Cleaning out The Pantry #1 Birdseed Cereal



For the month of March,  I am taking my blogging inspiration from Therese at Road Wordy. Therese is the middle of a 100 day challenge to use the ingredients she bought for a recipe then kind of forgot about using again.  She has dedicated herself to finding recipes to use up the things she already has.

After cleaning out my pantry last week I found myself in a similar position.  I have a lot of partially used bags of things like quinoa, millet, barley, farro, amaranth, buckwheat, rice, wild rice, lentils, dark rye flour, pumpernickel flour, bread flour, don’t even get me started on the craziness of my canned pantry. So for the month of March, i am going to dedicate myself to finding recipes to use up what I already have.  I will only buy milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables.   My goal is to publish 15 new recipes featuring the things I have in my pantry in March.

My first cleaning out the pantry recipe is Birdseed Cereal from Big Sis, Little Dish. I loved her story about how her husband fed this mixture to his two doves and they have been around a very long time. I don’t know if it is what is giving the doves a long life  or not I just think it is a tasty breakfast I can share with my entire flock of 8 parrots, 1 grumpy gerbil and 2 rats.

I love how versitile this recipe is.  I didn’t have any sunflower seeds or chia seeds so I left them out.  I added some dried cranberries to my first batch because, well, I love cranberries.  It would be equally good with dried apricots, dried apples or perhaps, dried mango.  I didn’t have any dried fruit for the second batch so I used some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  You could experiment with whatever spices you like best.  I serve the cereal with a splash of milk and a bit of sugar.

Pantry items used – quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat

Birdseed Cereal

2 cups quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet and teff

1/4 cup sunflower seeds, optional

2 TBS chia seeds, optional

Mix all ingredients in a jar, using any ratio of seeds you want.  I used a 1/2 cup  each of quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet because those were what I had on hand.  If using teff, keep the mixture in the fridge or freezer. Mix well before scooping it out to cook it because it likes to settle.

To make the cereal

6 TBS cereal mix

1 cup water

Combine water and the cereal in a small saucepan.  Bring to the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

If you have a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients to a heat proof bowl. Place the bowl on the trivet in the pressure cooker liner.  Add enough water to the liner to bring the pressure cooker to pressure.  Lock the lid.  Set the timer to high pressure for 15 minutes.  Use a natural pressure release.

A Recipe With No Name


This recipe has no name because it is something I came up with off the top my head when I came home from work Friday night.  I worked late and had to be back to work early on Saturday morning.  I was starving but didn’t really want to cook or to wait for a sandwich to be delivered from Erbert’s and Gerbert’s.  A dilemma for sure.  I had some cooked quinoa, buckwheat and rolled grains in the fridge from a failed savory porridge recipe early in the week. The idea to make the grains into a patty serve them as a “burger” with fries jumped into my head and I just ran with it.  For a totally made up recipe, the patties turned out really well.  Next time I make them I am going to serve them with melted cheese and pickled onion on top.

If you all have any ideas of a name for this recipe, please let me know because calling it the recipe with no name is kind of sad.

The Recipe with No Name

2 cups left over cooked grains

6 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1 tsp salt

1 tsp basil

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp oregano

2 TBS flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

In a bowl, combine the grains, onions, carrots, salt, basil, thyme, oregano, egg and flour.  Mix everything until well blended.  Heat a a medium frying pan over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan.  With a 1/4 cup measuring cup scoop a bunch of the grain mixture and gently pack it into the cup.  Gently, empty the cup into the pan. Repeat for three more patties.  Cook for 3-4 minutes and flip.  Cook another 3-4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil and  repeat with remaining grain mixture. Serve.


Garlic Mushroom Quinoa


Now that you know how to cook quinoa, I thought you might like a recipe using it.  I like to cook the quinoa until it is a little brown and crispy.

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa


1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1/ cup water

1/2 tsp olive oil

1 TBS butter

8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp thyme

salt and pepper, to taste

1 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, combine the water and quinoa.  Bring the water to a boil; reduce the heat to medium.  Cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.   Meanwhile, thinly slice the mushrooms.  Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Melt the butter.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.  Saute the mushrooms until they release their juices and camelize, 10 -15 minutes.  When the quinoa and mushrooms are done, combine them is a big bowl and stir to combine. 


Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

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Last week I was battling an infection in my lungs so I didn’t feel much like eating or cooking. In fact, I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything but sleeping. On one of my better days I did make these lovely stuffed bell peppers. I the original recipe called for a bit of jalapeno pepper for kick but I didn’t have any so I substituted some chili powder.

Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2 1/2 – 3 TBS olive oil
1 -2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup tomato sauce
3/4 cup plus 2 TBS broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 – 2 bell peppers, your choice of color

In a small saucepan saute the onions and garlic in oil until they start to soften. Add the quinoa, cook for one minute then add the tomato sauce, broth, cumin and chili powder. Cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bell peppers in half, remove the membranes and seeds. Place on an oiled baking sheet and bake 10 – 12 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven and stuff with the quinoa mixture. Return to the oven and bake 10 – 12 more minutes. Sprinkle with cheese during the last two minutes of cook time.

Adapted From A Beautiful Mess

A Simple Quinoa Salad

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Last night I was looking for a side dish for my dinner. It was quite a challenge since I haven’t gone shopping for groceries since I went on vacation a week and a half ago. I am out of everything. I managed to scrape enough stuff together to make this salad.

This salad is bet eaten the day it is made. It does not keep very well. The salad could be made with any vinaigrette and mix of vegetables.

Simple Quinoa Salad

½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 TBS walnuts, chopped and toasted
1 TBS green onions, minced
1 TBS dried cranberries
2 TBS red wine vinegar
2 TBS olive oil
1 cup water

Bring one cup of water to a boil; add quinoa. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Drain any remaining water. Let cool to room temperature. After the quinoa is cooled, place it in a bowl. Add walnuts, green onions and dried cranberries Mix well. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil to taste. Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted From I Don’t Remember Where