Forget going carb-free — we all need more whole grains in our lives! It’s true that simple carbs, like refined sugar and white bread, will pack on the pounds but complex carbs, like fruit, veggies and whole grains are essential for energy and focus. As the Whole Grains Council reported in 2015, “Researchers in Europe and Australia examined diet’s role in the development of early humans, and found that carbohydrates (such as whole grains, root vegetables, and other starchy plant foods) were ‘necessary to accommodate the increased metabolic demands of a growing brain.”
Rev up your midday meal with hearty whole grain foods like these 15 delish grain bowl recipes.
Read Related: Grain Integrity: Fool Proof Tips on How to Cook Rice
2. Brown Rice Bowl with Curried Roasted Cauliflower & Chutney
Bring the heat on a cold winter day with an Indian-inspired mélange of fabulous flavors.
3. Brown Rice & Beans with Ginger Chile Salsa
Salsa gets a zesty ginger kick in this unique take on traditional black beans and rice.
4. Spicy Peanut Portobello Kale Rice Bowl
Indulge in a spicy Thai-inspired bowl of healthy deliciousness. It calls for brown rice but, as the recipe suggests, you can substitute just about any grain you like.
5. Atole de Amaranth con Peras
Amaranth is popular in Mexico and many other Latin American countries for good reason. It’s loaded with calcium, protein and it’s one of the few whole grains that’s naturally gluten-free! This simple bowl is garnished with pear and nuts.
6. Leftover Grain Bowl with Teriyaki Sauce, Quick Pickled Carrots, Daikon & Soft-Boiled Eggs
Use whatever whole grains you’ve got leftover as the base for this scrumptious bowl that’s got a little bit of everything. The soft-boiled eggs add even more protein for a high-energy meal.
7. Spinach Pesto Quinoa Bowl
You probably never thought you would use the word decadent to describe whole grain foods but this Spinach Pesto Quinoa Bowl is exactly that. Even better, you can whip it up in 15 minutes.
8. Wheat Berry Bowl with Salmon & Miso Sauce
This lunch bowl could even be an excellent light dinner. It’s got it all: omega-3s, protein and complex carbs.
9. Middle Eastern Bulgur Bowl
Bulgur is sometimes called Middle Eastern pasta and this incredible blend of sweet, spicy, citrusy eggplant and red pepper sauce is addictive.
10. Freekeh, Zucchini & Pistachio Salad
Get your freekeh on (couldn’t resist!) with a simple bowl of whole grains, zucchini and pistachios.
11. Creamy Butternut Chickpea Millet
Millet is another great gluten-free grain that’s a good source of magnesium and niacin; it’s especially helpful for detoxing. Its light fluffiness is divine with butternut squash and chickpeas.
12. Greek Goddess Grain Bowl with “Fried” Zucchini, Toasted Seeds & Fried Halloumi
When you want a super filling, super satisfying whole grain explosion this is your dish. It’s made with quinoa, couscous, bulgur and wild rice. Add artichoke hearts, tomatoes, avocado and olives. THEN top with tahini drizzle, toasted hemp, sunflower and sesame seeds; pine nuts AND fried zucchini and halloumi. OMG.
13. Burrito Bowl with Roasted Corn & Poblano Peppers
Here’s a fresh, healthy take on burritos with brown rice.
14. Roasted Sunchoke & Barley Bowl
Black barley makes this a particularly picturesque dish. Its deep color means it’s also a good source of anthocyanin, the same antioxidant that give blueberries their rich hue. Kale, sunchokes, mushrooms, parsnips and tahini round out this exotic meal.
15. Okra, Black-Eyed Pea & Farro Bowl
Head down south for the traditional flavors of okra and black-eyed peas and corn.
Photos 2 & 8 courtesy of Food Network.com