Make Your Own Meals: Cook Beans and Grains in Bulk #30DaysofGOOD Make Your Own Meals: Cook Beans and Grains in Bulk #30DaysofGOOD
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Make Your Own Meals: Cook Beans and Grains in Bulk #30DaysofGOOD

by Evan George

June 27, 2012

Things are easier said than done, or so the old adage goes, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we do The GOOD 30-Day Challenge (#30DaysofGOOD), a monthly attempt to live better. Our challenge for June? Make your own meals.

The best weapon against a mundane PB&J lunch is a fridge stocked with prepared salad ingredients. We learned the first part of that lesson earlier in the month—to roast veggies ahead of time, so you have chilled beets and fingerling potatoes at the ready. Now here’s a technique from the advanced class: Keep big batches of beans and grains on hand that can be used in lunches and dinners throughout the week.

For today’s challenge, pick a versatile legume and a cool grain, and get cooking in bulk. For beans, garbanzos work well, or you can get adventurous with an heirloom variety like the scarlet runner. As for grains, rice is nice (especially long-grain) but try red quinoa as a salad garnish or bulgur for a heartier side dish.

The preparation couldn’t be simpler. Bring your dry beans to a simmer in a big pot of liquid (like salted water or vegetable stock). Cook until they’re fork-tender, but not splitting out of their skins, and let cool. I store them in their own liquid but rinse them before use. When making grains, be sure not to overcook. Strain any excess liquid and toss the grain with a dash of olive oil and sea salt. 

What’s on my menu? A big batch of tarragon tabbouleh made with Israeli couscous, and fava beans doused in a lemon chili vinaigrette.

We're giving away $500 for you to unite your community and "Make More Meals" from locally-sourced foods. Participate in our Share a GOOD Recipe challenge.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user cookbookman17

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Make Your Own Meals: Cook Beans and Grains in Bulk #30DaysofGOOD