We're now in our second week of recipes for a Tasty and Healthy New Year with California Olive Ranch and Bob's Red Mill. We're moving on to side dishes this week and pairing together the Grande Whole Grains Blend and the Miller's Blend Olive Oil. Did you do a double take when you saw the title of this post and then saw healthy in the first line? Bacon and healthy... yeah, it works in my book. You see the thing is, coming from a non health nut, it's about balance. I am trying to eat better but I also like some things that aren't necessarily good for you. It's about moderation and making sure that the healthy foods usually outweigh the bad. And we all know, bacon makes eveything better, right? And come on, it's only four slices for the whole thing. You'll love it.
I was pleasantly surprised by the grains in this dish. I was woirried they just wouldn't taste right or have the right texture but both my wife and I absolutely loved every bite of this dish. The whole grains cook and taste much different than if you had used a white rice. This blend contains a mixture of whole grain wheat, brown rice, oats, rye, triticale, barley, Kamut berries, buckwheat and sesame seeds. They take alot longer to cook for one thing and still end up with a harder, chewier texture, which ended up working perfectly in this combination. The mushrooms, tomato and cabbage all have varying soft to hard textures which when paired with the grains, makes each bite slightly different. You could easily just serve it alongside a meat dish or do like we did, cut some peppers in half, roast them at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes and then fill them up with the pilaf. It turns a side dish into a filling main dish in no time.
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Curried Whole Grain Pilaf with Bacon, Mushroom and Cabbage
4 bacon slices, chopped
6 tablespoons California Olive Ranch Millers Blend Olive Oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Grande Whole Grains Blend
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil to drippings in skillet (You could also drain all the bacon grease and add 6 tablespoons of oil here). Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add rice, curry powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir 1 minute. Add 4 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Stir, cover, and simmer until broth is absorbed, stirring occiasionally, about 30-40 minutes, adding additional broth as necessary until grains have reached desired texture. Stir in mushrooms and remove from heat.
Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add cabbage; sauté 3 minutes. Mix in tomatoes and green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Stir rice mixture into cabbage. Serve sprinkled with panko and green onions.