the taste space

Simple Ayurvedic Mushroom and Leek Mixed Grain Skillet

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian) by Janet M on March 7, 2013

Simple Mushroom and Leek Mixed Grain Skillet

I don’t shop at the standard grocery stores. I prefer the smaller, independent ethnic grocers for my veggies and natural foods stores for my pantry staples.

However, I recently heard that Costco had some interesting foods, and sent my family searching for sprouted mixed beans. Turns out they stopped selling them here a few months ago, but my aunt spotted a sprouted rice and quinoa blend instead. Always eager to try something new, I decided to give it a shot.

Uh, let’s just say that packaged mixed grains don’t always work so well. When I’ve made mixed grain dishes before, I cook the grains separately, or add them at different times so they finish cooking at the same time. I couldn’t get the grains to be as fluffy and distinct as I am used to.. unless that is what happens after they are sprouted? In any case, the mix turned out to be a bit on the mushy side, both when I’ve made it on the stovetop and in the rice cooker. I tried to salvage the mix by introducing it into this easy skillet.

Simple Mushroom and Leek Mixed Grain Skillet

I’ve made multiple skillets before, and each time I gush over its simplicity.  I swear, I wasn’t planning on sharing this recipe. It just seemed too simple, too boring and I didn’t think it would taste as flavourful as it did. The original recipe suggested throwing everything in the skillet and cooking, but I shunned a mise-en-place and threw things in as I finished chopping them. First went in the leeks, then the portobello mushrooms, next the red pepper and Brussels sprouts. Grated carrots and garlic rounded the veggies out with a sprinkle of salt and thyme. After the vegetables brown and begin to caramelize slightly, cooked grains get dumped in for a complete meal. No dressing, no broth. Thyme was the only herb but this was surprisingly flavourful. Do not discount the flavour of veggies (and garlic).

I think I may relegate my mixed grains to soups… that seems pretty foolproof. What do you think? Fan or foe of mixed grain blends?

Do you like it when I share easy, seemingly non-recipes with you?

Simple Mushroom and Leek Mixed Grain Skillet

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Simona, and to this month‘s Herbs on Saturday.

Simple Ayurvedic Mushroom and Leek Mixed Grain Skillet
Adapted from Tastes of Ayurveda

1 cup sprouted quinoa and rice blend (or your favourite dry grain like quinoa)
2 tsp coconut oil
1 large leek, sliced longitudinally, washed and thinly sliced (1.5 cups)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
2 large Portobello mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dry thyme
1 cup grated carrots (1 large carrot)

The original recipe says just to dump all the ingredients in a large skillet (adding the cooked grains at the end) but I cut and added as I went along.. so it went like this:

1. Prepare your grains. Bring 1.75 cups vegetable broth to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add quinoa (or blend). Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Keep covered for an additional 5 minutes to steam. Set aside.

2. In a large frypan, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and sprinkle with salt. Cut your mushrooms, add to frypan. Cut your red pepper, add to frypan. Stir frypan occasionally. Cut your Brussels sprouts and then add to the frypan. Mix. Stir in the crushed garlic, thyme and grated carrots. Heat until warm and caramelized at the bottom, around 15 minutes in total. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serves 4.

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17 Responses

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  1. Emma said, on March 7, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    I don’t think I’ve seen mixed grain blends in their dry form before..you can buy packets of prepared mixed grains here http://www.merchant-gourmet.com/products/cereals-grains/mixed-grains/ though and although I almost always prepare grains from scratch- after all most only take 10-20 mins, it’s quite nice to have a few of these in the cupboard for extra quick meals or for turning into a salad as it saves waiting for your grains to cool.
    I don’t cook one-pot meals that much despite their speed and saving on clean-up- I think like you I always thought they were boring and thought I needed a few different components to a meal for it to be satisfying but I think I should give them another chance- that smoky bean and bulgur dish sounds particularly good.

  2. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said, on March 7, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I use the baking option to save way too many recipes. I actually went out and bought pans that were oven safe just for that purpose. Lol!

  3. Hannah said, on March 7, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Yeah, I’ve never understood these mixed grain blends. Like when white rice is mixed with wild rice? Wild rice takes double the time to cook! Totally don’t get it.

  4. Joanne said, on March 7, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    The things that Costco carries are so eclectic…at least the mix is. Sprouted grains next to Velveeta lol. So weird. I’m sorry the grains all turned out mushy though! That’s the worst. At least you made the best of it with this awesome skillet!

  5. Colette @ JFF! said, on March 8, 2013 at 4:46 AM

    I love small mom&pop groceries, too.
    But, can’t resist Costco – it’s like Trader Joe’s warehouse!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 8, 2013 at 8:17 AM

      No no no, if only Costco were like TJ’s.. It isn’t remotely as fun like that in Canada. Maybe I will have to convince someone to show me Costco in the US?? That’s where the mixed beans are!! :)

  6. Phoo-D said, on March 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Costco in the US is starting to get more vegan friendly foods. I can usually find organic frozen edamame, giant bags of organic quinoa, organic canned tomatoes, organic vegetable broth, big bags of organic pre-washed kale or spinach, and nicely ripe pineapples.

  7. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on March 10, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    I hear you, mixed grain blends are so strange and illogical! I bet this would work really well with a kitchari though, when you want everything to be mushy anyway!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on March 10, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Good thinking, Gabby! I know I paired brown basmati and lentils in my mujaddara recipe because they have the same cooking time, but kitchari is a great idea, too! :)

  8. Simona said, on March 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    I think you made an excellent dish starting from an uninspiring ingredient. The mix of vegetables looks great. Thanks for contributing to WHB!

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  11. Jodie Ross said, on September 28, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    This looks wonderful, I will have to get a few ingredients when we go to the city next week, but will try it after that. I may make two separate versions as I like yours as is, but my husband doesn’t think he has eaten unless he consumes meat, so would cook his with bacon cut into 1/2″ pcs and fried crisp, then use the bacon fat instead of the coconut oil and go on from there adding the crisp bacon back in at the end, That of course would render it not Ayurvedic, but he’s not into that, I am. I sometimes feel like a short order cook having to fix two different entrees all the time, but he won’t change, and I have to for my health. tysm for the recipe

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 29, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Jodie. Please let me know how you like it (and your husband, even if you add the bacon). Thank goodness Rob isn’t nearly as picky, although I subscribe to the cook-it-yourself if you don’t want to eat my food.. But he never complains. :)

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  13. […] I prefer Brussels sprouts roasted, I also like them slipped into scrambles, skillets, stir fries, pastas, soups and salads. The last on my bucket list (I think) was to try them raw, […]


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