Hit the bulk bins!

March 15, 2011

Beans and Grains

We need your help on a top-secret project -- from a place where food52 recipes rarely go: the bulk bin aisle.  

Sure, when you think of food52, creme fraiche and butter probably come to mind before adzuki beans and chia seeds (say it with us: ch-ch-ch-chia!), so we want to bulk up our beans, grains and seeds recipes. And (who knew?) they're inexpensive, healthy and tasty, if you know what to do with them -- and we know you do.

The details:

You have until midnight next Tuesday, March 22nd to add as many recipes to the site as you like highlighting any of the ingredients below (be sure to include the name of the bean, grain or seed in your recipe title so we can find it easily) -- this isn't an official contest, but other fun prizes will be involved. To upload a recipe, just go to the Recipes section of the site here and click "Add New Recipe."

Then on Thursday, March 24th, we'll announce Editors' Pick candidates, which you can claim in normal EP dibs-calling fashion (see here for details) and you'll have till Tuesday, March 29th at 5pm to send in your reviews to [email protected]. Then on Thursday, March 31st, we'll announce all the Editors' Picks and prizes.

Got all that? Now go hit the bins!

Bhutanese red
Mekong flower
brown germinated
long grain brown
short brown
sweet brown
medium brown
sweet brown
medium brown
purple tai
Madagascar pink
jasmine tai

Shop the Story

hulled barley
roasted buckwheat
oat groats
sprouted quinoa
kamut berries
red quinoa
black quinoa
black barley

anasazi beans
adzuki beans
black eyed peas
dried fava beans
baby lima beans
mung beans
soy beans
yellow split peas
split green peas
sprouted mung beans
sprouted green lentils

chia seeds
hemp seeds
alfalfa seeds
whole flax
golden flax

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Grandma Kathy
    Grandma Kathy
  • kulsum Kunwa
    kulsum Kunwa
  • Panfusine
  • Sagegreen
  • CalcuttaChow
Food52 (we cook 52 weeks a year, get it?) is a food and home brand, here to help you eat thoughtfully and live joyfully.


Grandma K. November 28, 2011
How about some help for those of us who never, or almost never, use these ingredients? Maybe a list somewhere which describes the taste, texture, etc. of these in the recipe notes. I'd like to try some but with my Danish/German background I've only used dried green peas to make pea soup.
Panfusine November 28, 2011
I think that is a fabulous idea!
susan G. November 28, 2011
Here's a good source of information:
This is the page for dried beans, and you can use the search for a single item or a category. It's been helpful for me in trying to straighten out the dried and fresh chilis.
Rebecca Wood is a pioneer in using and knowing about beans, grains and seeds. She has a "Whole Foods Encyclopedia" and "The Splendid Grain" -- see the home page on the website for info and links to the books, and a search box for more. She taught me (on the site) to cook amaranth -- it was delicious.
When I began learning about the lesser known foods, I took books out of the library and soaked up the information and recipes, along with an understanding of their backgrounds. I've been doing this for over 40 years, but you have the advantage of the internet at your fingertips. If you read and experiment, you'll know how and why and about, too.
susan G. November 29, 2011
Here's a favorite blog, that has separate posts for many, many pantry ingredients. Use this page to find many of the beans, grains and seeds, or use the search for more. Each entry gives interesting, sometimes funny, information about the item, and a recipe follows.
kulsum K. March 22, 2011
I'm headed to add a recipe that has 5 lentils - some from list some not. Works?
Kristen M. March 22, 2011
Absolutely! Just be sure to include the names of the different kinds of lentils in the ingredients list.
Panfusine March 21, 2011
Can we use the additional tag 'bulk bin' or bulk bin project so that you can access all the recipes realted to this in one shot & then sift thru for the individual ingredients?
Kristen M. March 21, 2011
This is a great suggestion! We'll see what we can do, since there have been a fair number of recipes submitted already.
Panfusine March 21, 2011
I'm going ahead & giving my recipes an additional tag 'bulk bin'
Panfusine March 21, 2011
Is there an upper limit to how many recipes you can submit for the bulk bin project... I'm going ballistic here..
Kristen M. March 21, 2011
Nope -- go nuts!
Panfusine March 20, 2011
since everyone here seems to be pushing for their personal favorite lentils... may I add Black gram lentils ( Known as Urad dal in Hindi, they're from the same family as the green mung bean except way more glutinous, with a very meaty aroma when toasted)
Sagegreen March 20, 2011
Spelt or teff would be great to consider, or a Thai coral red jasmine rice? Here's to hoping.
Kristen M. March 21, 2011
Any bean or grain is fair game for EP nominations, but we're especially looking for the ones listed above.
CalcuttaChow March 20, 2011
Lots of lentils feature in my daily cooking - black eyed beans, split pigeon peas, all manner of mung dals (green whole, green split, and yellow), whole Bengal gram, split Bengal gram....however, most of my recipes involve pre-soaking (usually night before) and pressure cooking the whole lentils before incorporating them in recipes. This is how I've learned to work with them, in the way that they are commonly cooked in India where I'm from. Is it ok to submit recipes that ask for pressure cooking the lentils? I always wonder if pressure cooking is a dying art, and wonder how people cook the "tougher" lentils.
Merrill S. March 20, 2011
Pressure cooking is great!
CookingUpAStorm March 20, 2011
Did I miss it? I'm not seeing wild rice on the list.
magdance March 20, 2011
How about chana dal? I've never seen it in the bulk bins but bought some at the Indian grocery for my Upma with Coconut Chutney, already posted. They are split desi beans.
boulangere March 20, 2011
Any chance that wehani rice and volcano rice are one and the same?
Kristen M. March 21, 2011
Not sure (sorry!), but they don't seem to be. Based searching both kinds on Google images, the wehani appears uniformly brown while the volcano has lots of lighter grains blended in.
boulangere March 21, 2011
Thank you, Kristen! I found similar information, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
boulangere March 20, 2011
Is wehani rice at all close to volcano rice?
mrslarkin March 18, 2011
Do the grains need to remain intact, or can we stick them in a blender/grinder and chop them up and/or turn them into flour, for example.
Merrill S. March 18, 2011
You can do anything you like with them, but the idea is to start from the whole grain (re: your question below).
mrslarkin March 18, 2011
I know you include flax seeds, but what about flax meal? Is that okay?
Panfusine March 17, 2011
I was trying out a recipe with dried peas (yellow) and the finished product was a success, would it be ok to add this in the recipe list even though they weren't 'split' technically?
Merrill S. March 17, 2011
Sure, go ahead! (See our response below to healthierkitchen.)
healthierkitchen March 17, 2011
First experiment with roasted buckwheat did not go well - too mushy as it cooked much more quickly than I expected. Will persevere.
Amanda H. March 17, 2011
You guys are the best. Thanks so much for your incredible enthusiasm! Can't wait to see the recipes -- this is going to be great.
betteirene March 17, 2011
So I brought this list with me to the store and I'm filling up bags with a little of this and a little of that, and someone must've thought I looked like a real cook because she asked me the difference between wild rice and brown rice, and I go into this thing about wild rice is really grass, and then I made her sniff some different rices. Then a guy says he never knew that rice had an aroma, and he starts sniffing. Then woman #1 asks another woman if the "chai seeds" are what make chai tea, and woman #2 says, "It must be," so I jump in real quick to tell her it's "chia," as in "chia pet" and I don't think they believed me, so I tell them about food52 ("Win fabulous prizes!") and foodpickle ("We know everything, and we're nice about it!"). Then, I asked a stock clerk if they carried hemp seed. They don't, so I say something about wondering how long it would take my Seattle son to save me a cupful, and everybody chuckled and promised to register here. Then, in the deli, I see woman #2 buying 2 pounds of ricotta, so I tell her about this week's contest. Like I really want more competition, right?!

Anyway, I went to a second store--no hemp seeds there, either. Where did you find it?
Kitchen B. March 19, 2011
:-), I loved reading this.....its amazing how much we've learnt from food52 and how much we all teach each other - I've grown amazingly, my vocab has expanded and my approach to experimental cooking enhanced. Thank you ALL for making food52 an experience.
CookingUpAStorm March 20, 2011
Whole Foods usually has hemp seeds in their bulk foods section. Happy cooking!
wanderash March 17, 2011
Ahhh this make me long for the exotic bulk bins and grains that are very far from the Mexican staples. Can't wait to read all the great recipes.
theyearinfood March 17, 2011
I am so excited for this. And because you said it was okay, and I cannot figure out how otherwise to add it, I'll include my brown rice risotto here:
Hummusit March 17, 2011
There is already a recipe for mejadara here, so I won't add another. However, sometimes I make mejadara (AKA mujadera) with short brown rice and mung beans (instead of white rice and lentils). I season with ginger, cinnamon, and cumin (+S+P).