One of the best ways to eat nutritionally complete meatless meals is to rely on whole grains such as quinoa and barley, which offer protein, fiber, healthy carbohydrates and vitamins packed into a low-calorie package. Versatile grains lend themselves to a wide array of cooking techniques and recipes. To learn more about diverse and nutritious whole-grain options, read our Whole Grain Guide, or choose to learn hands-on with these delicious recipes featuring hearty whole grains.
Toasted Almond and Citrus Quinoa Serves 4
Eat this light dish as a healthy lunch, a hearty side or pair it with a side salad or broiled veggies for a nutritious, light dinner.
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 oranges, peeled
1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds (with skin if possible)
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, cold or room temperature (read the basics of cooking quinoa)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Whisk together the lemon juice, oil, tarragon and parsley in a serving bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients.
2. Section the oranges and cut each section into thirds. Stir the oranges and any juices into the bowl.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Reprinted from The Herb Companion's article "Cooking with Quinoa"
Swiss Barley Risotto Serves 2 as a main dish
The nutritional powerhouse barley takes the place of traditional arborio rice in this cheesy risotto.
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch organic Swiss chard
1 cup water
1 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups mushroom or vegetable broth, divided
3 ounces Gruyere (or other Swiss cheese), grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Mince onion and toss with butter in a large frying pan over medium heat, stirring regularly until translucent (about 5 minutes). In the meantime, wash chard, remove thick ends of stems, roll leaves like a cigar, and slice thinly.
2. Add chard to pan and toss until wilted (about 2 minutes). Add a cup of water, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 4 minutes.
3. Set a strainer over a medium bowl and strain cooked onion and chard, collecting pot liquor. Press veggies with a spoon to release liquid, and set liquid aside.
4. Process chard and onion in a food processor until smooth and set aside.
5. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and toss in barley, stirring to coat. Continue to stir for about 5 minutes, until barley begins to toast. Add wine and stir until liquid is absorbed. Add green liquid from chard and 2 cups of broth. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and stir every 5 to 6 minutes for about 45 minutes, adding broth whenever mixture thickens.
6. When barley is cooked (it should be soft but chewy), add pureed vegetables and cheese, stirring until well blended. Season to taste.
Read the original article, "Take Comfort: 3 Winter Recipes for Comfort Food."
Millet "Meat" Balls Makes approximately 30 "meat" balls
Sate your comfort food cravings with these Millet "Meat" Balls courtesy Bob's Red Mill.
1 3/4 cups cannellini beans (cooked or from can)*
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons basil
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cooked hulled millet
3/4 cup plus 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (or gluten free Bread Crumbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In blender or food processor, puree cannellini beans, onion, garlic, basil and water. Combine with cooked millet (see note), 3/4 cup bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and salt. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Lightly spray cookie sheet. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls and roll in remaining bread crumbs. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. Serve with marinara if desired. Makes approximately 30 “meat” balls.
NOTE: To cook millet, bring 2 cups water to boil. Add 1/2 cup Hulled Millet and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until tender.
Recipe courtesy Bob's Red Mill, contributed by Cassidy Stockton, courtesy Grit magazine