What is your favorite way of incorporating whole grains into your diet?
July 28, 2009 5:26 PM   Subscribe

What is your favorite way of incorporating whole grains into your diet?

I am pretty much cut out carbohydrates for a month and now am looking to add whole grains back into my diet. I'm looking for quick and easy ways to add them in and favorite recipes that people have.

Currently, I eat oatmeal, quinoa (I have a few recipes) and I also cook with bulgur some times (tabbouleh mainly).

So, I'm specifically looking for (specific to whole grains):

-any great cookbooks
-favorite recipes or recipe sites
-suggestions for quick preparation of whole grains.

I'm a foodie so I'm pretty familiar with the basic stuff, epicurious etc. I'm really specifically looking for recipes related to whole grains.
posted by hazyspring to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Heidi Swanson'shttp://101cookbooks.com/ features a lot of whole grain recipes, and her book Super Natural Cooking does as well. There's some, but not a ton, of overlap between the two. I picked up the idea of using barley or farro to make risotto, instead of rice, from Heidi.
posted by padraigin at 5:40 PM on July 28, 2009

Best answer: My q on cold grain salad tips got some nice tips...
posted by kmennie at 5:49 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if this counts, but I add wheat germ to everything. Depending on what you're looking to get out of whole grain eating, it's definitely an easy way to get good parts of grains. It goes on salads, into yogurt, into hot cereal, risotto dishes and applesauce really easily.
posted by jessamyn at 6:07 PM on July 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

Wheat germ can also be added into bread, if you're into bread baking. Substitute a cup of wheat germ instead of a cup of flour. It really doesn't seem to taste any different, but it's healthier! If the recipe calls for several cups, as most do, don't use more than one cup substitute, or it messes with the texture. Or so I'm told.
posted by just_ducky at 6:57 PM on July 28, 2009

Best answer: The Veganomicon has a lot of really fantastic recipies involving whole grains (in fact, I just made the cashew/pineapple/quinoa stirfry this evening).
posted by purlgurly at 8:18 PM on July 28, 2009

Substitute quinoa for rice in everything. My wife is Bolivian, and quinoa is pretty much THE staple grain down there. It cooks like rice (~3 cups of water + 1 cup of quinoa = ~3 cups of quinoa) and tastes great. Just buy it in bulk like you'd buy rice and go crazy. She also adds it (or barley) to make hearty soups and meatballs.
posted by sleeping bear at 8:40 PM on July 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

Popcorn! Best damn whole grain out there. My snack food of choice.
posted by cgg at 9:44 PM on July 28, 2009

I make a multigrain no-knead sourdough bread. In addition to whole wheat, spelt, and rye flours, I throw in anything I can find, including flaxseed, oats, cornmeal, millet, sunflower seeds, etc. Add a teaspoon or two of salt, sourdough starter (fed with whole wheat flour), and enough water to mix it well. Let it sit for a day or so until it rises, transfer dough to a loaf pan (silicone is easiest) and let it rise for a bit more in the oven. Turn on oven to 425, and remove bread around 40 minutes later.
posted by parudox at 10:21 PM on July 28, 2009

If I don't cook them on the weekend, I won't eat them, so I'll cook up a batch of wheat berries or quinoa or brown rice or whatever and have it for the week, and that I bring them to work for breakfast/lunch or I incorporate them into whatever I make for dinner.

If I take them to work, they generally go in salads (some kind of vinaigrette with vegetables mixed in) or soup (handful into minestrone, etc.). If I have them for dinner, I really like mixing greens (like kale or chard, and I cook one or the other every weekend, so again I have it for the week. We have a kid, so if I didn't do stuff like this I'd be living on Hot Pockets.) with grains and mashed potatoes, a little parmesan cheese, some nutmeg, some cheddar cheese, and throwing it under the broiler, or just eating it plain.

The way I've found it's best to treat grains is as a texture. Quinoa and brown rice are okay, but eating a whole bunch of wheat berries without alternating textures with beans or soft cooked vegetables or whatever will make you feel like Mr. Ed.

So, like I said--mixed with potatoes. I also like them with pasta -- soft caramelized onions, farfalle pasta, handfuls of wheat berries, shaved parmesan cheese and olive oil. I also understand you can freeze them, but I don't, because I become less interested in eating them if they're not guilting me out by taking space in the refrigerator.

Quinoa, I love, and eat with butter or butter and harissa or other hot sauce.

Brown rice, mixed with beans--burritos.

Wheat berries are my favorite because they're the most challenging to figure out what to do with--so--mixed with soft things. Also, any combination of these, with black beans and tomatoes, makes fantastic vegetarian chili.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:04 AM on July 29, 2009

Oh, quinoa mixed with potatoes, shaped into patties and fried in butter is pretty awesome too.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:09 AM on July 29, 2009

Bread is, of course, not that quick, but The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book has exclusively 100% whole grain recipes, including for a number of quick-breads and muffins.

Amazing Grains is another classic of whole grain cooking. I tend to find their recipes a little bland, but there are cooking instructions for several different techniques and kinds of grain, so it might be good for getting ideas. Worth a check-out from the library if not a purchase.

In general, a lot of vegetarian books will have whole grain recipes because they are a much better source of protein, so checking out various veg books for ideas would probably also help.
posted by carmen at 6:59 AM on July 29, 2009

Any risotto recipe can be made with bulgar. It doesn't get creamy the way Arborio does, but there is a a little creamy starchness to be released if you make it risotto-style. Or just make it the regular way, if you don't want to stand over a hot stove.

I think combining grains can be so much more complex and balanced in flavor than one grain. I particularly like a mixture of quinoa, millet, and bulgar. (Needless to say, add grains in order of how quickly they cook.)
posted by desuetude at 8:21 AM on July 29, 2009

Bionature makes delicious whole-grain pasta.

Other brands often suck, but they have it down to a science. A+
posted by kathrineg at 10:45 AM on July 29, 2009

I have a 'recipe' I make for breakfast almost every morning that takes me about 5 minutes (so basically while the water's boiling for my french press). I first start with a batch of Alton Brown's baked brown rice recipe, which I make with chicken stock and keep in my fridge.

To 1/2 cup of prepared brown rice, I mix an egg white, setting aside the intact yolk in a separate little bowl. To the rice and egg white mixture, add salt, pepper and whatever other seasonings you like, to taste (sometimes I use sriracha, sometimes cumin...). Spray Pam onto a hot non-stick frying pan and pour the egg white/rice batter in. I will often use a fork to lightly press down the pancake I've made. Then cover the frying pan with a lid, and wait until the egg white is firm. Then, I spray the top of the pancake with more Pam and flip it over. Place the set aside yolk gently on top/middle of the pancake, and cover. Let cook for a minute or two, depending upon your preferred level of yolk-runniness.
posted by ohyouknow at 2:50 PM on July 29, 2009

Quinoa is delicious as a hot breakfast cereal, especially with cinnamon and sweetened with honey. I haven't tried them, but millet and bulgar would probably work for breakfast as well.
posted by thisjax at 3:35 PM on July 29, 2009

Cheerios. Boo-ya.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 8:44 PM on July 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

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