I love all sorts of grains. This is possibly because I don’t eat meat so grains are the hearty, filling alternative. I’ve also heard that being A+ means I’m better suited to digest carbohydrates (my co-worker (another Karen) told me once about the “Eat Right for Your Type” diet, and applying those theories my A+ blood type means my body is primed for the “forager and gatherer” foods — meaning grains). Yet another hypothesis is that cooked grains are the hearty comfort foods, explaining my keen and untiring desire for oatmeal (at least 5 days a week for over 3 years), cornmeal as polenta, and then all things couscous.
The Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains package was a good bet. I first discovered this with my friend Jen at Trader Joe’s back in October when I was in Portland for D’s 30th birthday (not to be confused with the March Portland trip for J’s 30th birthday).
This package of grains contains a good variety of couscous, orzo, quinoa, and dried garbanzos.
The cooking instructions are very simple — boil broth and add grains, simmer for about 10-12 minutes. This, seeming too easy, was calling for a little experimentation. Because I love onions and garlics, I chopped up a small onion and a few cloves of garlic and sauteed them in the pot in some olive oil before adding the broth and the grains. I also added about a cup of frozen green beans along with a can of garbanzo beans. When it had finished cooking, I stirred in a cup of crumbled feta and a few handfuls of chopped walnuts. YUM! You have the soft comfort of the grains, the creaminess with the cheese, and just the right about of surprise crunch with the walnuts.