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Weekend Cooking - Yummy All Purpose Trader Joe’s based Side Dish

>> Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog’s home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Since I made some of this earlier this week I decided to post it as a Weekend Cooking post today.

I discovered Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend on one of our weekly shopping trips there. We always check out the demo / tasting area for food ideas and this is one I adapted and is now a regular happening at our house.

I’m never sure what to call it and “That Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend Stuff I make” although it works with The Hubster, is not a great name. So I’m calling it an “All Purpose Side Dish” because it really is. This stuff is great with many different kinds of meat as a side dish. It’s also worked just fine as dinner for me with a salad.

So what IS Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (besides yummy)?
“A Savory Blend of Israeli Style Couscous, Orzo, Baby Garbanzo Beans and Red Quinoa”

And what do I DO with it? First of all, forget the water and butter part of the instructions on the package. Use Chicken Broth and Olive Oil.

1 ¾ cups Chicken Broth
Italian Seasoning (Basil is good too – use whatever you like to add a little extra flavor)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (less is just fine)
1 ¼ cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (about half a package)
Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Feta Cheese (I usually use the Fat Free Feta from Trader Joe’s)

In a saucepan, add some Italian Seasoning (or whatever you like) to the chicken broth. I probably add a teaspoon or a little more (see the photo - about that much). Bring that to a boil.

Stir in the olive oil and the Harvest Grains Blend. Bring that back to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until most of the moisture is absorbed.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in

A handful of grape or cherry tomatoes cut into quarters

A handful of Feta cheese crumbles.

Stir it all together to mix and you have a hearty yummy side dish to go with just about anything or to eat on its own. The leftovers reheat nicely in the microwave.


Lori L 1/22/2011 8:00 AM  

Ugh! Yet another reason I miss Trader Joe's - although rumor has it one is opening up in our current area someday.

Margot 1/22/2011 9:25 AM  

My oldest daughter (who lives in Portland) is a greater fan of Trader Joe's and couscous. I'm going to point her toward your recipe. I haven't heard her mention the Harvest Grains blend so this may be a new discovery for her. Thanks for sharing.

Julie P. 1/22/2011 10:10 AM  

You mentioned this to me on twitter a few months ago. So glad you posted the recipe.

Beth F 1/22/2011 10:28 AM  

Adding this to my list of TJ items for when I visit my parents or my in-laws. I really wish we had a TJ here. This is a dish I would make often and with variations. YUM.

Inside A Book 1/22/2011 4:18 PM  

This looks awesome. What a great post. I'm going, I'm going, right now to Trader Joe's!! I'm glad it's only 2 miles away! Thanks for the temptation!

caite 1/22/2011 4:39 PM  

we do not have a Trader Joes near here but every so often I make a pilgrimage..I mean TJ. I have a number of favories to pick up but I have never seen this. You can be sure I will be looking for it!

..and I especially like you take on it.

Peppermint Ph.D. 1/22/2011 7:07 PM  

We certainly do not have Trader Joes in our area. Several people have mentioned it this weekend so I may have to search one out. While I enjoy couscous, I have never tried to cook it at home; think it's time to rememdy that :)

JoAnn 1/23/2011 6:37 PM  

No Trader Joe's near me, but I'll get some next time I'm in NYC.

Les 1/27/2011 2:32 PM  

I love couscous and orzo, but have never tried quinoa (and I can take or leave garbanzo beans!). Now that we have a TJ's, I'll have to check this out and give it a try. Thanks for the recipe!

Heather 1/30/2011 4:23 PM  

sounds very tasty. I've not seen Trader Joe's here in Canada. Too bad.

SuziQoregon 2/01/2011 3:10 PM  

Lori: sorry to taunt you with TJ's hope one opens up in your area soon.

Margot: I definitely recommend this stuff - hope your daughter gives it a try.

Julie: I remember when we were talking about this on twitter - this is the first time I've made it since then so decided a weekend cooking post was in order.

Beth F: you will love this stuff - so many options and variations.

Inside A Book: It IS yummy !

Caite: sorry you're Trader Joe's-less. I understand the pilgrimage thing completely.

Pepperming Ph.D: Our first Trader Joe's in our area wasn't convenient at all, but now we have one close enough that we make a weekly trip.

JoAnn: well worth putting on your TJ's list.

Les: Quinoa is great - we get that at TJ's too. I'm not normally a garbanzo bean fan at all (except for roasted with a spice blend), but the baby garbanzos in this don't taste like what I normally associate with them and add a nice little crunchiness.

Heather: Oh Trader Joe's needs to head north!

Lesley 2/03/2011 8:46 AM  

I love Trader Joe's! I have to drive an hour to get to the closest one but it is so worth it. Your post reminded me that I have a package of this stuff in my cupboard. I picked it up on a whim a few months ago and have never made it - not knowing really what or how to cook it. I think I'll make it this weekend. Thanks for the reminder and the recipe tips!

SuziQoregon 2/07/2011 9:06 AM  

Lesley: I'm so lucky to have Trader Joe's so convenient. Fun that you already have a package of this stuff in the pantry. Hope you like it.

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