parmesan”, plus extra to sprinkle over top

Combine all ingredients.

Scoop into a ramekin or small oven-safe bowl.

Sprinkle with “parmesan”.

Bake at 350*F for ~15 minutes, or until heated through.

7Layer Guacamole Bean Dip

Spread & layer, in order, in an 8×8 dish.

  • 1 can [Annie’s] refried beans
  • 2.5 avocados mashed with juice of 1 lime
  • ~16oz [-1/4C] plain Greek yogurt, blended with taco seasoning packet*
  • 1, 2.5oz can diced green chiles, drained
  • 2, 2.5oz cans sliced black olives, drained
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 C Daiya cheese

*You can make your own taco seasoning using chili, cumin, onion powder, paprika, cayenne & salt.

~

What do you do with leftovers?

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