Friday, March 24, 2017

Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend

This is an unusual admixture of things from different categories of foodstuffs that aren't normally found together. Oddly, only the last ingredient--red quinoa--can reasonably be classified as a "grain," despite the product name. Couscous and orzo are simply forms of pasta (though made from wheat, of course), and baby garbanzo beans are not grains, either.

I screwed up the cooking the first time, leaving it underdone. But for the second half of the bag, I followed the package directions meticulously, and it came out as I think is intended. The pasta components were al dente. However, this still left the garbanzos a little tough. Maybe perfect cooking of everything at once is possible with some other technique, but I suspect that getting the beans cooked right would mean mushy couscous and orzo.

In any event, the most favorable quality of the cooked product is visual appeal; it makes for a very pretty plate. But the taste is nothing special--just ordinary pasta, really.

Will I buy it again? 

Probably not. If on some occasion I want visually appealing pasta, I'd be more likely to go for TJ's Organic Pasta--Vegetable Radiatore, or Trofie Colore.


  1. I've been trying to make myself learn to cook some of those things. They are just not common in Mississippi cusine.

    I logged in different. Usually sign in as The JR.
    But, some of the crafter's were complaining they could not click my name and see my mosaic blog.

  2. You must try again! It's one of our household favorites. But I do prepare differently than directions on package.
    1. Pilaf-style - add a chicken bouillon and a dash of onion powder when cooking and it makes a great side for chicken or steak.
    2. As a cold salad - prepare as above, but let cool a bit and mix in arugula and red wine vinaigrette (I usually make homemade with red wine vinegar, minced garlic, dijon, honey, oil, and salt & pepper). Let cool a bit more and then add halved cherry tomatoes, diced persian cucumbers and crumbled feta. OR you can just add the TJ's jarred pesto, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped fresh basil and those little balls of fresh mozzarella. All TJ ingredients. Both salads are always a hit at bbq potlucks!

  3. If you like tomato soup try putting this in it with shredded cheddar or pepperjack on top. They did a demo at the store and I couldn't believe how delicious it was!

  4. I love this blend yet rarely eat it plain as a side dish. It's great in soups because it doesn't expand as much as pasta or rice, and as mentioned it's great in salads cold