One of the easiest ways to ensure that our shopping budgets stretch further without relying on cheap processed food products, is to try to make the most of cheap wholefood ingredients.
Staples such as wheat grains, barley and split peas are among my favourite ‘basic’ ingredients for healthy, simple vegetarian dishes and when paired with cheap and reliable vegetables such as onions, carrots and potatoes, they really do make incredibly frugal meals. Add a few spices and some herbs from the garden, and you’re away.
This is a dish I tried, purely because I wanted to make more use of the large and ridiculously cheap bag of organic wheat grains in my store cupboard and as for carrots, I always have them on hand in my vegetable basket.
I think it makes a lovely late summer pilaf or salad. Eat just warm for supper, or chilled in your work lunchbox, the sweet and spicy flavours work well either way.
Wheat Grain, Carrot and Coriander Pilaf
- 1 Cup Whole Wheat Grains (aka ‘Wheat Berries’)
- 4 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ dice
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 Pinch Chilli Pepper Flakes
- 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/3 Cup Raisins
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- A Handful of Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
- Put the wheat grains in a large pan on the stove and cover with plenty of boiling water. Bring to the boil, add the lid and reduce the heat to a fast simmer. Cook for 40 – 50 minutes, or until the grains are well cooked (wheat grains remain pleasantly chewy when cooked.) Drain and place in a serving bowl.
- Put the remaining ingredients (barring the salt and pepper and fresh parsley) into another pan, and cook over a medium heat for around five minutes.
- Stir the carrot mixture into the wheat grains. Season with salt and pepper and stir through the parsley.
- Leave till just warm before serving, or chill.