Grain Salads – Cooking Without A Recipe

I rarely actually cook from a recipe.  I think this is because I learned to cook by watching my mom make dinner while I did my homework at the kitchen counter. She would usually throw a bunch of whatever-was-in-the-fridge, plus some spices and herbs into a pan, make something saucy to go with it, and pour it all over some kind of grain with a salad on the side. I really like this style of cooking.

But some people, especially those who didn’t learn to cook growing up, rely on recipes for every meal. This works really well, and you get to learn about great spice combinations that have already been tried and tested. But sometimes you’ve got to throw together something last-minute and you don’t have all the ingredients you need for any one recipe that you know of (even if you’ve tried finding one with supercook), and that’s when knowing how to improvise comes in handy. So here is my guide for making the simplest, most nutritious improvised meal: a grain-based salad.

Grain-Based Salad

There are three important components to a grain-based salad.

Grain: you have so many to pick from. Usually I choose quinoa, but it’s not always from the most ethical sources, so consider picking other options from this list. All should be available at bulk food stores, which is usually the cheapest way to get them, and are pretty easy to cook.

  • Rice (white, brown, black, wild etc. – pick according to cooking time)
  • Couscous
  • Bulgur
  • Farro
  • Millet
  • Pasta

Veggies: You should have about the same volume of veggies as grain in your salad. Pick any veggie you want, and cut it up into small pieces (usually about 1-3 cm chunks). Include as many as you like. Some good options include:

  • Bell pepper
  • Tomato (drained of its juice)
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Kale or other leafy green (torn into small pieces)
  • Carrot (I prefer to grate carrots before adding them to a salad)
  • Jicama
  • Radish
  • Snap peas
  • Frozen peas, corn, or mixed veggies (just stick them in boiling water for a minute and drain)
  • FRUITS if you’re feeling confident and adventurous
    • Apples, pears, and mandarin pieces can be successfully incorporated into a savory salad

Protein: Many grains have some protein in them, but you’ll probably need more than what’s in there. Add any of the following.

  • Feta cheese
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans
  • Edamame (shelled)
  • Tofu (cubed and marinated)
  • Nuts or seeds (sunflower seeds are my personal favourite)
  • Egg (scrambled and mixed in, or fried and plopped on top)

Two more additions can bring your salad to the next level:

Flavourful additions: Small amounts of these can make the flavour of your dish pop

  • Green onions
  • Red onions
  • Shallot
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh dill
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh basil (if you have none, throw some pesto in the dressing)

Dressing: Not all salads will need a dressing, but it can make the texture better and the flavours hang together. Mix an acid like vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, etc.) or lemon juice, with an oil (olive is best, sesame can be used in small quantities for flavour), and optionally add some flavouring like honey, jam, garlic, spices, or herbs. There are plenty of homemade dressing tutorials online. You can also do very well without adding the oil. I finish off most of my grain-based salads with just a squeeze of lemon juice.

Let me know if this was helpful and if you’d like me to continue this series with other kinds of improvisable dishes! Folks who already cook like this, what are your favourite things to put in a grain-based salad?

– Arlie

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We’re Back!

Hi Made Out of Glue followers!

It’s been a while! We just wanted to let you know that we’ll be starting regular posting again starting next Monday! We have recipes, DIYs, observations about the world, and more planned to bring to you every week. Unfortunately, we won’t be doing videos until we find ourselves in the same place again, which might be a while.

As for us, we’ve both finished our fourth year of uni. Alannah has another year to go, while Arlie is completely done her BSc, and is graduating in June! We’ve got working, travelling, and learning on the horizon, and we’re excited to share with you what we experience along the way.

– Arlie and Alannah

How to be sick with minimal misery

I’m just getting over a really bad cold.

But I’ve been using a bunch of simple tricks to make myself feel less icky and get better as fast as possible. Most of these won’t be new to you, but I thought I’d share my little regime.

1. Drink clear fluids – duh. I drink so much tea. Make sure it’s herbal and uncaffeinated. I’m currently on a chamomile kick, but I also love Throat Coat. If your stomach is upset, ginger is a good way to go.
2. Eat soup or stew – chicken soup has actually been proven to reduce cold symptoms. Soup is generally smooth and won’t hurt your throat going down.
3. Orange ginger “tea” – my girlfriend made this for me last week and it was AMAZING. I felt so much better while drinking it. Chop up an orange into cubes about an inch thick, peel and all. Remove the skin of a piece of ginger root about the size of your thumb and chop it roughly. Place this all in a pot of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered, until tasty and slightly thickened, about 45 minutes. Pour into a mug, and sweeten with honey to taste.
4. Eucalyptus steam – this is great for when you’re dripping snot like a faucet and your sinuses feel all blocked, and also for two days later when all your mucous membranes seem to have dried up and you’re coughing so much you’re afraid you’ll lose a lung. You’ll need a small saucepan with about an inch of water in it, a small towel, and a bottle of eucalyptus essential oil. Bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Place the towel over your head like a hood and lean over the saucepan so that the towel helps channel the steam towards your face. Close your eyes, add a couple drops of essential oil to the saucepan, and breathe in deeply. Stay there, breathing through your nose and your mouth, until you feel nice and clear. I usually splash cold water on my face afterwards, and moisturize my face.
5. Make sure you have good heavy-duty moisturizer – you’ll be washing your hands a lot and your nose will get all dry from blowing it so much, so make sure you have good moisturizer. I use The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector, which is gentle and unscented enough that I feel comfortable putting it on my nose. NIVEA is also good.
6. Oil of oregano – This stuff is the second-most disgusting thing I’ve ever had to consume (after aloe vera juice). HOWEVER it really is very good for preventing and getting rid of colds, and luckily for you, I have recently learned the best way to consume it: with honey. Scoop about half a teaspoon of honey onto a spoon. Drop 4 drops of oil of oregano onto the honey. Place the spoon honey-down onto your tongue, lick the honey/oregano mixture off, and swallow. I use Manuka honey, which is extra tasty and potentially antibacterial.
7. Gargle with salt water – this is actually how I usually prevent myself from getting sick. If I wake up with even a tinge of a sore throat, I mix up a little portion of saltwater and gargle at the back of my throat for at least 30 seconds. The saltwater should be a little saltier than tears.
Stay healthy, folks!

– Arlie

Blondes Have More Fun

This is a public service announcement on behalf of all those jealous brunettes. Blondes have more fun and it’s not fair! Here Arlie and Alannah rant about the many reasons why blonde is a superior hair colour. Plus, we look adorable in the Fred and George (Garlie and Falannah) sweaters that Arlie made Alannah for Chrismakkah!

Buzzfeed Charades

It’s been a while since our last post and we can all blame Arlie for that (she left for Cuba and did not leave any login information for Alannah). Thus, one weeks delayed is our next video posting!

We decided to create a fun challenge that we like to call “Buzzfeed Charades.” Inspired by Hannah Hart and Jenna Marbles “Charades Against Humanity” we decided to create a Buzzfeed variation of this classic game. Both of us took a series of Buzzfeed quizzes and withheld our answers from each other. The only information we gave each other was the quiz title. We then tried to guess the answers (and in Alannah’s case deeply failing at this).

Enjoy the hilarity that ensues.

And a belated Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas and New Year from Arlie and Alannah!

Secret Ingredient Mac ‘N’ Cheese Cupcakes

Mac N Cheese Bites

These mouthwatering, portion controlled nuggets of mac n cheese are my go-to potluck dish. Now that we’re in peak potluck season, I thought I’d share my recipe with you. Plenty of recipes exist for mac ‘n’ cheese baked in muffin tins, but this one’s different: you’d never know it, but they include a secret ingredient that lends a beautifully soft and creamy texture, and makes it healthier!

Ingredients

• 1.5 cups dry macaroni
• 1Tablespoon butter
• 3 cups shredded cheese (I use combo of cheddar and parmesan, but you could also include mozzarella for texture or small amounts of other cheeses for flavour), 2/3 c of cheddar reserved.
• 3/4 cup shredded cauliflower (you could easily increase this amount without it being detected)
• ¾ cup milk
• 1 egg, beaten
• 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (plus some salt if your breadcrumbs are unseasoned)
• scant 2 teaspoons olive oil

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, shred cheeses and cauliflower, and mix breadcrumbs with olive oil. Trust me, do this before you start cooking the pasta. You’ll also need to oil a cupcake tin.
2. Boil macaroni until just underdone, about a minute from al dente. Drain and return to pot.
3. Add butter and cheese except for reserved cheddar, mix until melted.
4. Add cauliflower, milk, and egg, and mix until well coated.
5. Spoon into oiled muffin tins, distributing liquid from the bottom of the pot if left over.
6. Top with reserved cheddar, then breadcrumb mixture. Making sure to cover the top of each with cheddar will significantly improve the texture.
7. Bake for 25 min.
8. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan, to allow the cheese to set.

Fills 12 regular muffin tins.

– Arlie

The 13 Hugs You’ll Receive This Holiday Season

December is hug-y. Friends and family get together for the holidays, students return to their hometown for the break, and there are lots and lots of parties. With this comes a lot of hugging, but we all know not all hugs were created equal. Look out for these hugs this holiday season!

Sorry for the erratic posting, it’s been a busy time. But Alannah is back in town so you can look forward to lots of great posts in the coming weeks!

Bisexuality and Pansexuality

First video in a while! (Get ready for a bunch more this holiday season) This video features our friend Ayesha and Arlie talking about the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality. We have both identified as each over the years, so we have a bit of insight about the implications of the labels, from the perspective of young cis women. Our main points we tried to fit into the video are:

  • “bisexual” and “pansexual” are both ways of describing attraction to people of more than one gender
  • “pansexual” implies but does not mean attraction to all genders, and has undertones of attraction regardless of gender
  • “bisexual” does NOT mean attraction to both or two genders, but rather attraction to people of your own gender and different genders
    • the term “bisexual” is not binarist, gender essentialist, transphobic, or trans exclusive
    • a personal interpretation of bisexuality is that it implies differential attraction to different genders or gender presentations – this isn’t true of all bisexuals!
  • bisexuals and pansexuals are often subject to some misfortunes
    • invisibility
    • stereotype of promiscuity
    • rejection by monosexuals
  • keep in mind that:
    • sexual orientation is not the same as sexual behaviour!
    • sexual orientation is not always the same as romantic orientation
  • you don’t need to label your sexual orientation if you feel it’s not helpful
    • if you want, you can use a more encompassing term, like “queer”

Things I want to stress if you’re figuring out your sexuality:

  • It’s ok to be confused!
  • It’s ok if your preferences change!
  • It’s ok if you want to change your labels!
  • It’s ok to “experiment”
  • It’s ok to be promiscuous if you want to be
  • You can still be bi or pan if you’ve only ever been with people of one gender
  • None of these things make your sexuality invalid

This website deals with most of the stuff we talked about, and gets a little more in-depth.

If you have any questions about anything we mention, Google is your friend! Also feel free to comment, ask us stuff, add your experiences, we want to hear what people are thinking about this topic!

The Panty Dropper

So back in late August my roommate, Colette, and I were unpacking and she told me about this drink called “The Panty Dropper.” So we innocently made this alcoholic concoction not realizing that we would be very drunk after half a glass. Not like we got drunk enough off one innocent glass to start stripping, however we do now understand why some frat-boys created the drink in the first place. So today, a week before closing night of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” I will share this drink recipe with you. Yes, this is what I plan to drink not-so-classily out of very large mason jar on Saturday night. All actors out there will understand the magnitude of a closing night party. Arlie and I have shared many stories about our various closing night shenanigans. For those non theatre people out there, it’s the one night where we get very drunk and celebrate a job well done after 6 weeks of hell.

So “The Panty Dropper” sounds disgusting. But if you feel the need to get drunk fast, it’s a great way to go. This recipe is enough to make in an ice tea container.

“THE PANTY DROPPER”

Ingredients:

  • A 26 of vodka.
  • A case of beer.
  • 2 cans of frozen pink lemonade.
  • A lemon as garnish (totally optional).

Instructions:

  • Start by making lemonade. Except instead of using water, use the vodka. Yes that means you add around 4 cans full of vodka.
  • Once the vodka and lemonade concentrate mixture has been stirred together add the beer. When we first made this we used Molson Canadian, but I suggest maybe spending a little more and getting something a little better.
  • Add the beer to taste. Probably around 4 cans, you want enough beer so it makes the drink fizzy.
  • Cut up a lemon and add it into the drink for looks and to add some “fruity” taste.
  • Get drunk off “The Panty Dropper.”

Well, there you go. A new alcoholic drink for you to try.

– Alannah

Apple Carrot Crumble

Apple Carrot Crumble | Made Out of Glue

Alright everyone.

I am REALLY excited to share this recipe with you. I personally think that I’m a genius for coming up with it, but you’ll have to judge that for yourself when you make it.

This unusual crumble is fragrant, perfectly textured, and sweet but totally breakfast-level-healthy. HUGE bonus if you have a juicer, like me, you can use the pulp leftover after juicing carrots in this recipe. I hate throwing all that delicious healthy fibre away. OK I can tell I’m getting weird and nerdy, so let’s just move on to the recipe.

Ingredients

Topping

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cook oats
  • 2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet your tooth is)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup carrot juicer pulp or finely grated carrot*
  • 1/4 cup apple cider, apple juice, carrot juice, or water (add an extra Tablespoon of liquid if using juicer pulp)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°C.
  2. Mix together first 4 topping ingredients in a small bowl. Add melted butter and mix well. Set aside.
  3. Dissolve cornstarch in the cider, then add sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and mix well.
  4. Mix apple and carrot together in a medium bowl. Add liquid to the apple and carrot and mix to coat.
  5. Place filling in a greased casserole dish**, pack down, and cover with topping.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.

*I didn’t grate my carrot finely when I made this recipe to take pictures for this post and the texture suffered – so take my advice and grate that carrot good.

**I use a smaller round casserole dish for a deep-dish crumble, but you can also use a 9×9 inch dish for a regular-depth crumble.

– Arlie