BJ’s Brewhouse Copycat Bistro Grains Side Dish can now be made at home with the same signature flavor you love and missed.
BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse had the most amazing bistro grains side dish (served with their Mediterranean chicken pita tacos) that sadly they stopped serving (due to its popularity and inability of their supplier to keep up). After a few attempts, I nailed it! This copycat recipe is one you’ll want to laminate and pass down to your children’s, children’s, grandchildren’s, children.
Did you know Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WAH) is packed full of healthy vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber? There’s an interesting article by Helen Nichols on the 27 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Quinoa if you’d like to know more!
Before we dig into the details of this epic side dish, I have to share some pics from Mother’s Day.
I’m so blessed to be their mommy. We had such a great day of church, food, shopping, and family time.
After dinner we met up with my parents and grandma at Graeter’s Ice Cream. We’re representing 4 generations ranging between the ages of 94 and 9! Words cannot adequately express how much these lovely ladies mean to me.
Alright, family moment over…
We have this ever-expanding area of shopping and restaurants just a few minutes from our house. It’s been growing considerably since we first moved here 3 years ago with a new restaurant popping up every few months it seems. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse was one of the major highlights that has over 120 items on their menu. I didn’t count, it’s on their website.
I don’t always choose the healthiest of items off the menu when dining out, but their Mediterranean Chicken Pita Tacos off their EnLIGHTened menu were screaming my name. Partly because the seasonal bistro grain side dish looked amazing. Way better than french fries.
I get in this habit of ordering the same thing off restaurant menus every time we go out. It was a real let-down on my 3rd time ordering the Mediterranean chicken pita tacos that the seasonal bistro grains had changed to a mild (yet still delicious) israeli couscous dish. Perhaps the 3rd time is NOT the charm.
Learning about their supplier issue-and obviously needing to break my menu ordering habits-I got to work on creating a copycat recipe. Two attempts and I nailed it (plus the addition of avocado). I am free to order something new off the menu!
While the veggies are busy roasting prepare 1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed to remove any dust and unwanted debri that settles on the little kernels. To keep it like the one I loved from BJ’s Restaurant, we’ll also add some farro to the mix (not shown).
Both the quinoa and farro will cook up in about 15 minutes, or a little less, absorbing all the water. (I haven’t tried cooking them in the same pot since they both use the same ratio to water, but I bet it would work!) *update: totally works and saves time!!
In a large bowl add the cooked quinoa, farro and roasted veggies to cool just a bit before adding the secret-not-so-secret-anymore-spice-mix. OH, and we’ll add black beans that have been rinsed and drained!
Not only is this versatile side dish that can be eaten warm or cold and alongside a variety of entrees, it’s also AMAZING in wraps.
My favorite combo lately has been a light Flat-Out wrap spread with Chipolte Laughing Cow Cheese, turkey lunchmeat, and a few heaping spoonfuls of this kicky bistro grain side dish and avocado slices if they’re still around! DELISH!
Avocado is an addition I made when serving this side dish and comes highly recommended!
- 1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed in fine mesh colander
- 1/4 cup farro
- 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 green pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup corn, (I used frozen straight from the freezer)
- 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tsp adobo sauce
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- avocado, sliced (optional, but highly recommended!)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Begin by cooking quinoa and farro according to package, then set aside to cool in a large bowl.
- While quinoa and farro are cooking arrange diced peppers, onions, and corn on a cooking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes; remove and add to bowl with quinoa and farro to cool.
- Rinse and drain beans and add to bowl of veggies.
- In a small dish stir together adobo sauce, smoked paprika, chili powder and cumin. Using a spatula pour mixture into the bowl of slightly cooled quinoa and veggies. Stir to thoroughly combine. It won't look like much sauce, but trust me it's the perfect amount of kick!
- Serve slightly warm or cold. Will stay fresh for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- *Add a few spoonfuls to a turkey wrap with avocado for a fantastic picnic lunch!