Did you panic buy wholegrains? Or perhaps in a bored lockdown moment, cleaned out your pantry and excavated some forgotten but still edible impulse purchases.
During a recent Facebook live (weekdays at 1pm) I shared tips for using some wholefoods that may be lurking at the back of the cupboard.
Notes and recipes
Remember to always rinse well before cooking. Quinoa is actually a seed and it comes coated in its own natural insecticide. Measure the amount you want to use, place in a sieve and rub the seeds with your fingers, under running water.
Some quinoa is sold pre-rinsed but if in doubt rinse again, to avoid mild gut discomfort!
Try creamy quinoa for brekkie or as a dessert with toasted almonds. If you’re don’t like nuts, cook in coconut milk and top with dried or toasted shaved coconut.
Or orange and ginger quinoa for a warming start to the day. If you don’t have a Japanese ginger grater, use a microplane or a regular box grater over a clean cloth to make it easier to squeeze out the juice.
Prefer savoury? Try the quinoa pilaf, which is a handy one pot meal.
Tomato and quinoa soup. I picked up this clever tip many years ago from the Organic Food and Wine Deli in Melbourne. A little quinoa goes a long way and adds a bit of body to the soup.
This is a versatile seed that goes translucent when soaked. As it soaks up a lot of fluid, don’t skimp on the milk.
Chia pudding. Make sure you stir this a few times to stop it clumping before popping in the fridge.
As my friend Jane learnt the hard way – always buy hulled millet. Unhulled is only good for bird seed, you’ll never be able to cook it enough to soften.
Millet and pumpkin pilaf a simple, one pot meal.
Millet mash A surprisingly creamy and warming autumnal side dish.
Red and green lentils are the stars of the legume world – as when cooking from scratch, you don’t need to be pre-soaked them like most beans.
Red lentils: Dhal is one of the most flexible recipes I know and regardless of the spices and other additions always tastes delicious. I tend to just use red lentil but chana dal or yellow split peas can be used to make a chunkier dhal.
Leftovers can be frozen, or add more vegetable stock to make it a soup.
Green/Puy lentils: Either cook dried lentils on the stove (1 part lentils to 2 parts water, for 20 – 30 minutes) or use canned organic lentils rinsed well in warm water. They’re great in a vegan shepherd’s pie or in a salad.
A pantry audit
This is a great time of year to clean out your pantry and take stock of what you’ve got. If this has inspired you to go further, take a look at my autumn pantry checklist to inspire your cooking during the cooler months.