Chewy whole grains offer a wonderfully nutty, complex layer of flavor—and a dose of healthy carbs. In a pinch, you can cook them risotto style, sautéing onions and herbs, adding the grain, then spooning in flavorful broth a bit at a time, stirring often. When the mixture is cooked and slightly soupy, remove from heat, stir in some Parmesan, reduced-fat Cheddar, or whatever is on hand—and serve with a lean protein such as Orange-Ginger Pork Medallions
Servings: Serves 6
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion , chopped
- 3/4 cup wild rice , rinsed and drained
- 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup brown basmati rice
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup barley , rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Pinch freshly ground pepper
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wild rice and 3 cups broth; bring to a boil. Stir in brown rice, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and broth is absorbed. Add remaining 1/2 cup broth if needed.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and barley. Reduce heat and simmer until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
Stir barley and cranberries into rice; cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes to plump cranberries. Remove and discard thyme and bay leaf. With a fork, stir in parsley, lemon zest, and pepper.
336 calories (13% from fat); 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 3 g monounsaturated, 1.5 g polyunsaturated); 13 g protein; 60 g carbohydrates; 6 g fiber; 20 mg cholesterol; 21 mg calcium