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How to make “Bowls”

“Bowls” are a newly popular concept, and for good reason. They are fresh, generally quick to put together, tasty, and relatively inexpensive.

Think Chipotle, SweetGreen, or pretty much any of the “healthy fast food” franchises popping up in malls across the country. Essentially it’s a pile of stuff in a bowl, with lettuce/greens on the bottom, and stuff on the top. Hm… sounds kind of familiar, right? Like a salad bar? Yep, exactly like a salad bar. The difference is in the marketing, and the proportions. it’s a little bit of salad with a lot of “stuff” arranged in a colorfully pretty selection of “wedges” around the edge.

Literally, it’s just a bowl of different wholesome, nicely flavored ingredients, that you then pour some sauce on and mix together, like… well… like a salad. Yeah.

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

Freezing Rice and Other Grains

Ever make more rice than you can eat? If you aren’t going to use it in the next few days, you can freeze it for later use.  Here’s how:

  1. Put 1-1/2 to 2 cups of plain cooked (cooled) brown rice in a quart-size, freezer-grade ziplock bag. Don’t seal it shut yet.
  2. Flatten the bag out, then gently roll from the bottom up to remove as much air as possible, and zip closed.
  3. Flatten it back out and freeze flat.

To thaw, simply massage the bag briefly to break up the frozen rice, then empty it into a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and microwave for 30 seconds or so (depending on the wattage of your microwave).

This works for most other cooked whole grains as well. I used to buy frozen pre-cooked brown rice at Trader Joe’s, but this is more economical and tastes fresher.

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

How to Cook Whole Grains


Barley is available pearled (the bran has been removed) or quick cooking (parboiled). Technically neither are whole grains but nutritionally speaking they count toward your whole-grain servings because of their high fiber content.

To Cook: Pearl barley Continue reading “How to Cook Whole Grains”

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

How to Parboil Brown Rice

This recipe on how to parboil brown rice is very useful for when you want to substitute brown rice for white rice in a one pot meal. Parboiled brown rice cooks in the same amount of time as regular long grain white rice.

Parboil Brown Rice Cooking Instructions

  1. Combine in a 2 quart saucepan – 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups water
  2. Stir lightly, bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and drain.  If using within 2 hours you can leave it on the counter, otherwise refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Use in place of “long grain white rice” in any one-pot recipe.

Thai Salad with Peanut Sauce

How to prepare leeks for soups and stews

If you need to prepare leeks for a soup or stew, here’s the best way to do it.

Clean the leeks well by cutting off the hard root end and hard dark green leafy parts. Cut in 3-4″ sections crosswise, and then cut each section in half lengthwise.  Rinse well under running water while fanning out the layers to remove any trapped dirt particles. Pat dry with a kitchen towel and then thinly slice crosswise into half moon shapes.