One of the great joys of the modern world of food is that so many choices are all around us. People can find a vast array of items on the shelves everywhere they look. In recent decades, all sorts of marvelous new products have shown up as people around the world have the chance to share their culinary cultural heritage. Many cultures use meat sparingly. Changing it up now and then has many advantages. Looking beyond meat is a great way to have homemade, healthy family meals. Children especially benefit from having varied types of food on hand in the home. Kids who are taught to love many different types of foods are kids who will grow up ready to embrace the world of food in every way.
Grains are one of those staple crops that many cultures rely on to feed large numbers of people. Whole grains are a terrific source of nutrients. Whole grains have lots of fiber. That helps the digestive system function properly. These are readily accessible sources of energy that can help anyone power through the entire work or school day. If you are looking for a great alternative to the standard meat based meal, whole grains make the ideal place to begin your journey.Read More »
Skillet Barley With Broccoli, Feta, and Tomatoes
Barley is a word many people have heard before. Now is the time to get to know this grain better. Barley has a toasted nutty flavor that makes a great base for many other types of foods. While many people have never made a dish featuring barley before, it is surprisingly easy to prepare at home. This skillet barley pairs the whole grain with broccoli, tangy feta and luscious tomatoes. Making use of a single pan makes it easy to prepare on busy weeknight. Take advantage of it by whipping this one up. Once you’ve gotten everything together, it’s a slow simmer that helps the flavors merge into a welcoming meal any time of the day.
Quinoa is another type of grain that has taken the food world by storm. This one is widely acclaimed and for good reason. If you’re looking for a grain that will fill you up and bring on the flavor at the same time, this one should be on your shelves. It’s not only a good choice when you want something filling. It’s also something that will please a large crowd.
Quinoa With Shiitakes and Snow Peas
This recipe combines quinoa with earthy shitake mushrooms and crisp snow peas. It’s a good option when you’re in search of something that can be made ahead and kept on hand as needed. Quinoa is like rice or pasta in that it can boiled and then served as wanted. This one brings in mushrooms that add that kind of umami feel to the dish people really love. The snow peas are another ingredient commonly found in Japan. When combined with gently sautéed scallions and garlic, the effect is magical.
An Italian Twist
The Italians love meals that don’t rely on meal for a balance of flavor. All over Italy from the Swiss border to the heel of the boot, Italy has much to offer for those who want to look beyond the heavier possibilities and find something a lot lighter. One of the great things about Italy is that the mild climate makes it easy to grow lots of varied foodstuffs. The result is a country where they know how to make use of the world around them at their door. Travelers to Italy have found lots of dishes they can bring back home with them.
The Glorious Risotto
One dish that has understandably taken center stage is that of risotto. Risotto is essentially cooked rice that has released starch. When the Arborio rice used in risotto is stirred, it becomes a lush thing that clings to the tongue. Mastering risotto at home can be done. All it takes is careful attention to detail and some patience. Those who have never made risotto before will find this recipe offers detailed instructions. Butter is combined with stock, chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese. This is a dish that has the advantage of being highly versatile. People can add almost anything else they like to it. Ladle on whatever is in season from asparagus to squash. The risotto can handle all that and delight the mouth in the process.
Vegetables are for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Every diet should start with vegetables as a base. There are many things people can do to make the most of vegetables and bring them into homemade family meals. Kids can learn to love their greens right from the start. Adults will find a diet high in vegetables makes them feel happier, less stressed and more energetic. When it comes to looking at recipes that incorporate vegetables, people are in luck. Many cultures across the globe know the importance of this source of energy. They also know how to create satisfying meals based on plants that are full of marvelous flavor.
Kale-and-Chickpea Grain Bowl with Avocado Dressing
Bowl foods offer so much. This is an excellent way to place everything you want to eat in a single bowl. If you are looking for a dish that does not require a lot of effort to get on the table or involve endless clean up, this is a fantastic place to start. Kale is one of those vegetables that people appreciate. Kale can be prepared in many ways. Dry it in the oven and you have healthy kale chips. In this kale-and-chickpea grain bowl, kale serves as the basis from which to add lots of other layers. Bulgur wheat is another grain that deserves a lot of attention. It adds lots of bulk that can help you get through the rest of your day to other side. The other ingredients in this grain bowl are equally easy to use once you have them on hand.
The entire bowl is topped with an avocado dressing. Avocados are a good addition to any diet. While high in fat, they’re also filling and easy to work with. This recipe takes the avocado and adds garlic, turmeric, olive oil and some tahini. The result is a dressing that creates an entire meal. The avocado dressing seen here can be used on other dishes. Make some in advance. Boil rotini or other elongated, rounded pasta until al dente. Combine with the dressing and then let sit in the fridge for an hour. This a good choice on a hot summer day.
Go For Beans
Beans are one of those things that come in so many varieties it can be hard to keep track of them. That makes them a great choice for anyone who wants to think out of the box. They’ll find lots of beans for any occasion. From black beans to cannellini beans and fava beans, the world of beans has much to bring to the table for the hungry dinner. Beans also work for so many types of meals including a full dinner or a light snack. Recipes that use beans should be on hand if you want to feed your family satisfying dishes that have the additional advantage of being inexpensive and highly versatile at the same time.
Starting With Soup
Soup is a good choice any time of the year. Beans merge with any soup. They offer everything from a crisp crunch to a smooth puree. This Smooth and Spicy Pinto Bean Soup does it all. Pinto beans are simmered. Then they’re pureed. Cumin, fennel seeds, onion and garlic take this up a notch. This a soup to serve piping hot on cold day or chill it and bring out during the summer.
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