10 Ways to Jazz Up Whole Grains

From EatingWell Magazine

Do you have a hard time getting enough whole grains into your diet on a regular basis? Perhaps you need more inspiration. Rather than thinking of grains as a plain accompaniment to a main course, think of them as a blank canvas, waiting to be dressed up and flavored in any number of delicious ways. Next time you find yourself underwhelmed by the the grains in your cupboard, consider these ideas. You can add any of these flavor combinations to 2 to 4 cups cooked grains, including rice, barley, bulgur, polenta and quinoa.  

Apricot-nut

Stir in 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans or pistachios), 3 tablespoons orange juice and 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lime-cilantro

Stir in 2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, 1/3 cup chopped scallions and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mediterranean

Stir in 1 chopped medium tomato, 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives and 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mint & feta

Stir in 3/4 cup sliced scallions, 1/4 cup finely crumbled feta cheese and 1/4 cup sliced fresh mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Parmesan & balsamic

Stir in 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon butter and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Parmesan-dill

Stir in 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill and 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Peas & lemon

Stir in 1 cup frozen peas; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spicy & sweet sesame-soy

Stir in 3 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 teaspoons each sesame oil and finely chopped fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon each chile-garlic sauce and honey and 1/4 cup chopped toasted cashews.

Spinach

Stir in 3 cups sliced baby spinach (or arugula); cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tomato-tarragon

Stir in 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes and 3 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon (or parsley or thyme). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pictured Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette

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