Place on the Grain ...
So ... in my quest to get Honey healthy again, I have been trying to increase the protein content of our meal.
For those of you who don't know, a little over a month ago, we rushed Honey to the hospital .... burning up with fever and gasping for breath. A few days in the hospital and a new fashionable-oxygen-tank-accessory later ... we are slowly adjusting to a different normal.
We don't get out much now ... and now that our flower season is done ... I have been having a lot of fun stretching my cooking muscles.
Most hip and cool people knew about grain bowls. But ... I am talking about us ... so no, we had never made grain bowls.
Oh ... I had eaten rice and meat bowls that were smothered in cheese at our local not-quite Mexican restaurant. But these are suppose to be healthy. How do I begin??
It turns out grain bowls are the perfect medium for leftovers and creativity!
First ... start with 1 to 1-1/2 cups of grain per bowl. I used a tri-color Israeli couscous but brown rice, farro, barley, quinoa, lentils, wheat berries are all great in a grain bowl. The grain can be cooked ahead when you have a little time.
Next ... you want to add some protein.
I made a simple vinaigrette of lemon juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic and seasonings and marinated a boneless skinless chicken thigh for about an hour. This the perfect time to use up that leftover salmon, chicken or steak. I used about 3 ounces of meat per bowl.
Adding beans of some kind is important for protein and fiber. My first grain bowl was Mediterranean-inspired so I used chick peas. Black beans and pinto beans are on my list ... you might like black-eyed peas or fava beans.
After I had cooked the chicken ... and was letting it rest ... I quickly stirred the beans in the skillet to heat.
Time to add some veggies. Ok ... this is where leftovers come into play.
I quickly sauted a half of zucchini, a couple of mushrooms and a red pepper. I can not begin to share the number of veggie combos that you can use. You want to add about a cup of cooked vegetables per bowl.
Crunch is an important element of a grain bowl. I added some sliced cherry tomatoes, olives and a good feta cheese in brine. Fresh herbs are lovely on bowls .. as are nuts, roasted seeds and dried fruit.
I finished it off with some of the vinaigrette dressing I made earlier. For safety ... never use the leftover marinade that you used for meat. Make sure you make plenty to start.
So .... some truth in blogging.
I LOVED this. One skillet ... a couple of bowls ... and I cleaned out the fridge.
Honey .... well, he is a meat and potato guy. He did humor me ... and ate all of it. It might have been a bit too salad-like for him. And, Lord knows, salads are often considered a side dish ... not a main dish.
But I think I can win him over.
If I am lucky.