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Quick Meals with Ready-to-Go Grains

I have a tendency to cook as though I run a boarding house for college athletes. Huge pots of brown rice, an extra pan (or two) of quinoa, enough oatmeal for a classroom. I do this so I have ready-to-go grains on hand for quick lunch salads, easy baked dinners and the simplest breakfast reheats. Engine 2’s four new frozen grain blends promise to give refrigerator shelves and stockpots everywhere a break with already cooked (and spiced!) blends that heat up in a flash. Whew!

Here’s how we like to use them.

Morning Blend

Chewy wheat berries, farro and black barley are packaged with golden raisins for an instant and satisfying morning meal.

  • Let this mix blow your usual oatmeal routine out of the water with this recipe for Creamy Spiced Pear Morning Blend.
  • Stir in unsweetened applesauce, toasted pumpkin seeds and warm almondmilk for a porridge fit for royalty.
  • Layer the cooled grains with Greek yogurt, honey and fresh fruit for an ultra-simple,yet fancy breakfast parfait.

Wild Rice Blend

Notoriously long-cooking wild rice teams up with black barley, brown rice, scallions and celery for a ready-to-eat pilaf.

  • Top with a hunk of baked tofu or salmon for a no-brainer weeknight dinner.
  • Add creamy avocado and crunchy pumpkin and sunflower seeds to play up the grains’ texture in this recipe for Arugula with Wild Rice Blend, Avocado and Toasted Seeds.
  • Mix with briny feta cheese, diced cucumbers, black olives and red onion for a Greek-inspired side.

Fiesta Blend

Brown rice, sweet corn, black beans, red bell and poblano peppers goose up weeknight burritos and more in this crowd-pleasing blend.

  • Add cooked chickpeas and pinto beans to the mix for a fast three-bean rice salad.
  • We love this blend rolled in a tortilla with extra spices, fire-roasted tomatoes, a handful of fresh cilantro and diced avocado. Try these Engine 2 Fiesta Burritos.
  • Toss the grain blend with sugar snap peas, shredded cabbage and a squeeze of lime juice for a simple side dish.

Ancient Grains

Quinoa, farro, black barley, brown rice and lentils combine for a gorgeous, protein-laden meal-maker.

  • Use the grains as a meat stand-in for chewy, satisfying Ancient Grain Wheat Balls that are right at home in your favorite marinara sauce.
  • Add shredded kale, toasted walnuts and this quick Dijon Vinaigrette for a simple, protein-packed lunch salad.
  • Stuff heated grains in a baked sweet potato and top with fresh herbs for an easy pocket meal.

Are you as excited as we are to stock the freezer? How will you use these meal-saving blends?