I’m doing some preemptive damage control before Stampede starts tomorrow.
Also, it has been a long and particularly stressful two days, and I hadn’t even considered dinner until we realized it was 4pm and we hadn’t even eaten lunch.
As I mentioned yesterday, it’s clean-out-the-fridge week. This, happily, coincides with my dogsitting duties, which includes the fringe benefit of a gardenful of fresh spinach that if not plucked, will go to seed. So the challenge for this week: Using Up Stuff with Fresh Spinach.
As I may have mentioned before, I love grainy salads, and particularly lentils and barley together. The combination makes a complete protein, and is substantial enough for a whole meal-in-a-bowl. The best part is that they cook for the exact same amount of time, so you can bring a pot of water to a boil and throw in a handful of dried lentils and a handful of barley (this would also be ideal for an Extremely Frugal-themed week) and boil them for 40 minutes, then drain in a colander, run cold water over them and you’re good to go. Bonus: you can freeze them at this point, which is what I did with the barley and lentils I used tonight. Just run them under warm water in a colander to thaw, or throw them directly into soup. Canned lentils, rinsed and drained, work just as well, but you’ll still have to cook the barley. Or try brown rice.
The great thing about salads is that you really don’t have to use a specific list of ingredients, or adhere to any measurements. I wished I had a tomato or better yet, some grape tomatoes, but I didn’t, so red pepper worked out fine. (Still, I wished it was roasted.) Any sort of balsamic vinaigrette works in place of the dressing.