I rarely cook dishes without a recipe. Allrecipes.com is my best friend in the kitchen. SO when I do cook on the fly (and the dish turns out edible… or even delicious), I feel really proud of myself. Like really. It’s a rare occasion to be celebrated.
My sister recently gave me a bag of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains blend (contains Israeli style couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa) and told me that it tastes good as a cold salad mixed with veggies and Greek dressing. Okay, fine, that’s pretty much a recipe. So sue me.
Anyway, if you’re neurotic like me (or you’re just a bad cook who needs maximum direction), then here’s exactly what I did–
- 1/2 package of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains blend (1 1/4 c. uncooked)
- 1.5 Persian cucumbers, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- ~20 grape tomatoes, quartered (or equivalent amount of regular tomatoes, chopped)
- 1/2 can olives (~2 oz.)
- 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
- 1/4 c. lemon juice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. pepper
Cook 1/2 package of grains per package instructions. You can cook the grains in either water or chicken broth; I used mostly (low-sodium) chicken broth with a splash of water. You also need a tablespoon of butter!
Set aside your cooked grain medley to cool. Meanwhile, chop your olives…
Seed and chop your cucumbers… Chop your red onion (just 1/4)…
Quarter your tomatoes… then put all 4 ingredients aside (in the fridge, if you prefer).
Combine evoo, lemon juice (I cheated… use fresh lemon juice if possible!!), minced garlic, salt, and pepper and mix vigorously. Proportions can be fiddled with per taste preference (I tend to like things extra citrusy). Note: In the picture on the left, there are two cloves of garlic. I highly advise you use just one. I LOVE garlic but two was a little too much, even for me.
Once your grains have sufficiently cooled, mix in the olives, cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes and refrigerate for a bit. If you’re going to serve immediately, slowly mix in the dressing, being careful not to over-dress (add & taste, add & taste). If not, then I’d recommend dressing right before serving to prevent over-saturation.
Yum! Super easy, healthy, and fresh. Perfect for a summer side dish. Serves 5.
PS- There are obviously different ingredients I could have added (e.g. fresh mint, parsley, cilantro, carrots, etc.) with different dressings, but I’m very satisfied with how this combination tasted. 🙂