a bowl full of grains with chopped herbs and salad leaves

There are some many different varieties of grains that you can use in your meals, you don’t have to stick to rice and pasta. Swapping these for alternative grains or brown variety fills you up much more effectively meaning you might reduce your portion amount and be sure that you’re getting a good variety of carbohydrates.

They can look a little frumpy and boring, but there are loads of grains to choose from that you can cook, dress and enjoy in less than 30 minutes. They’re good for the heart, full of slow-burning energy and fill you up. What’s more, is they’re often great value for money!

Bulgar wheat, farro and brown rice are particular favourites because they suck up lots of flavour from zingy dressings and can help bulk out a salad and give it a bit of body.

For a really quick side or light meal, cook your brown rice or bulgar wheat according to the packet instructions, then toss it with a simple fresh orange and olive oil dressing and lots of chopped herbs like mint and parsley. Pair the dressed wheat or rice with spicy roasted butternut squash, sweet potato or sweet peppers, or toss with some finely chopped raw broccoli and salad leaves and serve with a roast chicken. Other great recipes include this delicious summer four-grain salad with garlic, lemon and herbs or try quinoa as part of this recipe for a South American-style brunch with tomatoes, avocadoes, lots of coriander and a cheeky fried egg.  

Pearled spelt and barley work beautifully as a substitute for rice in risotto. Another easy way to use these grains is to throw a handful into soups and stews. They are a great alternative as they cook quicker (25 – 40 minutes) as opposed to hours for the wholegrain variety.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, try using more grains.

Check out some of our other recipes for sustaining grains here.