What strange times we live in. I hope you are all safely at home and the only thing you have to combat against is a little bit of boredom. I put together a list of my favourite pulses and grains recipes. They are quick, nutritious dishes and hopefully they will serve as inspiration now that we are all indoors with plenty of time in our hands to cook.
Last Wednesday I packed my work laptop along with all other tech essentials and started working from home. For some of, this is a dream come true; let’s face it, when you work in London commute can be dreaded business. We left the office with a weird sense of relief and anxiety, as of then, nothing is certain. We are all safely cooped up indoors, we meet and greet over glass screens and carry on with our business as best as we can. Alas, now I get to understand the full sense of the phrase to an Englishman’s home is his castle. Thank goodness technology is keeping us safe and sane.
So, have you stocked up? I hope you have covered some essentials. UK supermarkets have been a little bit overwhelmed by demand both in physical stores and online. I admit I had to blink twice when faced with empty shelves in such a consumerism driven society. I can reassure you, I didn’t have to put up a fight my loo-roll supplies and it can hold this humble abode of 2 for quite a while (it was a pain finding it however – please stop panic buying people).
What is in my pantry? I have a bit of pasta, plenty of pulses and grains that can see me through this weird and not so wonderful seige. Nothing out of the ordinary however.
For good or bad, I don’t cook from tins nor do I buy prepped meals, except for the odd pizza. (who can resist?). Many of the ingredients you will see below are pantry staples or at least a Greek pantry staples: black-eyed beans, lentils, beans, chickpeas, bulgur wheat. The recipes below are my easy, go-to daily favourites. Focus is on pulses, perhaps a bit more than grains as these can be found in abundance and they do keep for a very long time. Let’s crack on.
Lentils come in all colours. I favour fine, brown lentils and the reason I love them is that they need no soaking and the grains keep in both in soups and salads without getting mushy.
Lentil salad, as easy as it sounds.
Lentil soup, a Greek classic.
For a Greek to have beans out of a can is probably our worst nightmare (if not an outright insult). I am not even going to apologise about it – I simply cannot have them out of a tin. I do love baked beans perhaps a little bit more than the traditional bean soup. Now you have way more time in your hands there are no excuses not to enjoy beans properly cooked.
Check out these:
Beans, carrots and mushroom stew
Bean fritters, with canellini beans and herbs
Giant beans bake, it’s the elephant beans that go best in this dish.
Fasolia hantres, a summer stew, normally served as mezze with cranberry beans.
Bean soup, fasolatha, the one and only 😉
Black eyed beans
Bless the blackeyed beans that need absolutely no soaking! Same as with lentils, these beans will certainly become your favourite. Earty and filling and with very little prepping you get a wonderful meal. Feel free to experiment with the greens for stews and other fresh herbs and veg for salads.
A no-nonsese black-eyed beans salad with tomatoes & cucumber
I already have portioned frozen preboiled chick pea bags. Normally these sit there so I can make a pot of hummus whenever guests arrive. But chickpeas are not just hummus.
The wonderful chickpea stew with fennel from Despina @panlondon (check out what she is cooking, she is a constant stream of delightful cooking inspiration).
Revithada, a very simple two ingredient chickpea stew, from the Greek cocina povera. Best when slow cooked.
and you can turn this later into a chick pea burger if you have made a little too much.
Here is the hummus too, just in case you are desperate for snacks.
I prefer bulgur wheat to rice on just about any dish. Dolmathakia are not an exception. 😉
Obviously there is nothing Greek to quinoa, but we still love it! Personally on buddga bowls where I can pop in all my favourite veggies – often more than the five-a-day. Here is a quinoa bowl, with tahini lemon dressing I made for my beloved friends oversees Greek biostores.
Fava split peas puree
The favourite dish of Santorini, fava split peas puree. I have made it so many times, here is where you can find it: fava, yellow split beans puree.
Obviously, now that I am at home more, more tasty things will be coming!
Keep safe, be kind and do stay at home lovely people.
From London with love,