Parade.com: Hold the White Rice and Get Your Freekeh On

The Freekeh Cookbook by Bonnie Matthews

Here’s a typical weekday situation: A recipe calls for rice. There’s only 30 minutes for dinner. Healthy brown rice takes 45 minutes, and unhealthy white rice is 15 minutes to cook. When it comes to time, I’m guilty of choosing the latter. I have tricks for using grains in weekday meals, such as doubling the requested amount and storing the difference in the freezer, or cooking slow-cooking grains—such as barley and farro—on weekends.

One of my favorite healthy and quick-cooking grains is whole-wheat couscous. Quinoa is another favorite, but the rinsing process is time-consuming. My recent discovery is freekeh, a familiar grain in Arabic cuisines with a 15 to 20 minute cooking time.

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Adapting to Less Time

Spicy Tomato Sauce with Shrimp, Chickpea and Roast Asparagus

For the first two to three years of MyLifeRunsOnFood.com, I was partially or fully unemployed. My hours were spent writing cover letters, resumes and recipes. The food blog enabled me to have a routine, stay creative and hopeful. The recipes created during that time period, continue to be my favorite meals.

During that time period, I recall a conversation with several friends about how process food isn’t as fast as preparing a home cook meal. Then there’s a lone voice among us who disagreed with us as she explained, “…for working families… it’s difficult to prepare healthy meals, join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or a food co-op…” I was curious about her statement. Despite being unemployed, I wondered if my concept of time management around healthy eating was within the realities of single parents and families working full-time.

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Parade.com: A Worldly Cookbook on the Humble Bean

Baby Kale Salad with Green Bean Fries and Roast Lemon Shrimp

In our American culture, vegan bean recipes tend to be predictable. Kelsey Kinser’s new cookbook, Vegan Beans from Around the World, offers 75 adventurous recipes we should dare to try. There’s a reason why beans are essential ingredients in many global recipes: They’re cheap and versatile.  Read more

Parade.com: Bryant Terry’s Fresh Remix of Soul Food

Bryant Terry’s Smashed Potatoes, Peas and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil

A national leader for creating southern soul food with seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients, Bryant Terry uses farm fresh ingredients while honoring the cultural heritage of the African diaspora, encouraging individuals and families to buy whole foods to improve their physical and spiritual health. In the words of Alice Waters, “Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.”

Terry is the author of two previously published cookbooks: The Inspired Vegan and Vegan Soul Kitchen. In his new cookbook, Afro-Vegan, he gives American southern soul food a fresh remix, with cultural influences from Africa and the Caribbean and a vegan spin. Terry introduces new flavors and provides musical soundtracks, inspiring books, and films connected to each recipe. Along the way, he traces the history of traditional southern recipes while providing relevant cultural information.

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Fall in Love with Pineapple Pizza

Pineapple and Duck Prosciutto Pizza

A whole pineapple was thoughtlessly purchased without a clue of what to do with it. Although, it’s a bit complicated to chop up, it’s a juicy snack or a nice garnish for a rum drink. Chunks of it always sweeten a mean, green stir-fry. When it’s pureed, it sweetens most dessert (try it in Hummingbird Cake with Mascarpone Frosting). After some thought, I decided to challenge myself by making a savory pineapple pizza.

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