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Oxmoor House Photo by: Oxmoor House

Multigrain Pilaf with Sunflower Seeds

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.

Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2014

  • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)
  • Hands-on: 11 Minutes
  • Total: 1 Hour, 7 Minutes


  • 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


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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 198
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 6.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.6g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Carbohydrate: 32.7g
  • Fiber: 4.9g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg
  • Iron: 1.5mg
  • Sodium: 266mg
  • Calcium: 26mg

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Multigrain Pilaf with Sunflower Seeds Recipe