Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting Started

My friend asked me the other day what a good place to start was. She attended my first ever class on whole foods.
Number one, I told her to cook some grains and keep them ready to use in the fridge. If you don't think ahead that way, it's hard to use whole grains because they take longer to cook. Then, once you have some brown rice and quinoa on hand, you can pull them out, add in some frozen veggies with some butter, salt and pepper, and voila! Lunch in a couple minutes (even faster than Ramen noodles, and infinitely better for you!).
Another of the dishes I make to incorporate grains into foods that boost the nutrition and stretch the grocery bill is this:

Secretly Stretched Tuna

1 can tuna (I prefer solid white albacore in water)
mayo (I linked to a recipe here, but if it stresses you out, just use store mayo until you're ready)
1 rib celery, diced
onion powder, to taste
about 1/2 cup cooked brown rice or white quinoa
salt and pepper to taste

Drain water off of tuna and place in bowl. Mix in mayo to your desired consistency. Mix in celery and then the onion powder (I sprinkle it on until it looks right. Sorry, I get the "cooking by ear" from my mom. It's likely about a teaspoon). Then mix in some cooked grains. Salt and pepper to taste.
A great variation on this is to make tuna melts, and Kara's recipe adds in more veggies and is delicious, or you can just keep it really simple and slap on a slice of cheese and stick your open-faced sandwiches under a high broiler until the cheese is bubbly. My husband likes the sandwiches fried too, like making grilled cheese, but adding in tuna. Experiment and see what works for you.

Congratulations! You just had some fabulous whole grains, and the whole fam downed them without complaint.


  1. A friend of mine adds in chopped apple, carrot, and pickle. So good. :)

  2. I missed the class, so I'm happy you posted this. I'm excited to try it.

  3. Thanks for sharing, Shayla! That's what this blog is all about. That friend isn't YOU, is it? :)

  4. That is so clever! I just attended your class yesterday at Wendy's. I was the one standing on the side with my little girl running around wild! I learned a lot and love this tuna recipe! I had some cooked quinoa in the fridge so I threw this together this morning and it is so yummy! Just so clever! I never would have thought of adding quinoa or a cooked grain to tuna salad. I sent my husband to work with a sandwich today and we'll see if my daughter will give it a shot at lunch. She likes quinoa so I have high hopes. THANKS!