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It is hard to imagine a day without some sort of whole grains. I absolutely love grains, be it oatmeal (steel cut is a personal favorite of mine), wheat, bulger, faro or even brown rice. These grains are a go-to for a simple side dish, they are an effortless way to add dietary fiber to a meal, and stretch my grocery dollar even further.
One of the things I love about whole grains is how versatile they are. They can be easily baked, steam, boiled – the possibilities are almost endless. Whole grains are a straightforward way to increase your fiber intake naturally and allow you to create hearty recipes with relative ease. I usually buy rice, oats, barley, quinoa and faro in the bulk section of the grocery store when it is on sale. I can make delicious side dishes or entrees with these delightful grains as a main component and rely upon my pantry essentials and spice rack for flavor boosters. And, don’t forget about whole grains when making a simple salad or a hearty bowl of soup. The addition of a small handful of barley or faro can take a simple salad or soup to something extraordinary.
Take this month as a creative challenge to introduce yourself and your family to a whole new world of grains. Instead of the overly processed packets of instant oatmeal – try my quick and easy overnight oats (it comes together in under 5 minutes). Go beyond the boring and nutritionally void white rice, and explore the nutty and complex flavors of wild rice or even brown rice. Try my simple and yummy wild rice and mushroom sauté, or my low country- inspired dirty brown rice and shrimp supper. For a creative spin on comforting Latin flavors, I suggest my savory and very easy Mexican Quinoa Skillet.
Allow your taste buds to travel internationally this September and discover how inexpensive, easy and delicious it is to have globally -inspired whole grain dishes on your dinner table tonight. I have suggested 5 of my favorite recipes that feature whole grains, and are very easy to make.
This hearty vegetarian dish features nutty bulgur wheat, tender garbanzo beans, earthy mushrooms and a delightful seasoning of herbs & spices. It is delicious as a simple main course or easy side dish. I recommend that you make a double batch of this recipe, and then mix it with lightly dressed arugula or spinach for a super easy lunch..
Let your slow cooker help you create this easy stew recipe that features nutty faro, zesty Italian sausage, fire-roasted tomatoes, tender veggies, and aromatic herbs & spices. Top the mixture with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan and melt it to golden perfection under the broiler. This is a great recipe for fast & weeknight suppers, get everything set up before you go out to run errands, and you get home dinner will be ready to plate up.
Introduce your family to the delicious tastes and textures of ancient grains with my easy quinoa dish. It is loaded with juicy chicken, tender-crisp veggies, creamy cheese and an explosion of Mexican flavor. This is a one-skillet wonder that makes serving and clean up a snap!
Savor the nutty, earthy flavors of wild rice with my scrumptious rice & mushroom recipe. The crunchy almonds complement the al dente rice and tender baby portabella mushrooms in a savory and herby chicken broth. This recipe is one of my favorite go-to dishes when I am craving a comforting yet satisfying dish. I normally pair it with a hearty kale salad for an extra serving of vegetables.
Bring some flavorful soul to your table with this yummy Cajun-inspired dish! It features plump shrimp in a mixture of tender brown rice "dirtied" in savory herbs & spices. This modern low country classic is a great main course or as a hearty side for hearty soul food inspired meat and 3 platter.
Adding whole grains to your diet not need be intimidating, a few simple tweaks is normally all it takes (for example, swapping out brown rice for white). Once you have tasted the nutty bite of faro or the delightful chew of quinoa, you will be looking for even more creative adaptations to your favorite recipes.
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