5 Practical and Unique Ways to Use Leftover Grains and Beans


A great tip to save time preparing food is to make your favorite grains or beans in bulk on a Sunday and to find unique ways to enjoy them throughout the week. There are surprisingly many ways to lift a simple grain or bean from its simple side-dish status to show-stopping glory. From burgers to breakfast, try your hand at diversifying your palette and learning how to be more creative in the kitchen with leftovers.

1. Bite into a Veggie Burger

Sweet potato burger

One of the most important components of a vegan burger is an ingredient that offsets the wet ingredients and helps to bind the patties together. Beans work really well in this department, because they are grainy and sticky at the same time, taking care of a lot of the issues one usually has when trying to get the patties to hold together. Rice and quinoa also work well in veggie burgers.

Make the vegan Sweet Potato and White Bean Burger, Kale and Quinoa Hazelnut Cakes, or the Chickpea Burger first and then experiment with other grains and beans.


2. Dive into a Buddha Bowl

This is one of the easiest and most satisfying go-to lunches or dinners that also use up vegetables rounding their last leg. The ingredient list is straightforward and something that changes according to what you have on hand – cooked grains, green leaves, avocado, and spices. The proportions are up to you to decide.

My favorite mix includes:

  • ½ cup brown rice, cooked and cooled down
  • Handful of chopped kale
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • ½ beet, grated
  • ½ or 1 whole avocado, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


3. Serve Pancakes

 It may seem odd at first, but a pancake made of grains is actually genius! They turn out much fluffier add extra fiber, the 9 essential amino acids, and protein to Sunday breakfast. You’ll be fuller for longer and in a wholesome, guilt-free way. These Buckwheat Quinoa Pancakes are vegan and virtuous!

Buckwheat Quinoa Pancakes

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked plain
  • 1-1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2-3 dates, pitted, soaked (1-2 hours)
  • 1 banana, crushed

Simply mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined and cook on a heated, lightly oiled pan. Serve with maple syrup.


4. Bond with Brownies and Blondies

Recently, beans have been popping up in the most unexpected places – in desserts. Before you reject that concept, it’s worth a try. Beans have a subtle taste that is balanced well with sweet flavors. They also pack the density and rich texture that brownies and blondies require. Beans make it possible to have a vegan brownie that is more like fudge than cake.

Prepare these Black Bean Brownies or Strawberry White Bean Blondies for an introduction to the world of beans served sweet.


5. Redefine Breakfast

So you know that pancakes are an option with grains, but many of us don’t have the time for pancakes each and every morning. Instead, we’re on the go, looking for a quick bite before jumping out the door or something fuss-free to enjoy at the office.

This is where amaranth and quinoa come into play. Look at them as a replacement for your morning oats. Feel the power of over 10 grams of fiber in with this guiltless Chocolate and Banana Breakfast Quinoa. Amaranth packs 30-percent more protein than oats. This protein-packed Amaranth Fruit Cereal is a delicious introduction to amaranth and it can be altered according to your tastes.

Photo Credit: NerissaGlowKitchen