Why eat whole grains? They're complex carbs with all their fiber and nutrients (B vitamins, phytochemicals, and healthy fats) intact. When grains are refinedthink white ricethe bran and germ are removed, along with most of the fiber. Getting at least three daily servings helps cut your risk of heart disease and some cancers, according to the Harvard Nurses' Health Studies. So eat up!
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Brown Basmati Rice and Roast Pork Tenderloin
What it is: Any brown rice is a whole grain, as are black, purple, and red rice. There are thousands of varieties of rice; brown basmati is especially fragrant and tender.
Ingredients: Pork tenderloin, rosemary, extra virgin olive olive, salt, brown basmati rice, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, red grapes, and sweet apple
What it is: Related to rhubarb, buckwheat is gluten-free and high in protein and soluble fiber. Buckwheat flour is used to make Russian blini, Breton crepes, and Japanese soba noodles. The hulled triangular seeds, or groats, used here, are popular in Russia as kasha.
Ingredients: Buckwheat groats, salt, cider vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, ground pepper, red bell pepper, mango, red onion, parsley and mixed salad greens
What it is: Cultivated by the Incas, this ancient grain with a fluffy texture is also a complete protein. That means it contains all of the nine essential amino acids our bodies need but can't make. And it's gluten-free! White quinoa holds together better, while red boasts heartier flavor; use either for these pancakes.
What it is: Whole barley a.k.a. Scotch barley is usually pearled (polished to remove some of the bran); otherwise it would take hours to cook. Even after pearling, this grain is packed with fiber (3 grams per 1/2 cup cooked barley). Barley is notorious for soaking up liquid, so don't add it to the soup until serving time.
Ingredients: Pearl barley, extra-virgin olive oil, zucchini, garlic cloves, tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, basil and Parmesan cheese.