Help Me ID This Grain

in All Posts

…If it is a grain at all!


So, I reorganized my pantry the other day (and in a moment of insanity, I made labels for each shelf).  And I discover a jar of bulk-bin grain that I cannot ID!  It might not even be a grain – maybe it’s a pasta?


I boiled the mystery grain for 15 minutes and served it with a mix of roasted potatoes, broccoli, chickpeas, and soy sauce.  Oh, and almonds on top. For a little crunch.


The mysterious grain was great.  Maybe it’s Israeli cous cous, come to think about it?  Hmmmm…


It was a productive Monday over here.  We got a bunch of work done at the clinic, and I spent a few hours writing.  I eventually took a break to spin 20 minutes on the Bell Motivator.


PB toast as a snack:


While standing in front of my fridge contemplating dinner, I ate a bunch of handfuls of Chex cereal.  Fruit would’ve been a healthier choice; but we’re running low again!


This was the Post-It Phrase of the Day on Operation Beautiful today:  “The words "I am" are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.”


I loved this quote because just as much as it could be taken as a warning against negative self-talk, it’s a case for positive self-talk.  So I challenge you to claim something positive for yourself today.  Right now!  You deserve it.


Good night.  🙂



  • Eliz@The Sweet Life February 21, 2011, 7:59 pm

    No clue, at all, but your dinner looks fantastic! Sweet dreams.

  • Carlee February 21, 2011, 7:59 pm

    I think you are right and it’s Israel couscous.

  • Evan Thomas February 21, 2011, 7:59 pm

    Looks like cous cous to me.

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) February 21, 2011, 8:02 pm

    I agree — looks like Israeli couscous. Bigger balls than regular couscous. I need to label my grains!

  • Leah @ L4L February 21, 2011, 8:11 pm

    Yep, def israeli couscous.

  • Lauren February 21, 2011, 8:11 pm

    It kinda looks like barley – we cooked up an apple barley salad in my foods lab last week, and they look similar.

  • Lauren February 21, 2011, 8:12 pm

    Looks like cous cous to me. And it also looks fantastic! 🙂

  • Ann February 21, 2011, 8:14 pm

    My guess was going to be israeli couscous, I bet you’re right. I have some in an unlabeled jar in my pantry right now, I might have a greek couscous salad to make this week! I have a bad habit of transferring all my grains to mason jars and then having moments of panic when I can’t figure out what they are. I keep meaning to label them with a dry-erase marker.

  • ezzie February 21, 2011, 8:18 pm

    chex cereal is seriously addicting! my favorite is the corn chex- I can finish the whole box in a day. 😛

  • ezzie February 21, 2011, 8:18 pm

    chex cereal is seriously addicting! my favorite is the corn chex- I can finish the whole box in a day. 😛

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete February 21, 2011, 8:19 pm

    No idea about the grain — but I’ll agree with others who say it is couscous 🙂

    I need more positive self talk in my life!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey February 21, 2011, 8:20 pm

    I always snack when I try to figure out what I want for dinner. It’s not a good thing, but I accept my faults. 🙂

  • katalina February 21, 2011, 8:21 pm

    yeap it is cous cous for sure, and in my favorite form 🙂 it is great mixed with tomato sauce served over spinach with feta or goat cheese on top!! 🙂

  • Parita@myinnershakti February 21, 2011, 8:21 pm

    I love that you incorporate positive self talk into this blog. It’s so powerful. I was just at dinner with a bunch of co-workers and I told them about OB and HTP!!! They were so impressed with you!

  • Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles February 21, 2011, 8:21 pm

    It looks like Israeli cous cous to me. Trader Joe’s sells a Harvest Grain 5-Blend, and I’m pretty sure that looks like one of the grains in that blend which is up in my cupboard!

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write February 21, 2011, 8:21 pm

    I am a successful writer! Claiming that baby!

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul February 21, 2011, 8:24 pm

    Agreed~the words that come from our hearts and lips are powerful in many different levels! I really think that it’s Israeli Couscous.

  • Katie @ peacebeme February 21, 2011, 8:30 pm

    I claim that I am capable!

    I think it looks like Israeli couscous too…my favorite! So sad I can’t eat gluten anymore and thus can’t eat it!

  • Stephanie February 21, 2011, 8:30 pm

    Definitely Israeli Couscous

  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) February 21, 2011, 8:33 pm

    I am not sure what the grain is, but wanted to comment to say that whatever it is, it looks delicious!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) February 21, 2011, 8:34 pm

    Whatever it is, it looks great! I would love to have one of those trainers at home. I love watching TV when I exercise 🙂

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In February 21, 2011, 8:37 pm

    Yep, looks like Israeli/Pearl couscous. Love the texture of that stuff!

  • Happy healthy mama February 21, 2011, 8:42 pm

    I love that you cooked up the mystery grain for dinner. 🙂

  • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 21, 2011, 8:51 pm

    Definitely looks like couscous. I’m glad it tasted good!

  • Amber K February 21, 2011, 8:53 pm

    Ever since buying some rice chex for a chex toffee mix my husband has been buying a box every week. I think he just sneaks random handfuls until it’s gone! lol

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) February 21, 2011, 8:58 pm

    I agree w/the others saying it’s Israeli couscous… I have this grain at home, too!

  • jen @ taste life February 21, 2011, 8:58 pm

    I am aweswome. Could be the mojito talking.

  • Olivia February 21, 2011, 9:03 pm

    It definitely looks like Israeli couscous…glad you enjoyed it, it looks delicious!

  • Lee February 21, 2011, 9:06 pm

    I am going to agree with everyone else and say it’s Israeli couscous.

  • faith February 21, 2011, 9:06 pm

    I just found a mystery spice in my cabinet! The worst part is I bought it just a few weeks ago and I have absolutely no clue what it is!

  • sara February 21, 2011, 9:10 pm

    I am hot
    Iam sexy
    I am a celebrety
    i am an actor
    I am vegao
    I am a runner
    I am a gal with the hiest metabolism in the world
    I am 15 years old
    I am young
    I am beutiful
    I am emo
    I am black
    I am pimp
    I am slim as jim

    iam loving you catlin more and more andmore

    haaaa loool

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) February 21, 2011, 9:16 pm

    I am the most determined and self-motivated person I have ever met. Despite being really frustrated with my injury, I am making the best of it!

  • Kara February 21, 2011, 9:18 pm

    Couscous! I love Israeli couscous, it’s so much fun to eat 🙂 I really like using it in soups.

    I’m a big fan of “fake it until you make it” since that’s how I get through a lot of things. Positive thinking can really work!

  • Ellie @ The Mommyist February 21, 2011, 9:27 pm

    I also think it looks like Israeli couscous. Looks like a delicious dinner!

  • Tracy @ Commit To Fit February 21, 2011, 9:29 pm

    I love the phrase of the day! So powerful.

  • Kelly February 21, 2011, 9:31 pm

    I definitely think you are right and it’s Israeli couscous 🙂

  • Ashley February 21, 2011, 9:48 pm

    oh man, I slather my PB THICK on my toast! You make me look like a pb-eating monster! : )

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad February 21, 2011, 9:49 pm

    Pretty sure you’re correct. It’s a kind of couscous.

  • Jen @ keepitsimplefoods February 21, 2011, 9:56 pm

    Yeah, def Israeli cous cous. Bon appetit!

  • chandana February 21, 2011, 10:45 pm

    This one is totally unrelated to the post. I am going to start C25k this week, this is my first attempt to walk/run outside, I drink a lot of water during my workout my main problem is how do I carry water while running outside. i have looked up online and am not able to decide can you suggest any particular one I mean handheld or fuel belt etc any model or make. Thanks in advance.

  • Liesl February 21, 2011, 10:49 pm

    Looks like whole wheat couscous to me.

  • SB February 21, 2011, 11:03 pm

    Looks like Israeli couscous.

  • Alyssa February 21, 2011, 11:23 pm

    Definitely israeli couscous! I usually have an inch thick of pb on my toast! Am i the only one who does this?? I love operation beautiful notes 🙂

  • Groff's Girl February 21, 2011, 11:36 pm

    Dare I say that I have never tried couscous before!! EEK, there I feel good for getting it off my chest. That being said, maybe trying couscous will be how I meet my goal this week of trying something new! Great mine will be: “I am not tired, I am strong, I am able to do anything, I am achieving my goals!!”

  • Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner February 22, 2011, 12:00 am

    I claimed my workout today! 😀 It was SO much fun! 🙂

  • annette @ enjoyyourhealthylife February 22, 2011, 12:21 am

    I think you’re right about the Israel couscous…and I claimed my to do list today 🙂 Well, sort of!! Your toast snack looked yummers

  • Natalie @ nataliecartertalksfitness February 22, 2011, 2:51 am

    oh israeli cous cous..never tried it have to add it to my recipes

  • anne February 22, 2011, 5:00 am

    pasta is technically a grain….

  • Sarah February 22, 2011, 6:10 am

    Definitely Israeli cous-cous (or what us actual Israelis call “ptitim”! 😉

  • Katherine: Unemployed February 22, 2011, 6:53 am

    wheat berry! its not quinoa?

  • Stephanie February 22, 2011, 7:19 am

    Israeli couscous was my first guess!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal February 22, 2011, 7:47 am

    Yeah I think you might have got it w/ the cous cous! Millet was my first guess though.

  • jillian February 22, 2011, 8:06 am

    it looks like lentils

  • Dara February 22, 2011, 8:32 am

    cous cous.. or quinoa? thats a hard one. looks really yummy though!

  • RhodeyGirl February 22, 2011, 8:41 am

    It looks like Israeli couscous.

    For the future, you should label your jars. I put a post-it on top of each one with what it is exactly and how long it needs to cook (and if it has water/grain ratios I put those too). We use a lot of weird grains like bulgur wheat and farro and I can never remember how long to cook them etc, so the post-its come in handy!

  • Shannon February 22, 2011, 8:55 am

    It’s definitely regular couscous. I think it looks like pearl barley for sure.

  • Shannon February 22, 2011, 8:55 am

    It’s definitely not regular couscous. (I don’t know about Israeli.) But I think it looks like pearl barley for sure.

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table February 22, 2011, 9:07 am

    My vote is Israeli couscous, too. Whatever it is, it looks delicious!

  • Little Bookworm February 22, 2011, 9:11 am

    The mystery grain looks like couscous to me!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 22, 2011, 9:32 am

    Haha this is so funny because I’m always forgetting what items in my pantry are! Between all the flours, grains, and seeds, it can be hard to keep track! 😛

  • Steph February 22, 2011, 9:42 am

    Hm, looks like couscous to me.

    I love the operation beautiful quotes. Lets see… Today, I AM… STRONG.

  • K is for Karma February 22, 2011, 9:52 am

    Ummmmmmmm……….I love this: “The words “I am” are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.”

    I plan on doing a whole post on this — so inspiring! Many thanks =)

  • Courtney February 22, 2011, 10:07 am

    Caitlin, it looks like Israeli couscous but if it’s yellower – can’t tell from the picture – it could also be millet, in which case it’s awesome toasted and then cooked (1 c millet: 3 c water ratio).

    It ended up looking delicious either way!

  • Leora February 22, 2011, 11:43 am

    They look like wheat berries to me…not sure if that’s the same as Israeli couscous, though.

  • Tricia February 22, 2011, 11:46 am

    Definitely cous cous. It’s not a grain though – more like a pasta, it’s made with semolina flour.

  • Nicole February 22, 2011, 12:06 pm

    I think they are wheatberries.

  • Freya February 22, 2011, 2:45 pm

    Israeli cous cous, for sure! I know I’m like, a day late in saying that…but still 🙂

    • Freya February 22, 2011, 2:45 pm

      Oh, and it’s a pasta, like Tricia said.

  • Heather February 22, 2011, 2:51 pm

    i know everyone keeps saying “cous cous for sure” – but i think it looks like Orzo pasta.

    the end.

  • Anne February 22, 2011, 8:24 pm

    I totally have my pantry organized like you! (glass jars, labels, etc.) I used a label maker and my husband thought I was crazy. 😉 Plus, you can pat yourself on the back, because Martha Stewart even recommends it in her crazy huge “Homekeeping Handbook”! I agree with everyone else–Israeli couscous. Orzo pasta is longer and less round. (For those who care to see Orzo:

  • Anne February 22, 2011, 8:25 pm

    Sorry, here’s a working link to the orzo pic:

  • Lyndsay February 23, 2011, 2:03 am

    Could be israeli cous cous…. Could be acini de pepe

  • Lyndsay February 23, 2011, 2:03 am

    Could be israeli cous cous…. Could be acini de pepe

  • Ashley February 23, 2011, 11:05 pm

    Looks like wheatberries to me.

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