After lasts week's indulgent coffee cake, I wanted to give you a healthy recipe this week, though not lacking in flavor. One of the ingredients to a good diet is variety, and I don't mean of the Starburst, Reese's PB cups, M&Ms kind! Instead of merely a rice pilaf, this recipe has pearl barley, brown rice, and bulgar. I must admit, I think this is the first time I have cooked pearl barley and bulgar in my own kitchen. Our awesome grocery store has self serve bins of all kinds of grains, dried fruits, etc. so I was able to trial this recipe without buying barley, brown rice, and bulgur in bulk, but if all you can find is a container, don't let that deter you- this is a side dish worth making over and over again.
The original recipe is from Cooking Light, September 2006 (can't believe it took me 8 years to pull it out my cache of recipes and try it!). I made a couple of modifications for ease of ingredients and to cut out a step or two, so the recipe below is the recipe I actually made. Bon Appetit!
1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
1 teaspoon low fat butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large leek - just white/very light green portion)
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/4 cup short grain brown rice
1/4 cup dried Craisins
2 tablespoons uncooked bulgur
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons roasted sunflower seed kernels
1/8 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat; add 1 teaspoons oil and butter. Add leek; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Add 1 1/4 cups water and next 3 ingredients (through rice); bring to a boil Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Stir in Craisins and bulgur; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until grains are tender. Remove from heat; stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt, sunflower seeds, parsley, and pepper. Serve immediately.