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September 29, 2013

Engine 2 Organic Grain Medleys

by Anne Paddock

Rice is one of those dishes that can be incredibly bland or amazingly delicious depending on how it’s prepared. The secret to a great tasting and nutritious rice dish is to blend the rice with grains, vegetables, beans, and even fruit which can require planning ahead. For those occasions when time is a factor, consider using an Engine 2 Plant-Strong Grain Medley. Completely pre-made and sold in the freezer section of Whole Foods, the four Grain Medley Blends – Ancient Grains, Wild Rice, Fiesta, and Morning Blends – are packaged in 13-ounce bags.

Engine2_Organic_AncientGrains_Blend_13ozEach grain medley contains all organic ingredients, is non-GMO project verified, and kosher. A one cup serving (there are 3.5 servings per 13 ounce bag) contains about 100 calories, 3-6 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat or less, 2-7 grams of fiber, and less than 15 mg of sodium or less.. Sounds bland, right? It’s not.

Flavored with vegetables and fruit – scallions, celery, red bell pepper, sweet corn, poblano, peppers, and golden raisins (morning blend)  that have bold characteristics – the grain medleys are versatile and can be used as a side dish or incorporated in casseroles, soups, and more. Engine2_Organic_WildRice_Blend_13ozThe three lunch and dinner medleys have 1 gram of sugar or less per serving while the Morning Blend has 12 grams of sugar (due to the golden raisins).

Each medley is a unique blend of rice, grains, beans, vegetables and fruit that goes from the freezer to the table in minutes by either using the stove top (which requires 7-8 minutes of cooking time) or placing in the microwave for 3-4 minutes:

Engine2_Organic_MorningBlend_13ozAncient Grains:  A blend of  quinoa, farro, red lentils, brown rice, and black barley that is delicious with added vegetables.

Wild Rice:  A mix of wild rice, black barley, brown rice, scallions, and celery that is delicious as a side dish, with vegetables, or to use in soups.

Fiesta:  A blend of brown rice, black beans, sweet corn, red bell pepper, and poblano peppers that is ideal for tortillas, tacos, burritos, and taco bowls.

Morning: A mixture of wheat berries, farro, black barley, and organic raisins. Delicious as a breakfast porridge alone or blended with cooked steel-cut oats, cinnamon and your favorite diced fresh fruit.

To purchase, go to the freezer section at Whole Foods where each medley sells for about $3.79.

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