Recipes: Ways to add more whole grains to your diet

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(KTVI) - September is 'Whole Grain' month and Operation Food Search Nutritionist Leslie Bertsch explains why it's so important.

Top 3 tips to include more whole grains in your diet:

1.     When shopping for bread and cereal, be sure to read the ingredient list and make sure the first ingredient listed contains the word, 'whole'- whole wheat flour or whole oats.

2.     Mix up your whole grains.  In the last 5 years different types of whole grains have started showing up on the grocery store shelves.  Try a recipe that features quinoa, whole wheat couscous, or even bulgur or wheat berries.

3.     Make small changes to include more whole grains.  Instead of purchasing white pasta or rice buy whole wheat pasta or brown rice. They are no more expensive than their refined counter parts and don`t taste all that different, but they pack a stronger nutritional punch.

Here I have a recipe that features a common whole grain, brown rice-in a different way than most of us are used to eating it.  We are going to quickly put together a brown rice salad.  The name of this recipe is Brown Rice and Orange Salad.  In this bowl, I have about 2 cups of cooked brown rice.  I am going to add to the rice, 4 small oranges cut into small pieces, 3 chopped green onions, 1 cup of chopped toasted almonds, 1 cup of edamame and 1 cup of dried cranberries.  We are going to dress this salad with a simple dressing made with about ¼ cup lemon juice, a tablespoon of honey, a pinch of pepper, and ¼ cup canola oil.  This isgreat use for leftover brown rice.

Toasted Quinoa with Chiles and Corn (serves 4, 1 cup per serving)

·     1 cup uncooked quinoa

·     1 teaspoon ground cumin

·     1/2 teaspoon salt

·     1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa

·     1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

·     1 cup canned no salt-added whole-kernel corn, drained

·     1/3 cup jalapeño peppers, chopped

·     1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

·     2 tablespoons lime juice

1. Add the quinoa to a 2-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, and place the pan over high heat. Swirl the quinoa in the pan to toast it evenly. When the grains are fragrant and crackle, remove from heat. Addcumin, salt, and cocoa, then slowly add the broth (be careful; it might boil over). Put the pan over high heat, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

2. Stir in the corn and jalapeño peppers; cover and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in scallions and lime juice. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories- 218   Fat- 4g   Carbohydrates- 40g   Fiber-4g   Protein-9g

Recipe from Robin Asbell, Health Magazine,

Brown Rice and Orange Salad (serves 12, ½ cup per serving)

·     1 cup brown rice

·     4 small clementines, or 1 cup mandarin oranges, canned in juice

·     3 green onions, chopped

·     1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped

·     1 cup frozen shelled edamame beans

·     1 cup dried cranberries

·     1 large lemon, juiced

·     1 Tablespoon honey

·     1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

·     ¼ cup canola oil

·     ½ cup crumbled feta or farmer`s cheese (optional)

1.     Cook rice following package instructions.  Remove from heat. Let stand covered for 10 minutes.  Scoop out in a large bowl to cool.  Whilerice is cooking, prepare rest of the salad.

2.     Peel clementines and tear into segments.  Or, if using canned oranges, rinse and drain.

3.     Fill a small pot with about 2 inches of water.  Bring to boil.  Add edamame. Cook for 3 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and set aside.

4.     Add clementines or mandarin oranges, edamame, green onions, almonds, and dried cranberries tobowl with rice. Mix together.

5.     In a second small bowl, use a fork to whisk together lemon juice, honey, and black pepper.  While still whisking slowly drizzle in the oil until a dressing forms.

6.     Pour the dressing over the rice mixtures.  Mix well.  Let the salad rest at room temperature for 10 minutes so flavors can combine.  If using, top the salad with feta or farmer`s cheese.

Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories-190  Fat-10g   Carbohydrates-24g  Fiber-3g   Protein-5g