If you're a newcomer to whole-grain cooking, you might take advantage of the following ideas. Let them serve as inspirations for your own creations. Pairing cooked grains with available seasonal vegetables can give old recipes new flavors, colors and textures.
To keep fat to a minimum and maximize flavor, use unrefined, cold-pressed oils, cook in heavy-bottomed non-stick cookware and add a drizzle of oil to the finished dish just before serving.
For four servings, cook 1 cup brown \o7 basmati\f7 rice, millet, couscous, pearl barley, bulgur or quinoa according to package directions.
* Add cooked grains to finished stews and chunky soup pots.
* Add 2 to 3 tablespoons raw rice to the vegetable soup pot and puree for a creamy-without-the-cream vegetable soup.
* Sprinkle cooked grains on leafy green, pasta or vegetable salads.
* Fold Parmesan dressing into equal amounts cooked bulgur and plum tomatoes.
* To equal amounts of cooked couscous and diced green peppers add creamy cilantro dressing.
* Mix equal amounts cooked barley and steamed diced zucchini, and toss with slivered mint leaves and splashes of lemon juice.
* Combine equal amounts cooked bulgur, corn kernels, diced tomatoes and avocado and dress in an herb vinaigrette.
For Stove-Top Meals:
* Use cooked coarse bulgur in your favorite hash recipe.
* In any pasta dish, substitute whole wheat, brown rice or quinoa.
* Pan-fry equal amounts of cooked grains with seasonal grilled or steamed mixed vegetables and sprinkle with grated hard cheese.
* Pan-fry equal amounts cooked grains, black beans, corn and diced tomatoes and stir in toasted cumin seeds, minced jalapenos, cilantro and lemon juice.
* Pan-fry gingered grains with diced grilled eggplant and shredded basil and top with a low-fat herb pesto.
* When cooking broomcorn millet, pan-toast it first to deepen the flavors and ensure a fluffy cooked product.