In the projects: No longer against the grain.

One of my resolutions this year has been to drastically cut back on the amount of processed foods I feed my family.  It’s been a tough row to hoe because, dang-it, processed foods can be tasty.  (Chef Boyardee, I’m looking at you.)

We’ve been eating healthier breakfasts since our tearful farewell to sugar cereals, and I’ve been making our bread at home these last few months, so all in all I think I can safely say that I have actually kept one of my New Year’s resolutions.  I should probably throw myself a party, because I’m pretty sure that’s the first resolution I’ve kept my entire life.

There is one thing I am still concerned about:  the amount of wheat my family is eating.  I don’t want us to be a one-trick/grain pony.

That leads me to this Friday’s organizational project:  Storing the grains!

(This project now officially sounds lame.  But hold steady.  It’s bound to get better.  Somewhat.)

When we got married, I received a set of four clear glass containers to hold all of our different types of pasta.  So for years, I had spaghetti, elbow macaroni, bow-tie pasta, and orzo on my counter as a visible cue to Eat! More! Processed! Crap!  (Albeit, delicious processed crap.)

Well, no longer.  The pasta is in the pantry, high on the shelf, so as not to daily tempt us with it’s appetizing refined and enriched four.  In it’s place are a few things I always kept stored in a cupboard, forgotten about and ignored.


From left to right:  split peas, pearled barley, dried chickpeas, and lentils.


Here is my thinking:  if I see them several times a day, I’ll actually cook them for dinner.  Genius, right?

Not to mention, they look so much prettier than dull pasta.  Seriously, who wouldn’t want to cook with something so colorful?


In further grain storing news, I did some organizing magic in the pantry as well.  Before my husband was laid off, we stocked up on a few of the essentials: rice, rolled oats, and black beans.  We bought them in twenty-five pound bags and then just kept them shoved in a cupboard somewhere or stacked in bulky barrels with difficult to remove lids.  All of which made me reluctant to open them up and use in my cooking exploits (which makes me sound like I’m a culinary spy. Cool.)

Well, no longer.  My husband went to the container store (a place I’m not allowed to go because I would completely lose my head and spend our life savings on beautiful containers) and found these large, wheeled storage bins.


They were on sale for an amazing price (proof that the Good Lord wanted me to have them) and my husband snatched them up.  They have an easy to unlatch lid that opens neatly on a hinge, providing quick access to my grains and legumes.  (I just love the word legumes- it makes me feel healthy AND fancy simultaneously.)

So that is this week’s project.  Basically it all boils down to getting the healthier food someplace where it’s visible and easy to get at, so I’ll actually use it.

That’s all I have for you today, gentle reader.  Stayed tuned for next week’s In the Projects post when I transform the chaos in which my son sleeps, into an orderly, sports themed bedroom.  It’s gripping stuff.



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2 Responses to In the projects: No longer against the grain.

  1. Marie says:

    If you’re wanting to try new grains, we LOVE quinoa (keen-wah) at our house. It is so versatile, way easy to cook, has great texture, and makes you feel so fancy when you say it. It’s good anywhere you might use rice, but actually has protein and other good stuff in it. AND my kids actually like it. But then again, we all know I have weird kids.

    • I am the only person in America who does not like quinoa. I’ve tried and tried and I just can’t do it. I’m going to try one more recipe and then I’m pulling the plug on all future quinoa endeavors.

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