When is a recipe not a recipe?  When two factors are present–it’s so simple that I can remember it and it can be adapted to whatever you like, whatever is seasonl, and whatever you have around the house.  Having said that, here’s a tasty, nutritious non-recipe from Jae Steele, author of Get It Ripe and Ripe From Around Here–Pesto Bean Bowl.

Start out with a grain of some sort, whole grains being preferable.  I’ve used rice as the base before but you can use barley, quinoa, millet or what I used today–farro.  Farro is an ancient grain from Italy that’s enjoying a resurgence of popularity, even chicness, http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/11/garden/farro-italy-s-rustic-staple-the-little-grain-that-could.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm.  I like it because when cooked it’s chewy as well as high in fiber and protein.  Although it can be difficult to find, I found mine at…Costco.  🙂   This farro is pearled, meaning the hull has been removed, shortening the cooking time and probably losing some nutrients along the way.  Whatever grain you choose, you want to have about 2 cups of it.  I cooked the farro earlier and then put it in the fridge since the rest of the ingredients are at most room temperature.  That makes it a perfect vehicle for leftover grain.

Next, you need either a can of white beans, such as cannellini (white kidney beans) or navy beans OR about 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans.  Mix in about 1/4 c. or more of pesto, plus some salt and pepper.  I have homemade pesto frozen, but you can buy it if that’s easier.  (Well, of course buying it’s easier, but you know what I mean!)  If you’re vegan, make sure the pesto doesn’t have Parmesan cheese in it or make your own with vegan Parmesan.  Tastes fine without either, though.

Finally, wash, dry and chop up some bok choy, baby or adult.  I found some adult bok choy (please, don’t ask for it by that name, though) at the farmers market last weekend, so that’s what I used.

That means all you have to do is assemble the ingredients and make the bowls.

If you aren’t going to eat 3 or 4 bowls at one time (no, not you personally, but the collective you at the meal), make one or more of the bowls in a storage container, pop it/them in the fridge and you have a meal or two waiting patiently, always a wonderful situation.

Put the grain on the bottom of the bowl, then bok choy and on top, the fragrant pesto-ed beans.  Grab a fork and something delicious to drink and dig in.  After trying it, you’ll probably think of some add-ins that might be great…or you might choose to stick with the original awesome deliciousness.  Either way, your health and taste win.

(Jae has some recipes online.  You can find them at http://domesticaffair.blogspot.com/.  The blog isn’t up-to-date, but the recipes will still be good.)

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