Fried barley with dandelion greens and roasted vegetables--Dinah Grossman
A few years ago I was stuck in a serious cooking rut--essentially every meal I ate had become some variation on fried rice. I had a rice cooker and always had a pot of cooked rice either steaming or in the refrigerator ready to use. Dinner required little more than chopping some vegetables and scrambling an egg or two.
I never really got sick of fried rice, in part because it is so endlessly variable. But I did come to the realization that my diet would probably benefit from a little more variety. Thankfully, barley, quinoa, cracked wheat and couscous are as easy to make as rice, and delicious with just about any veg you have on hand. On days when I'm not feeling particularly inspired to make anything complicated, these main dish grains are the way to go. Grain+veg+protein and you've got a quick, filling, and delicious meal the left-overs of which make a great breakfast or dinner when refried. Left-over steamed greens, chopped roasted vegetables, bits of chicken, fish or meat, and tofu make great additions to fried grains. For a real flavor kick, try using a small amount of chopped bacon or pancetta, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, or a spoonful of Thai curry paste stirred into the pan early on.