Convenience Over Health
If you are like us, your days may start before the sun comes up, you may race to get the kids showered, their teeth brushed, and off to school (or set up for virtual school) before you can finish a cup of coffee. Your work days may be filled with back-to-back meetings that bleed beyond 5:00pm, and it’s not until the sun is low in the sky that the thought of dinner finally crosses your mind. So you opt for take out instead of make-in and you and your family may benefit from the convenience, but their (and your) health may be paying the price.
But who has time for making dinner every night? Who has time for all the prep work, dishes, recipe sourcing, and chopping?
Sure, we’ve tried meal-prep too. We’ve stayed up late on Sunday to portion out the week’s fare. It seems to work well for a few weeks, but then all of the sudden that too is a chore. After a while the last thing you want to do on your one somewhat-restful day off is to spend it in the kitchen portioning out containers only to get somewhat satisfying leftovers for the rest of the week.
So how can you be healthy, save time, and provide a hearty satisfying meal for your family? Read on.
The Benefits of Ancient Grains
Before we dive into cooking, let’s talk a little about Ancient grains. No, we are not talking about the rice you’ve had in your cupboard since 2001. We are talking about unprocessed grains that are chalked full of nutrients. Yes, the term Ancient Grain is somewhat of a marketing ploy to convince consumers they are eating something that contains magical health benefits, but behind the name, they do have some surprising benefits. Here are a few of the common ones:
Quinoa is probably the most widely known ancient grain and falls into the pseudocereal category. 1 Cup of quinoa can contain over 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of dietary fiber, and great vitamins like B & E, and Minerals like Manganese, Copper, and Zinc.
Farro is a variety of wheat, and like Quinoa it is a great source of protein coming in at about 7 grams for ½ a cup and 7 grams of fiber as well. Farro is a source of both Iron and Potassium.
Chia and yogurt has become a fairly popular pairing as of late, and chia falls into the pseudocereal category as well. Chia is best known for its texture due to it’s hydrophilic properties (meaning it dissolves in water) and has an almost tapioca-like consistency. Two tablespoons of Chia seeds contain more potassium than a banana, 41% of your daily fiber, and more Omega-3 Fatty acids than fish.
Save Time & Boost Nutrients
So lucky for you we have a few ways to incorporate one ancient grain into a quick and easy meal that can be modified in hundreds of different ways. Starting a grain-bowl night with your family is a great way to routinize a healthy dinner and ensure that you use up some of the odds and ends in the fridge.
Vegan Mediterranean Grain Bowl
Prep Time Without Paramount Fresh – 15 – 20 Minutes (depending on how quickly you chop)
Prep Time With Paramount Fresh – 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Paramount Fresh Shopping List
1 – Medium Container of Diced Onions
1 – Medium Container of Sliced Bell Peppers
1 – Medium Container of Sliced Mushrooms
1 – Medium Container of Broccoli Florets
1 – Medium Container of Cauliflower Florets
1 – Container of Red Quinoa
1 – Medium Container of Guacamole
Grocery Store Shopping List
½ Cup Just Egg (Vegan Egg Substitute)
- In a saute pan, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, peppers, mushrooms, and a hefty pinch of kosher salt. Allow these vegetables to just start taking on color.
- Add the remaining vegetables, and cook until al dente.
- Add the quinoa, and mix.
- Create wells in the cooking mixture in the pan, and pour the just egg into the wells. Do not mix. Allow the protein to coagulate for about 2 minutes before folding it to mix with a rubber spatula.
- Taste, and adjust seasoning.
- Serve and top with guacamole.