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Grains and Greens

June 1, 2010

Collage Two

[Updated: I added some mini-recipes to Flickr. If you click on the photos, it will take you to my Flickr page, where you can see some very basic instructions and ingredients for each of these very, very tasty dinners. Enjoy!]

The radio silence over here was unintentional, but I’ll be honest, it’s proving challenging to talk about (and photograph) my endless meals of grains and greens. So far, my CSA has been almost entirely made up of greens, with some lovely little radishes, and this week, baby beets, thrown in for variety. And I do love the greens, but the thought of continually typing out “saute spinach in a tablespoon of oil” every other day wasn’t that appealing. And, well, these meals all look the same. Namely, not that interesting. They are delicious and filling and lovely, but they don’t photograph well.

I mean, just take a look at this:

Bulgar with Beans and Greens

This is a big bowl of bulgar, Anasazi beans, radishes, spinach, and green onions, cooked with chicken broth and paprika and made creamy with just a sprinkling of melty cheese. It was a wonderful dinner, but it will win no beauty prizes. However, it does win honorable mention for teaching me that, while I might not love radishes raw, they are terrific sauteed, softened and mellowed and adding just a hint of sharpness to the whole.

And what is this?

Tarragon Mushroom and Chicken Couscous

Oh yes, it’s another skillet full of greens and grains. This time, bulked up with chicken and mushrooms, and flavored with Dijon mustard and plenty of fresh tarragon. It was delicious, but rather uninteresting to write about. I did learn, though, that roasting a whole, cut-up chicken on Sunday means I can get creative with chicken all week. This chicken also made its way into an amazing pasta salad, flavored with roasted red peppers, fresh herbs, and a light red wine and yogurt vinaigrette, topped with shaved gruyere. It also made one small bowl of vegetable chicken soup, with just a cup or two of chicken stock, some cut up veggies and some fresh herbs.

Perhaps pasta and lentils don’t really count as grains (or at least not as whole grains, in the case of the pasta), but I tend to think of them as variations on the same dinner. And this skillet full of tomatoey lentils, beans, and arugula was another simple weeknight dinner.

Tomatoes and Lentils

Simple, and delicious, but all essentially made up of the same recipe: cook grains, saute greens, stir together with some herbs and spices. I couldn’t bring myself to write that recipe fourteen times, and hence, the contributions to this blog are starting to feel few and far between. Not to mention that no one wants to look at endless pictures of what are essentially bowls of mushed together plants, no matter how delicious they are.

So it might take me awhile to figure out how to continue to write here, barring my occasional weekend culinary adventures (I made spinach empanadas this weekend, which I am looking forward to sharing). In the meantime, I recommend you pull out your own skillet and get creative with some green and grains. I’d love to hear what intriguing combinations you come up with, and if I find something truly amazing (and even slightly photogenic) I promise to share it with you.

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