The US Department of Agriculture finally officially recommended eating three servings of whole grains every day—something nutrition pros have been urging for years. What’s more amazing: People listened. Even vegetarians, who are pretty good whole grain eaters, started hunting down more of them. But as supermarkets fill their shelves with the latest, greatest granola and oat-bran breads, the easiest way to get all the benefits from whole grains is to consume them . . . whole.
Whole grains run the gamut from barley and brown rice to bulgur and quinoa (KEEN-wah). In these one-pot recipes, barley pumps up the nutrition of a hearty ragout while tender quinoa thickens a sweet corn chowder. Take your pick—they’re both great ways to get your whole grains.
CORN AND QUINOA CHOWDER
Serves 6 -Vegan
Organic red quinoa, available in most whole food markets, makes this chowder look festive, but the flavor’s just as good with white.
3/4 cup red or white quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. cumin seeds
11/2 Tbs. olive oil
21/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 large red potato, diced (about 1 cup)
4 small shallots, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups plain soymilk
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
Lime wedges, optional
1. Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer to bowl.
2. Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots are translucent. Add broth and soymilk, and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa mixture.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until quinoa and vegetables are tender.
3. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls, and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, if desired.
PER SERVING: 253 CAL; 8G PROT; 7G TOTAL FAT (0.5G SAT. FAT); 44G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 378MG SOD; 5G FIBER; 1G SUGARS
Serves 6 - Vegan
Pearled barley has the hull and bran removed to make it cook more quickly—but it still retains some whole grain goodness.
21/4 cups “chicken” broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley, rinsed
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 10-oz. pkg. cremini mushrooms, halved
1 small head cauliflower, chopped (about 4 cups)
1 large white onion, cut into thin strips (about 11/2 cups)
1 15.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
2 small orange bell peppers, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1/4 cup grated soy Parmesan or Romano cheese
1. Bring broth to a boil in large pot. Add barley, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 30 minutes, or until broth is absorbed and barley is tender. Transfer to mixing bowl.
2. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes, or until browned; add to barley. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil to pot, and sauté cauliflower and onion 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in peppers; cover, and simmer 5 minutes more, or until tender.
4. Stir in barley-mushroom mixture, chopped basil and soy cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 1 minute more, or until heated through. Serve garnished with basil sprigs.
PER SERVING: 219 CAL; 10G PROT; 6G TOTAL FAT (0.5G SAT. FAT); 35G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 544MG SOD; 9G FIBER; 6G SUGARS