Sunflower seeds and brown rice pack a double nutrition punch, enhancing this side dish with both vitamin E and niacin. This recipe calls for long-cooking barley and brown rice, but if you're in a hurry, substitute instant brown rice and quick-cooking barley. Just be sure to adjust cooking times according to package directions.
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1/3 cup sunflower seed kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup brown rice blend (such as Lundberg) or brown rice
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup uncooked bulgur
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil, sunflower seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; set aside.
Heat pan over medium heat; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and butter. Add leek; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add 2 1/2 cups water and next 3 ingredients (through rice); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Stir in currants and bulgur; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until grains are tender. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, sunflower seeds, parsley, and pepper. Serve immediately.