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.
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 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.