Wheat wheat wheat. It's in EVERYTHING, but what makes it so much more special than other grains? Agriculture. Ah.
In this spirit, I am attempting to live for awhile on ALL sorts of grains/legumes, wheat included, but given no more a chance than the rest!
In the past two days, four alternates have become the basis of a meal. Here they are, in descending order of awesomeness:
1. Barley. At 1.19 a package, you really can't beat barley. It's chewy, like pasta, has A TON of your daily fiber needs, and tastes awesome. Actuallly awesome. Not "I'm pretending like this tastes good when I know I would rather be eating pizza" awesome. I just finished a bowl. My favorite way to serve it: Cooked in chicken stock until soft, with a spoonfull or two of greek yogurt stirred in to make a creamy bowl of grains. Top with a drizzle of olive oil!
2. Chickpeas: not just for dips! My second favorite. Try them WARMED! So good in a thick, spicy tomato sauce, and a pinch of allspice (my new favorite spice, BTW).
3. Steel Cut Oats. A breakfast staple in the British Isles, it IS worth it to take the extra time to cook whole oats. They have a little bite, and are crazy good for you. Awesome cooked in whole milk drizzled with honey. Keeps you full for hours.
4. Green Lentils: My least favorite, especially considering the tastes of the ones above, but still worth a mention. To me, they are a bit dry, and the flavor isn't anything to crave. You can't beat the nutritional value, though. I've got a bag around, so I will try and make them work. I actually prefer the red lentils, which become slop (why most don't appreciate them), but make good chili and stews!
More on this to come...