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Whole Grain Recipes:
Vegetarian Comfort Food

We know that kale and broccoli are important, but sometimes whole grain recipes just seem so...comforting. Fortunately, there is a place in our vegan weight loss diet for whole grains. The first whole grain recipe to master is the basic one for cooking plain grains in water. The generic formula is:
  • Boil 2 cups of water.

  • Stir in 1 cup of whole grains and return to a boil.

  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed and grains are tender.
Some whole grains cook in 15 minutes, but others can take as long as 2 hours. Some grains need a little more water, and some can benefit from other cooking methods. The grains that we cook most often are rolled oats, brown rice, millet, and quinoa. 

Below are recipes for these four grains to get you started:

Oats, Brown Rice, Millet, and Quinoa

Speedy Oatmeal Recipe.
We almost always eat whole grains for breakfast, and oatmeal is our favorite. We add frozen berries or fresh fruit in season. Don't forget a tablespoon of freshly ground flax seed.
How to Cook Brown Rice. Our brown rice never burns. It doesn't turn into starchy clumps when it is cold. You can reheat it in the microwave or by pouring boiling water over it. It is perfect every time. Try it!
How to Cook Millet. This easy millet recipe makes a light and fluffy breakfast cereal. Add diced vegetables and balsamic dressing for a grain salad. Top it with chili or vegetable stew for a healthy dinner.
Cooking Quinoa. If you have never tried quinoa (keen-wah), you are in for a treat. This ancient grain is beautiful and delicious.

After you master the "basic four", you will be ready to try some others, like the three grain rice in this picture. It contains chewy wheat berries and rye berries.
this three grain rice is chewy and satisfying

Three Grain Rice. This high fiber mix is a great side dish with curries and stews. It takes 90 minutes to cook, but is very easy to make.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. This peppers contain two whole grains: brown rice and corn. They are especially nice with red, orange, or yellow peppers.

Whole grains are super versatile. For example, you could make the stuffed pappers above with quinoa or millet instead of brown rice. Don't be afraid to experiment.

The best whole grains for weight loss are intact whole grains. See this page on the calorie content of grains for a description of intact whole grains. There is also a chart that ranks grains and pasta by calorie density.

Whole Grain Pasta

For a change from intact grains, cook up some whole grain pasta. Top it with vegetables and an oil-free marinara sauce. Whole wheat spaghetti is easy to find in most grocery stores. It usually takes about 12 minutes to cook.

When company is coming, or when you have some time to spend in the kitchen, make a pan of lasagna:
Vegetable Lasagna Recipe. It is low fat, low sodium, and loaded with healthy vegetables. You could eat this lasagna for every meal and still lose weight.

Some people, especially those with celiac disease, must not eat grains that contain gluten. If you cannot tolerate gluten, there are many alternatives. The Gluten Free Chef, although not a vegan site, has a complete list of gluten-free grains and ingredients, and also some whole grain recipes.

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