Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a store bought frozen lunch I had today. It had beans, whole grain orzo, dried cranberries, spinach and a little bit of cheese. I enjoyed it quite a bit and thought I would use it as inspiration to create my own big bowl of whole grainy goodness. Even though the barley and quinoa stuck to his braces, my son thought it was delicious. My husband also liked it a lot too. I know my daughter would have enjoyed it, and that she would have grabbed the leftovers thrown salad dressing over top and had it cold for lunch the next day. One thing I would have changed would have been to add in more chard. I dug through the snow to find what chard I could from the raised beds in the garden. I found some small leaves, only about 7 or 8, but it was enough to give it a little color and flavor. I just wish I had more. It’s so cool to go dig through the snow for chard in the middle of winter, but your fingers get awfully cold and you have to be careful that they don’t stick to the door knob when you try to get back into the house. Maybe gloves would be a good idea. No gloves needed to eat it though, just a fork.
- 1/2 cup black quinoa
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 bag dried cranberries and spiced apple (I think they were dole)
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup Carr Valley Apple Smoked Cheddar diced
Cook the quinoa, bulgur, orzo and barley according to package directions using vegetable broth instead of water. I took turns with two different small pots on the stove. In a separate medium size pot, pour in the rest of the vegetable broth. Simmer the onions, and celery in a shallow amount of vegetable broth. When they start to become translucent, add in the rest of the broth, the cranberries and spiced apple, the beans and chopped up chard. Heat up and add in the grains, and the herbs and spices. If it seems too dry, add a little extra liquid (water) when heating. Serve in bowls and sprinkle the cubed cheese on top.
Note: To make it vegan, leave out the cheese.
The dried fruit gives it a fruity flavor, with the smoky cheese to help balance it out. The whole meal is delicious, and very quickly comes together.