Friday, April 30, 2010
I can't say I'm often frustrated by food, but I have to tell you. Sometimes I dread trying to feed myself at lunchtime. My school is located in a virtual culinary abyss, with only maybe two sandwich shops anywhere around. One of which is actually pretty good, but I've been going to this school for five years and they only have about 6 kinds of sandwiches. At the other one, you better be prepared to pay six bucks for a teensy tiny tub of gingered pureed carrots. I mean seriously, it must be some kind of magic ginger, because I'm pretty sure carrots are basically free.
So the moral is that I should be bringing my lunch. But for some reason I'm really bad about it, I get tired of what I bring, or it doesn't travel well, or there isn't enough. So I've been on the lookout for things to bring, and I thought I'd better mention this one thing, because it's fab, and it's spring-like and it's coming with me to school for the rest of the week (okay, for tomorrow).
And I thought I'd give one more plug to my new favorite website, because you have Eat Your Books to thank for this killer little salad. Before the days of a site that indexed many of my cookbooks in order to make them searchable on-line, I would have found myself with a half-used jar of mango chutney (leftover from some pretty serious mac and cheese, I might add) and I would have looked at it whenever I opened the fridge wondering what the heck to do with it. And since I hate wasting food, R would eventually have been forced to throw it away since I'm always in denial about food going bad. And he probably would have lectured me on how I just need to throw it away myself, and then I would have countered that he's so much better at it than I am. I think we're all glad that we've been spared this exchange. Not to mention that I can feed myself at lunch tomorrow. Finally.
I've cut the original recipe in half because, well, we don't have six people around here, and I don't need to be eating anything for six days straight. Also, instead of using only brown rice, I've turned it into a mixed-grain salad by also adding wheat berries. Don't have wheat berries? Use all brown rice. See? Easy!
Mixed Grain Mango Chutney Salad
Adopted from Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh
3 cup water
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
1/2 cup wheat berries
1/2 cup mango chutney
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large green apple, unpeeled, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 cup thinkly sliced celery
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (or more, if you really like mint. I sure do.)
Handful of toasted slivered almonds (you can just dry toast them on the stove in a little pan)
Salt & pepper
Put the watter into a large pot and salt as though you were cooking pasta. Add the wheat berries. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer 15 minutes. Add the rice, cover again, and continue to cook for about 45 more minutes. Check to make sure the water doesn't evaporate. When finished cooking, allow the grain mixture to cool in a large bowl.
Whisk the oil and the mango chutney together. Toss the rest of the ingredients with the cooled grains, then fold in the chutney dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.