Mixed Grain Bowl with Butternut Squash and Kale: Seasonal Chef Recipe

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The snow in the northeast just seems never ending. Take heart friends, it will end, and Spring is almost here! I’ve been reading a lot of posts this week from farmers working on their seedlings. That makes me very happy. So while we wait for those seedlings to take root there are plenty of options for to explore like grains, legumes and hearty winter vegetables. This week I have a fun mixed grain salad recipe to share. The steps look long, but most are done at the same time. This recipe will be well under an hour, and worth the effort.

My inspiration for this bowl comes from something I ate recently at Chop’t. It’s healthy and chock full of grains, lentils and vegetables. This recipe will give you six to eight servings which is perfect to make on the weekend and enjoy for several meals. To read more about how to make this bowl click this link: Mixed Grain Bowl with Butternut Squash and Kale.

Buon Appetito!

Two years ago: Making Beans from Scratch

Mixed Grain Salad
Makes 6-8 servings

1/2 cup dry wheat berry (soaked overnight)
1/2 cup dry millet
Kosher salt
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup French lentils
2 -3 cups cubed butternut squash
Extra virgin olive oil
Ground black pepper
1 bunch red winterbor kale
1 tablespoon hemp seeds, optional
1 tablespoon chia seeds, optional

Dressing ingredients
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of good maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1/4 cup flavorless oil, avocado/canola/vegetable

1. The night before soak your wheat berries in 3 cups of water. Cover and set on the counter for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small sauté pan toast the millet for 3-4 minutes.
3. Bring two small pots of water to boil, each with 2 cups of water. Season each with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Add the lentils to one pot. To the other add the quinoa and toasted millet. Bring both down to a simmer and cover. Set the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. In a third pot add the wheat berries with their soaking water and a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes
4. Place the butternut squash on a tray and toss with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place in the oven and set another timer for 15 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
5. While the grains and squash cook strip the kale leaves from the stems. Roll in a cigar and slice 1/4″ thick. Place in a very large bowl and set aside.
6. Make the dressing: add all the ingredients in a small jar, along with a good pinch of salt and pepper, and shake well. Set aside.
7. Drain the lentils and wheat berries and lay out on a rimmed sheet. Fluff the millet and quinoa with a fork and lay on another sheet. Spread every thing out and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
8. Take half of the dressing and rub it into the kale. Gently mix in the cooled squash. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
9. In another bowl mix 1 cup each of the lentils, millet, quinoa and wheat berry. Reserve the remaining for another dish. Drizzle remaining dressing over the grains and then combine with the kale-squash.
10. If desired add the hemp and chia seeds. Serve warm or cold, on it’s own or with a protein.

 

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About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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