Dietary guidelines say you need at least 3 servings of whole grains each day. But if you don’t know barley from bulgur, here’s a guide to versatile grains, from amaranth to wheat berries.
Quinoa [KEEN-wah] tastes wonderful and has a nice crunch. It’s a good alternative to rice because of its lightness. Make more than enough because the leftovers are so useful. (Try it for breakfast with maple syrup and milk, add it to pancake and muffin batter, or mix it with potatoes for croquettes.) The tiny beige-colored seeds, about the size of pellets of couscous, cook in about 20 minutes. The only special handling required with quinoa is to give it a good rinse before cooking; otherwise, the grains can be bitter. A good source of protein and fiber, 1/2 cup of quinoa has 14 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.