This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading!
Once a month, we make a trip to Trader Joe's to stock up on the essentials: four bottles of low-calorie cranberry juice cocktail sweetened with Stevia; four boxes of Just the Clusters granola cereal (I tried making my own granola, but Just the Clusters is still my favorite); the occasional block of extra-firm tofu, since the texture of the Trader Joe's variety holds up well when making tofu steaks; and a bag of Harvest Grains Blend, which is a mixture of Israeli-style couscous (larger than regular couscous) with orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and quinoa.
Harvest Grains Blend is one of those bland but texturally intriguing foods that I will happily eat in large quantities: the smooshiness of the Israeli couscous contrasts perfectly with the slight crunch of al dente garbanzo beans. Mike, on the other hand, is less enamored with texture and more into flavor. This past week, I had a brainwave: the way to Mike's heart is through garlic and Parmesan. If I could work those into my Harvest Grains Blend somehow, I'd be golden. Working from a pasta recipe, I came up with a concoction with the flavors Mike was looking for and the texture I love. If only all compromises tasted this delicious.
If the Harvest Grains Blend isn't available, you could substitute Israeli-style couscous or orzo.
Inspired by the Mr. Food recipe for Garlic Pasta
Serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side
- 1 1/4 cups dry Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend, Israeli-style couscous, or orzo
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup parley leaves
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare grain according to package instructions.*
Meanwhile, heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is light golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add parsley and red pepper, and stir until parsley is wilted.
Add parsley mixture and Parmesan cheese to prepared grain and toss.
*The package instructions on the Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend call for 1 tablespoon butter, which I omit since olive oil is added later in the recipe.