PCA Cooks: Vol. 4 - Grains! A Great Base to Any Meal

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Cooking grains is quite simple, but there are different proportions to cook each different type of grain, and different cooking times and methods.

PCA Cooks will give you tips on how to cook all different types of grains so that you can meal prep easily.

Grains are an essential part of a healthy well balanced diet and can be the basis of many delicious and affordable recipes. There are many different types of grains to make, numerous different types of rice, quinoa, oats and pasta (pasta isn’t technically a grain, but we’re counting it as one for the purpose of this article).

Being a busy college student we know how it is to want a home cooked meal when you get home from a long day of classes, but have no energy to cook. That is why meal prep is so important!

However you don’t want to meal prep something and only eat that thing for a week straight, not only is that boring, but you also could be missing out on some essential nutrients that particular dish doesn’t have.

This makes grains the perfect meal prep aid, just simply make a big batch of one particular type of grain and since grains are so versatile you have your base for your meals throughout the week. One less thing to cook!

A few tricks to make your choice of grain extra yummy

  1. Always ALWAYS salt your pasta water, a good trick is make it “salty as the sea” (not literally but think a lot of salt).
    When making pasta always save a little bit of pasta water to add to your sauce this will give it a creamier consistency
  2. The most basic white rice.
    Rinse the rice two or three times until the water runs clear. Place in a pot with one part rice and one and a half parts water. Bring to a boil and once its boiling turn the heat down to low and give it a stir. Then cover and let the rice sit on low for 20 minutes. You’re all set with your base for a delicious stir fry or curry!
  3. This is our new favourite tip to make basmati rice.
    Fill your preferred pot almost to the top and boil on the stovetop with a tiny splash of olive oil and salt. Once the water is bubbling, add about 1/2 a cup or 90 grams per person. This may seem like wayyyyy too much water for rice but the trick here is to basically cook your rice how you cook your pasta. The rice should be cooked within about 10 minutes simmering even though there appears to be much water left. You then strain the rice the way you do with your pasta! This is a super quick and easy way to cook rice without having to worry too much about measurements and the pot will be way easier to clean with no rice stuck to the bottom. ENJOY! We will follow up in the coming weeks on instagram with many yummy dishes you can serve with your rice.
  4. How to make quinoa.
    Use twice as much water as quinoa when cooking. For the best results cook the quinoa uncovered, unlike rice, until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Then turn off the heat cover and let it steam for about 5 minutes. Super easy! Quinoa by itself is very plain but it is a very nutritional alternative to rice or pasta, plus it’s gluten free. You can substitute it very easily for a dish that calls for rice to add more fiber into your diet.
  5. Oats into Oatmeal!
    Oatmeal is a super healthy, super easy, super cheap breakfast that you can add many things to to personalize your breakfast as much as you want. The golden ratio is a half part oats to one part water or milk. Boil your liquid of choice and once boiling reduce the heat to low and stir in oats. Keep stirring until the oats have absorbed all the water and your oatmeal is done. Add some chopped fruit, nut butters, maple syrup, brown sugar, nuts, seed, or honey to make this simple breakfast absolutely delicious.
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