New This Month

6 Healthy Spring Recipes Starring Grains and Greens

  • Photos by Louise Hagger
  • Recipes by Shira Bocar and Lauryn Tyrell

This dynamic duo has antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals galore.

Eating healthfully doesn’t have to feel like a chore. When you prepare these two powerhouse ingredients in an innovative way and bring on the bold flavors, the results are deeply delicious. Who knew getting your fiber could taste this good?

Expert Advice

How to Cook Grains

  • 1

    Rinse whole grains before you cook them to remove any dust or bitter residue.

  • 2

    Let steamed grains sit, covered, off heat for 10 minutes to absorb water evenly.

  • 3

    Before serving, fluff steamed grains with a fork. Never stir with a spoon, which can mash or break them.

  • 4

    To save time—and always have grains on hand—make them in big batches, let cool, and freeze them flat in plastic bags. (It’s like money in the bank at seven on a weeknight.) Just microwave to thaw, or toss as is right into soup. And mix them up: Fluffy varieties like quinoa, bulgur, millet, and brown rice; or chewy ones like wheat berries, farro, sorghum, and hull-less barley are interchangeable.

Crunch It Up

The Grains: Quinoa + Millet

The Greens: Pea shoots, baby kale, or spinach

Steaming quinoa and millet to add to a salad is always a good idea. But why stop there? Flash-fry the cooked grains—a technique we borrowed from Indian cuisine—for a crispy texture and toasted taste. Combine the crackling protein-and-amino-acid-packed grains with spring peas, mint, tender greens, and a lemony vinaigrette, and you’ve just put the punch back in lunch.

Supercharge a Classic

The Grain: Brown Rice

The Green: Savoy Cabbage

Traditional stuffed cabbage gets a big nutritional boost thanks to short-grain brown rice, which is loaded with heart-healthy magnesium. The grain’s starchiness binds the filling, while its nutty flavor rounds out the aromatic blend of ground lamb, fresh herbs, and sweet-and-sour tomato sauce. Toasted pine nuts and dried currants give the dish bite.

Sear in Serious Flavor

The Grain: Bulgur

The Green: Spinach

If any food is in need of a shake-up, it’s the veggie burger—too often a bland, crumbly stand-in for the meaty OG. This one cracks the code. Pintos, spinach, and sautéed shiitakes and onions meld into a rich, hearty flavor, while bulgur—a high-fiber, quick-cooking grain—is mixed in to bind the patty, as well as pressed into the surface to give it that elusive off-thegriddle crunch. Layer on Swiss cheese, avocado, and sprouts for a SoCal finish.

Broaden Your Horizons

The Grain: Sorghum

The Green: Dandelion Greens

It may lack the name recognition of brown rice or farro, but take it from us: Sorghum is the next it grain. With a texture reminiscent of Israeli couscous’s and a mildly sweet flavor, the gluten-free option balances sumac’s tartness and dandelion’s bitterness in this dinner-party-worthy salad. Caramelized roasted carrots and a garlicky yogurt dressing add heft without feeling heavy.

Soup Up Your Soup

The Grain: Barley

The Green: Watercress

In this cozy, velvety take on the Greek soup avgolemono, barley—a cholesterol-lowering grain with ample soluble fiber—subs in for the usual white orzo, lending chewiness, while lemon and watercress bring a shot of brightness. When buying barley, look for hulled or hull-less varieties over pearl. The former take longer to cook, but they pack more fiber because their outer layers are intact.

Reinvent Breakfast

The Grain: Rye Berries

The Green: Swiss Chard

This omelet so convincingly captures the flavors of buttered rye and eggs that only its earthy-green color reminds you how incredibly healthy it is. A generous amount of leafy greens and herbs (dill, scallions, and parsley) provides antioxidants and minerals, while hearty rye berries, which have a lower glycemic index than many other grains, give fiber and texture, so you’re happily sated all morning.