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How to make a macrobiotic meal in less than 10 minutes.

I had a long day of teaching yoga yesterday morning. Then I went out to a garden centre to get soil, because I am going to start my first garden this year! But while I was in Spring mode, and looking at gardening supplies, the weather suddenly changed and it became really chilly and grey and windy.

hrmph. Thanks, Spring.

By the time I came home, it was after 2pm, and I was freezing cold and really hungry.

How to make a macrobiotic meal in less than 10 minutes.

I knew that I wanted something dense, stew-like, and warm. And I knew that I was too cold and grumpy hungry to cook for long :)

I opened the fridge, and saw a random assortment of veggies, and then I discovered the golden ticket: leftover millet! Millet is delicious, and not only is it actually golden, but it has many consistencies, depending on how you cook it. The day before, it was simply pan-toasted and then pressure-cooked. We ate it for lunch, topped with a squash sauce.

For my quick lunch I threw the leftover millet in a pan with some water, and brought it to boil while chopping up a few carrots, and some parsley. I also found some organic corn kernels in the freezer. I threw all the veggies in, and once it was boiling, I brought the temperature down, and simmered with a lid on for about 6 minutes. Then I stirred in a tiny bit of tamari, and let cook for another 4 minutes.

10 minutes later, after topping with a bit of black sesame, I was eating a lovely bowl of...millet & vegetable stew? Or perhaps it was more like Millet & Vegetable Porridge? Either way, it was pure bliss. And warmed me right up!

How to make a macrobiotic meal in less than 10 minutes.

Yum!!! The best thing you can do to save yourself time is to cook grains with leftovers in mind...always make more than you need, so you have cooked grain ready to use for quick meals.

My two favourite & SPEEDY ways to create meals using leftover grains are:

β™₯Boil with more water to make a thick porridge or stew--->can be savoury or sweet (great for breakfast). You can add anything you like (veggies, beans, fresh or dried fruit for breakfast, miso or tamari for flavour,herbs, etc). You can add as much liquid as you like, making it into a soup like if you prefer.

β™₯Pan fry with some  veggies (green onions and mushrooms are a divine combo) in a tiny bit of toasted sesame oil  & tamari

Of course, you can simply steam leftover grain and eat them plain too. Something I also often do.

I have made countless varieties of grain & veggies porridges as quick meals: rice + leftover bean + parsley. Quinoa + celery + carrot. Millet + Squash + miso. etc. etc. All yummy!

So I guess since this post is on a Thursday, this week's Thursday Things is about valuing time! Save yourself time by creating quick meals using leftovers!

What's your favourite way to use leftover grains?

Polenta.

Corn + black beans = a perfect combo.
I think many of you would agree. It's a match that never fails to satisfy.
Corn chips + black bean dip. 
Corn & black bean salsa. 
Corn & black bean chili...enchiladas...quesadillas.... 
You get the idea.

Well today I decided to get all "fancy."

How about some "fancy corn" --> polenta 
And some "fancy beans"--> pressure-cooked black beans (flavoured with kombu).
Don't mind if I do.

I usually get 2 meals for 2 people (so, 4 servings) out of this dish, by having "cornmeal soup" the first day, saving the rest, and then enjoying polenta the next day. These are the directions I follow, courtesy of my cute little Nana:
Cornmeal Soup
6 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
generous pinch of salt
1 cup frozen corn kernels (optional).

Bring water and salt to a high rolling boil.
Slowly whisk in cornmeal (I usually use a coarser ground cornmeal, but any should be fine).
Stir continuously for a few minutes to make sure you don't have any clumping.
Reduce to simmer, and let cook anywhere from 10-30 minutes. 
*I usually cook about 18 mins or so, keeps sweeter and creamier the longer you cook it..
*I usually keep a lid on halfway to avoid bubbling over.
About halfway through cooking add in a cup of corn kernels if you like (I used frozen organic).
Divide in half. 
Set aside one other half in a shallow baking pan to cool. Keep in fridge for next day.
Pour the other half into 2 bowls. 
Eat it's hot. As a soup, it's delicious topped with some thyme, and a little olive oil.
I often eat mine with a bit of shoyu cooked in at the end, and some sesame seeds on top.

Some not--so-macro but very delicious options
Cook in some white wine and grated gruyere, parmesan or swiss cheese.
Polenta
leftover cooled and set cornmeal soup 

Slice the leftover thickened cornmeal into 8 pieces.
Heat some olive oil in a saute pan and brown polenta on both sides.
Serve with a side of beans and veggies. For a treat, also slice some Avocado.
Or as my nana traditionally does, with some grated gruyere or swiss cheese, and olives.
It might be "fancy" but it is actually really easy. 
Shhhh don't tell anyone.
What's your favourite black bean and corn combination?
Do you like Polenta?