Eating on the cheap- my family grain bowl

I’ve been posting a daily financial tip on my instagram page and today I posted a photo of  one of my family’s favorite meals- a delicious and nutritious grain bowl. The financial advice that goes along with this grain bowl is that cutting down on meat is a great way to save money on groceries– and as you will see from this recipe, you still get plenty of protein and other nutrients. If you’d like other tips about how to lower your food cost while not eating ramen, check out my book, Twenties in Your Pocket.

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Ok, here’s how I make this bowl:

  1. We like farro, but you can use quinoa or brown rice or wheat berries or any other whole grain base that you have in the house. I am horrible at cooking grains on the stove, so I pop it in my rice cooker with a little salt.
  2. Open a can of chickpeas and rinse them. Dry them off, put them in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper, then cook at 400 for about 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through. (Advanced money saving tip: cook chickpeas from dry and store in your freezer if you really want to be a penny-pinching rockstar.)
  3. Wash and chop up two sweet potatoes into half inch/inch chunks. I don’t peel them but you can. Put them in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper, then cook at 400 for about 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through (notice: you’re cooking chickpeas and sweet potatoes together. Sometimes even in the same pan so you only have one dish to wash!)
  4. Steam edamame in microwave according to directions.
  5. Add mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber– basically anything you have in the house, but none of these are required– to your salad bowl. Top with grains, edamame, sweet potato and chickpeas.
  6. Top with the dressing from this recipe (which is also excellent and very inexpensive). Thank you to my friend Tara for originally introducing me to this dressing- it’s my favorite.

I use one can of chickpeas, half a cup of farro, a cup of edamame and two sweet potatoes for two people, so scale up if you have more humans to feed.

 

Have any other low- or no-meat recipes you love? Feel free to share!

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