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.

Read more

Tarragon and Pink Peppercorn Chicken Salad

Tarragon & Pink Peppercorn Chicken Salad

It started with an email from JCPenny a few months ago. The PR representative explained they’re changing their brand, and she wanted to give me a $200 gift certificate to spend. It was promptly delivered, and it wasn’t used until recently for the purchase of new bed linens for our new super pillow top comfortable mattress set.

Up until JCPenny contacted me with their much needed gift, my life was a hurricane of stress, sleeplessness nights, and regrets. Then, my life instantaneously started to change. Suddenly, I had a freelance job. As the job gradually started cutting hours, my sudden luck made sure I made a smooth transition into a full-time position as a Graphic Designer with a large Brooklyn non-profit organization. With this new 9 to 5 schedule, the gift certificate remained untouched on my desk until we could determine how to maximize its benefits. Read more

The Art of Making Cream of Mushroom {and Chicken} Soup, Not Inspired from the Can

A Mushroom Tribute to Andy Warhol
A Mushroom Tribute to Andy Warhol

Strolling through a museum, a friend asked if I liked Andy Warhol. The answer is usually automated: “Yes, he’s one of the greatest artists of the 20th century!” On that day my perception of art was being challenged, for I wanted to think about my answer. “I don’t know,” was my response, “My opinion right now is based on what art classes tell me to like.” Andy Warhol spiced up his creativity by using ordinary objects in pop culture. He screen printed an image of the canned Cream of Mushroom soup because of its banality of flavor. That day, I had the lovely pleasure of viewing artwork from other artists made with dirt, sticks and clay shaped like unmentionables. It was artwork inspired from the can. Read more