A Must Try Harvest Grain Mix & My Weekly Menu

by DanicasDaily on June 12, 2011

Happy Sunday All!  This weekend was such a whirlwind, but, in a good way.  We spent the weekend helping one of our friends do a house remodel to surprise his wife while she was out of town.  How awesome is that?!  I couldn’t exactly say anything in case she read BEFORE she got back home Open-mouthed smile

I PLANNED FOR SUCCESS for our weekend by making sure we had a healthy breakfast & lunch with a cooler of snacks!  It totally worked because I still have over half my WPA remaining!  The Husband totally teased me about packing so many things but we ate them all since we worked til almost 11 PM on Saturday night!

TONIGHT’S POST is going to combine 3 things for you all:

1.  PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS of my food because I ate a lot of the same things, I picked just a few photos of my FAVORITE things that I ate this weekend.

2.  HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HARVEST GRAIN MIX!  Several of you have asked me how to make the mix since you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you ~ I created the recipe, tested it out and it is AWESOME!


Here we go…….

#1 SATURDAY & SUNDAY FOOD HIGHLIGHTS ~ Insert additional fruit and raw veggies (I bought a veggie tray as snacks too!) If you want to know about any item, just ask in the comments below.



As you all know, I absolutely LOVE this VEGAN 4 points+ Harvest Grain SaladI wish I could send each of you a bag so you could make it and love it too!


Since I know you all cannot get this delicious Harvest Grain Mix at Trader Joe’s, I decided to do the next best thing.


I broke down the ingredient list and created a HOMEMADE HARVEST GRAIN BLEND that you could make yourself to have this delicious salad whether or not you are near a Trader Joe’s.


Israeli Couscous is the MAIN INGREDIENT in the blend and you can find it in the pasta section next the couscous as your local grocery store.  I had some on hand from Trader Joe’s so I used what I had.


I was actually glad to see that the rosemary extract was included in the ingredient list.  Definitely not necessary but it was one less thing to think about Smile


If you can find tri-color Orzo Pasta, then, use it for color.  After visiting 4 stores, I decided plain was good.


Red Quinoa, however, regular works fine if you cannot find red.


THE OPTIONAL INGREDIENT ~ Petite Orange or Yellow Lentils.  You want the kind that are dried and can cook in roughly 10 minutes.  I bought these out of the bulk bin at Whole Foods.  I LOVE the crunch of the baby garbanzo’s in the Harvest Blend and this was the closest I could find.  Honestly, you wouldn’t miss it, if you didn’t include these.


I measured everything out in two ways to make it easy for you to re-create the mix.


2 cups Israeli Couscous, approximately 8 oz

1/2 cup Orzo

1/4 cup Red Quinoa

1/3 cup Petite Orange Lentils

I combined everything above and put it on my food scale to see how close I was to getting to 16 oz. 


Since I was .5 oz short, I topped it off with a little extra Orzo to get to 16 oz.


I think it LOOKS so close to the original!  This recipe makes 1 entire bags worth of Harvest Grain Blend.  Store it in an air tight container for up to 3 months or cook it right away like me.


The ONLY ingredient that I use that I get at Trader Joe’s that I have not found a “real” comparison is the 21 Seasoning Salute.


My only recommendation for this is that it doesn’t matter a “ton” in the recipe as it’s just a few shakes.  I would say pick your favorite seasoning blend and add a few dashes or just omit it.


You would prepare My Harvest Grain Mix the same way you would make the Original Must Try Harvest Grain Salad.

Bring 1 3/4 cups Broth to a boil and add 1 1/4 cups of the Harvest Grain Mix.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes.


While the mix cooks, prep your toppings.

1/2 jar chopped marinated artichokes

1/2 jar chopped sun dried tomatoes, drained and rinsed (you can also used dried)

1/4 c white balsamic vinegar

Big Dashes of TJ’s 21 Spice Salute

Freshly Ground Black Pepper



Remove from heat and add all the toppings.


Stir to combine and chill 1 hour.  It’s delicious hot or cold.  Makes 3 cups with the same stats Open-mouthed smile (4 points+ per 1/2 cup)




  • 8 oz Israeli couscous
  • 2/3 cup Orzo Pasta
  • 1/4 cup Red Quinoa
  • 1/3 cup Petite Orange or Yellow Lentils
  • 1 1/3 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 jar chopped marinated artichokes
  • 1/2 jar chopped sun dried tomatoes, drained and rinsed (you can also used dried)
  • 1/4 c white balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 Tbsps Chives
  • Big Dashes of TJ’s 21 Spice Salute
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper


1.  Combine Israeli Couscous through lentils in a medium bowl.  Stir well, measure out 1 1/4 cups and store remainder for use at another time.

2.  Bring chicken broth to a boil, add harvest mix, reduce heat, cover and simmer 8-10 minutes or until majority of the liquid is evaportated.

3.  Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.  Serve hot or chill for 1 hour and serve cold.

Makes 6 servings, 1/2 cup each, 4 points+ per serving

Nutritional information per serving, calculated using caloriecount.com



* Grilled Fresh & Easy Healthy Sausages, Grilled Corn, Salad

* Bacon & Cheese Inside Out Turkey Burgers, Yucca Fries, Salad

* MM Sandwich, Adorned ~ Lightened Up with salad!

* Grilled Shrimp & Chickpea Salad

* CEiMB ~ Cinnamon Raisin Toast with Honey Walnut Spread!

* Lunches ~ Ruby Kale Salad with Citrus & Berries, Egg Salad Sandwiches


Last chance to enter to WIN A CASE OF REESE’S PB CUPS ~ Winner drawn tomorrow!


What is on your menu this week?  Anything new, fun, or exciting?

Night all!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats June 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm

First off: way to plan ahead!!

Secondly: thank you so much for the step by step instructions on making your own mix. ^_^ I plan to make this….probably next week. Fridge is super full right now (unfortunately not with my food…) or I would make it for this one!

Since I have such little space I don’t have any plans for this week of meals even though I should. =/ I picked up some Swiss chard for the first time so definitely going to try steaming it as you suggested! Maybe tomorrow (if I have time..) I’ll find some recipe inspiration. That reminds me….can’t wait for your new recipe page to be up!


Gail H. June 13, 2011 at 2:59 am

Thank you thank you! The Harvest Grain recipe and instructions are just fabulous!! Some of your weekly menu items look interesting also…I’m hoping they’ll motivate me to start cooking…always happens when I go away for business and get spoiled by room service :)


Cathymk June 13, 2011 at 3:00 am

That grain mix sounds delicious, Danica. Thank you for sharing the recipe. This is one I am definitely going to try for myself!


Jersey Girl Cooks June 13, 2011 at 4:13 am

Great idea on the harvest grain salad. I am lucky to have a Trader Joes near me. Those grains are good stuff!


tj June 13, 2011 at 6:34 am

I saw your text this morning…I unplugged for the day yesterday. Great job re-creating this salad! Looks just like the original! :)

High 5 on the great EATS over the weekend and planning ahead! :) WHoohoo!

Hope you have a GREAT day!


Sarah S June 13, 2011 at 6:37 am

Two questions…

What is that amazing looking sandwich above? I’m guessing the ham and cheese? Did you use a panini press?? And I know you don’t like mayo (I WISH I didn’t LOVE it) so do you not use any condiments on your sandwich??

Okay…this is so stupid but in your opinion…is recreating it just as good as the TJ’s mix?? the reason I ask is because we have two TJ’s in Indy but both are about 30 minutes away so I am trying to decide if it’s worth the trip or if I should just go to the store and recreate it. Also, do you not use any oil in it??


Lisa June 13, 2011 at 7:55 am

Hello Danica!

Thanks for sharing your recipe to make “Trader Joes” Harvest Grain Blend Salad!
Up here in Canada, i have yet to find a store that carries “Trader Joes” products, until i make a trip down to the USA.
I have a question for yourself or if anyone else has a substitue for “Atichokes”?
Unfortunately i am not a fan of these– so i was wondering if there is anything else i could use for this.
Lisa, Keswick, Ontario , Canada!


mary (what's cookin' with mary) June 13, 2011 at 9:48 am

What a great how to Danica! Thank you for taking the time to do that. The pictures came out so pretty too :)

I made my first dinner in MONTHS over the weekend ?!?!? 😀 😀 We even had company to share it with. I made something simple so I could test out the strength in my left arm and it went well. We had enchilada’s (which I need to make again and blog about!) with Mexican rice and watermelon agua fresca (which I posted about Sat). It was a big hit and it felt SO GOOD to be back in the kitchen. I totally had this silly grin on my face as everyone was eating… I think they thought I was a weirdo, but that’s ok bc I’m baaaaaaack 😀


Wendy June 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

Wow thank you so much for recreating that TJ’s recipe. It looks like it was an involved process but those of us with no TJ around appreciate it. I moved to north central FL from NYC and I miss TJ and Whole Foods like you would not believe (among other things haha). I am trying something new this week – gardein seven grain crispy tenders (http://www.gardein.com/products.php?t=frozen&p=4). It is a meatless protein and happened to be BOGO at my local grocery store last week. It kind of looks like a bag of chicken fingers to me so I am excited to try them. I am saving it for “Try It Tuesday” on my blog where I will do a review after tasting them!


Tami June 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm

You are very clever with that homemade grain mix! On the menu this week are BLT’s with avocado -love these all summer long! Beyond that I don’t have it figured out yet!


Vanessa June 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I wish I had a Trader Joes!!! :( All your food looks yummy. :) This weeks menu consists of just trying to now eat the same thing everyday. I do that alot due to just cooking for one and not wanting to buy tons of food cause I hate wasting anything. I love to cook and bake, but don’t due to now wanting to waste so much.


BroccoliHut June 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm

How cool! I am lucky enough to have a TJ’s just minutes away from my house, but you are such a pro for figuring out a good substitute:)


DanicasDaily June 14, 2011 at 10:32 am

Hi Sarah,

It is a Ham, Turkey and Pepperjack Sandwich with pickles and Trader Joe’s Sweet & Hot Mustard! It was sooooooooooooo GOOD! I finally broke out my Cuisinart Griddler and used it. I am so glad I did because I might be hooked now.

As far as condiments ~ I am a big fan of mustards and AVOCADO any time I want mayo…sometimes hummus, sometimes Trader Joe’s Jalapeno Pub Cheese Spread or Laughing Cow.

I actually think the blend tastes just the same flavorwise. Of course I ALWAYS thinks a road trip to TJ’s is fun, but, I think you could easily make it and enjoy the salad all the same.

I do not use any oil in the salad because the marinated artichokes have oil and if you use oil packed sun dried tomatoes they have oil. I know the grain blend says to include butter but I don’t think you miss it when it isn’t there.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of it ~ I LOVE IT!



DanicasDaily June 14, 2011 at 10:33 am

Hi Lisa,

You could use marinated mushrooms or add in any vegetable you like.



janetha @ meals & moves June 14, 2011 at 1:12 pm

You are my hero :)


Samurai Mom April 18, 2012 at 10:55 am

For the garbonzo beans try an Indian market and look for channa dahl. Thanks for the recipe, I have a Trader Joe’s near me but you know how they are always getting rid of your faovorites.


GrainBrain October 30, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Any idea how this works cost-wise in comparison to buying TJs by the pound? Idk about in the store but to order TJs Harvest grains on Amazon is about $5.50/lb. Is making on your own with this recipe cheaper?


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Danicasdaily.com is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Danica's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Danica based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc. Danica does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining WW and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight.

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