Homemade Grain Blend with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts

If you're in the Northeast, I hope you are faring well during the seemingly less intense than predicted snow storm. If you're enjoying a snow day, curled up with no reason to go outside I am very jealous. Philadelphia has gotten that in-between, fine enough to drive in but miserable I would much rather be inside kind of weather.

A homemade grain blend is a good thing to have on hand for days like this. It's nice for the colder months in general. For when you're bored with rice and want something a bit heartier to pair with roasted veggies. I always get excited for the pre-made blends in the store, but they're unnecessary when you can make your own. The cooking time is the trickiest when you start to combine grains, you want a blend that will cook well and evenly together. Its proven to be a great base for whatever you have on hand, has a nice balance of texture and doesn't need too much dressing up. This time around we topped with roasted brussels sprouts, leeks, toasted walnuts and some fresh chopped basil. 

Blended Grains with Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Walnuts
serves 2

1 cup quick cooking 4 grain blend
2 cups brussel sprouts, halved & trimmed
1/2 cup leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbs olive oil, divided
1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large mixing bowl, toss brussels sprouts and 1 clove garlic in 1 tbs olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper and roast on a rimmed baking sheet until brussels sprouts are crispy and tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. When cooled, return brussels sprouts to mixing bowl and toss with 1 tbs olive oil, and vinegar. 

Meanwhile, in a medium sized pot, combine 1 cup grain blend with 2.5 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered and undisturbed for 15 minutes. At this point, check for doneness - the grains should be slightly firm and not mushy. If necessary, continue cooking for an additional 2-5 minutes. When grains are finished, drain into colander and return to pot. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a skillet over medium high heat, warm 1 tbs olive oil until shimmering. When oil is hot, add leeks, season with salt and pepper and sauté until leeks are cooked and semi-translucent, about 4 minutes. Immediately add cooked leeks to grain mixture and stir to combine. 

In a small nonstick skillet over medium heat, toast walnuts stirring constantly until browned, about 3 minutes. To assemble, divide grain blend between two bowls. Top with brussels sprouts, toasted walnuts and fresh basil.

Quick Cooking 4 Grain Blend

6 oz millet
6 oz freekeh
6 oz quinoa
6 oz toasted buckwheat

Combine grains in a large jar and shake to mix. Seal tightly and store.