Hungry, grouchy meal planning is never any fun. But ever since I started following Mark Bittman's advice to cook and store extra batches of grains and beans, throwing together quick weeknight dinners and last-minute lunches has become much easier.Both beans and whole grains can take a prohibitively long time to cook, especially when you are hungrily scanning your pantry shelves at 9 PM. Bittman's advice is to make the most of bean and grain cooking by doing at least a double batch, and refrigerating or freezing the excess.
Cooked grains last at least a few days in the refrigerator and months in the freezer. (I like to portion out the grains before freezing to make defrosting easier.) Beans, stored covered in their cooking liquid, will keep for up to a week in the fridge and for months in the freezer. Add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar to the liquid to help the beans keep their shape, and defrost frozen beans in the refrigerator or microwave.
Are you in the habit of making extra batches of grains and beans?
Anjali is a former private chef who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition, with plans to become a registered dietitian. She lives in Los Angeles. You can read more of her health-focused writing at Eat Your Greens.
Read more from Anjali »