Parslied Brown Rice Pilaf
This simple side plays up the brightness of fresh parsley. This unassuming herb is pleasantly verdant and pairs wonderfully with zippy lemon zest and nutty brown rice. Compared with unenriched white rice, brown rice is higher in fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. New research shows that eating whole grains like brown rice daily reduces colorectal cancer risk, and the more you eat the lower your risk.
Job's Tears Salad with Bacon Dressing
Job’s tears are a gluten-free whole grain, distinctly large, with a mild corn-rice flavor that’s versatile enough to use in countless dishes. Find it at health food stores and Asian markets. While the salad stands before serving, the warm vinaigrette will slightly tenderize the thinly shaved vegetables. If you use a mandoline to slice the beets, deal them into the salad like playing cards so they don’t clump together in stacks. Red beets are fine in this dish as well, though they will color the grains pink.
Kale, Tomato, and Pancetta Pasta
Tomatoes need a little extra love during winter. This pasta uses them in two ways: first melted into the pancetta drippings for a saucy base, then sautéed until gently blistered with the kale and garlic. Vary the green depending on what you have on hand; shredded Brussels sprouts, chard, or spinach would work. Orecchiette ("little ears" in Italian) have a catcher’s mitt shape that’s ideal for holding the crispy bits of pancetta. You could also use whole-grain shell pasta or rotini.
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl With 6-Minute Egg
Embrace breakfast’s savory side with this whole-grain bowl. This simple one-dish meal is crowned with a soft-boiled egg; the nutrient-rich yolk creates its own creamy sauce. New research shows that eating eggs with raw vegetables like tomatoes increases your absorption of carotenoids—antioxidants that may protect against heart disease.
Creamy tahini and fragrant toasted sesame oil give this simple noodle dish a double dose of nutty flavor. The sauce is similar to Southeast Asian peanut sauce—but more allergen-friendly from being made of sesame seeds. A couple teaspoons of sambal oelek provide a hint of heat; use more or less according to your preference. Look for it in jars on the Asian foods aisle.
Kale-and-Chickpea Grain Bowl with Avocado Dressing
This veggie-heavy bowl is loaded with crunch and color, thanks to crispy carrots and chickpeas, fresh kale, and a vibrant avocado dressing. It also delivers more than 50% of your daily dose of fiber, key for weight loss, energy, and healthy digestion. Bulgur, also called cracked wheat, is a quick cooking whole grain. These bowls would also be excellent make-ahead lunches. Pack the avocado mixture separately, adding a little water to thin it as needed.
Kimchi Fried Rice
Chopped kimchi and kimchi juice adds lots of tangy-spicy goodness to this quick meatless main. Though there's no meat, do be aware that most traditional kimchi isn't vegetarian (it includes fish).
Chicken with Broccolini and Farro-Beet Salad
This one recipe gives you a full meal for four people—a hefty plate that goes heavy on the vegetables and provides nearly one-third of your daily fiber goal and just over 80% of your protein goal. The simple parsley sauce pulls everything together, offering a burst of fresh herbal flavor that brightens the dish. We call for precooked farro for speed and convenience, but if you have time, you can cook your own from scratch; aim for one-half cup cooked grains per serving.
Lentil Cakes With Mint Yogurt
Precooked lentils are a convenience item we love, saving nearly 30 minutes of simmering. Look for plain, steamed lentils (such as Melissa's), in the grain aisle. The food processor not only combines the patty ingredients; it coarsely chops the lentils so the finished cakes will hold their shape in the pan. While we love fat-free and reduced-fat Greek yogurt, go ahead and use full-fat here for a richer mouth feel and less tang in the sauce.
Chicken-and-Kale Alfredo Bake
A creamy, Parmesan-laced sauce is a no-brainer for an easy, cheesy pasta bake. Skip the jar and make your own with sautéed shallot and fresh lemon, picking up all the flavor from the same pan used to cook the chicken. If you have yet to try whole-grain pasta, this dish is a fantastic introduction: The noodles hold up nicely throughout boiling and baking and won’t overwhelm the dish with a strong wheat flavor. Keep whole-wheat panko in your pantry as your new all-purpose breadcrumb; the light, crisp texture will make an excellent crust for fish fillets or chicken breasts.
A simple Israeli meal of fried onion, lentils, and rice, mujadara is warm and comforting one-pot dinner that your whole family will love. To serve, stir pine nuts into the mujadara and garnish with fried onions. If you like, drizzle with additional olive oil and a dollop of plain yogurt, and top with mint.
Lamb, Barley, and Apricot Tagine
Whole-grain hulled barley works perfectly here, with a pleasantly chewy texture after eight hours. Pearled barley, however, would not fare so well, bloating to a mushy, unappealing texture. Also, strategize: Add last any delicate ingredients or ones that you want to make a textural impact. Herbs go in at the end here to stay pungent, as well as raisins, which retain some chew.
Whole-Grain Veggie Burrito Bowl
This is a Tex-Mex riff on the Korean rice dish bibimbap, in which various toppings are arranged over a bed or rice. Here, burrito bowl must-haves such as smoky black beans, fresh pico de gallo, and slaw top brown rice. Take leftovers to go: Spread mashed avocado on a whole-wheat tortilla, add elements from burrito bowl, and roll up.
Brussels Sprouts Sweet Potato Overnight Oats
Who says you can't show a little love to sheet pan veggies in the morning? We roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes to crisp perfection, making them the ultimate addition to a savory bowl of overnight oats. Salty pancetta and a drizzle of tahini add a jolt of flavor and are sure to keep you full until lunch.
Zucchini-Farro Cakes with Herbed Goat Cheese and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Go ahead and make a double batch: These whole-grain zucchini cakes are delicious as leftovers. For a more time-friendly topper, use fresh grape tomatoes, halved and sprinkled with salt and pepper.