I have the perfect warm, filling and healthy grain bowl to kick off your 2017. I don't really go in for 'diets', but after all of that rich and heavy food over Christmas I tried to go for move veg based meals in January. You can mix and match quite a few things in this recipe adapted from the one I loved in Riverford Organic and delicious. Magazine recipe box I loved last Autumn, such as the herbs and nuts (especially if you have some leftover from the holidays). While it serves two warm, it would make a great make-ahead desk lunch, too.
Clearspring have been sending me some of their products to try out (I've always loved their soba noodles and brown rice miso paste), and one I love for lunchtimes is their Quick Cook Organic 5 Grains. I always have a whole selection of different grains like pearl barley (one of my favourites) and bulgar wheat to mix up with a bit of dressing and with whatever happens to be in the fridge by way of salad vegetables and herbs on most days I don't have leftovers to polish off. This grain selection is not just wonderfully toothsome, but is the quickest out of any of the rest to cook, and eliminates a sometimes tricky choice! But you can make this with whatever slightly toothsome grain you have, such as pearl barley, farro or freekah.
This time of year I find it so much harder to keep herb pots alive (I tend to ditch my kitchen ones around November and survive on supermarket packets until the spring) so I find I have ends of packets to use up all of the time. This recipe is great for this; here I've used a mixture of mint, flat leaf parsley and oregano here, but I've also used chervil in the past, and curly parsley would also be lovely. Basically, any fresh soft herb.
- 2 Large Handfuls Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- 1 Small Red Onion, cut into wedges
- 3 Large Garlic Cloves
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Small Handful Blanched Almonds
- 150g (5 1/2 oz) Mixed Quick Cook Grains
- Large Handful Mixed Soft Herbs, chopped
- 120g (4 oz) Feta, crumbled
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- Freshly Ground Sea Salt & Black Pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (390 fahrenheit). Spread the cherry tomatoes, cut side up on a baking tray, along with the onion wedges and the whole garlic cloves, skin on, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, then sprinkle over the whole blanched almonds. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until the tomatoes and onions are roasted, and the almonds are golden. Meanwhile, cook the grains as per the packet instructions.
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins into a large bowl, and mash the garlic with a fork. Add the drained grains, roasted vegetables and almonds, and the juice from the vegetable pan. Squeeze over the lemon juice, season well with salt and pepper, and add a generous glug of olive oil. Mix to combine, then stir in the herbs and the crumbled feta.
If you're after some more grain bowls to kick of the New Year, my Bulgar Wheat with Kale and Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes is great at this time of year, my Giant (Israeli) Couscous with Pomegranate and Pistachios will add a bit of colour to your lunchtimes, and my Farro, Avocado and Egg Breakfast Bowl with Miso Yogurt is the perfect way to kick off a busy morning before work.