If you’re a foodie like me, you already know how important it is to maintain balance and variety in the foods you eat including all kinds of macronutrients from fruits, vegetables, protein sources, grains and more. And, if you are a home chef that uses quality ingredients, you’ve most definitely heard about the benefits of using whole grains in meals.

And, while preparing a grain bowl with a base of brown rice or quinoa might be simple, I’m going to show you how you can elevate your meals with whole grains for something unforgettable! Impress dinner guests or family members at dinner with meals that they might not even realize have whole grains added like dessert or homemade plant-based burgers.

What are Whole Grains?

Before we start with meal ideas, let’s take a look at what whole grains actually are for anyone that needs a refresher. Really, every grain starts out as a whole grain as it grows in nature, and it includes all three portions of the seed head: the germ, bran and endosperm. This helps to maintain more of the natural fiber and protein and cooks up with a chewier texture and boasts a toasted, nutty flavor.

Refined grains, on the other hand, are processed to remove all but the endosperm. This does come with benefits of its own because it has a more neutral flavor, less cooking time and lighter texture.

What about whole wheat? All of this is true for wheat as well. Whole wheat contains the entire wheat seed for filling and flavorful goods, while refined flours like white flour only contain the endosperm for lighter, fluffy texture and neutral taste. Try a version of Whole Wheat Orzo.

Whole Grain Examples

While whole grains may often be associated with Brown Rice, there are other varieties that you may not know about. Here are a few of my favorite examples of whole grains:

Of course, the quality of the grains used and the process itself make a huge difference in the taste and quality of what you’re getting. There are so many to choose from on the shelf, but I always use RiceSelect®, because I trust that they care about what they offer!

Ways to Prepare Whole Grains

If you’ve tried whole grains before and need a boost of something extra, or a few innovative ideas to get creative in the kitchen — I’ve got what you’re looking for!

Filling Breakfast

Whether you love breakfast or not, you’re going to want to jot these down. My favorite way to jazz up grains is to infuse them with incredible and balanced flavor! This works for both sweet and savory recipes, too.

For a sweet option, White Quinoa is simmered in almond milk with a dash of salt along with coconut sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. This Luscious Breakfast Bowl is topped with pistachios, sesame seeds, raspberries, and figs with a lemon tahini drizzle. Adapt with your favorite flavors!

For a savory taste, use Texmati® Brown Rice in this Huevos Rancheros Bowl made with a base of rice toasted with onion, garlic, tomato and seasonings all cooked in broth and beans. Top with eggs, avocado, homemade pico de gallo and much more. Note: Increase the broth amount as needed for brown rice.

Want to make your pancake breakfast more filling? Try these Gluten Free Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes, also made with hearty Texmati Brown Rice, coconut and rice flour, milk, applesauce, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla. Serve with a warm homemade cinnamon butter topping.

Make your own rice flour: If you’re up for a challenge, grind your own whole grain rice flour using whichever variety you like. Ensure your rice is uncooked and place small batches in a blender, coffee grinder or food processor. Remember the finer, the better.

Flavorful Whole Grain Salads Or Bowls

To really set my grain salads and bowls apart, I love to add in RiceSelect Premium Black Rice! It offers a hearty touch with a distinctive color.

Black Rice Recipes
Try these options if you’ve got black rice on hand:

Black Rice & Edamame Salad with Grapefruit Soy Dressing

With tangy grapefruit, this lovely salad with Premium Black Rice and edamame can be served as a starter, side or even a main dish.

Miso Black Rice Bowl

With nutty premium black rice and a rich miso dressing, this stunning power bowl tastes as good as it looks. To make completely vegan, leave out the egg.

Thai Beef Salad with Black Rice

With grilled sirloin, fresh mint and a tangy lime dressing, this Thai salad, or Plah Nua, is served over a bed of black rice for a fabulous, flavorful dinner salad...

If I choose another rice or quinoa option, I love to add a good sauce or salsa! Learn how to prepare one of my favorite homemade pestos to toss with brown rice in this Pesto Rice Salad. Or, top this Coconut Quinoa Jerk Chicken Bowl with a pineapple and black beans salsa. Start by cooking protein-packed Red Quinoa with coconut milk, green onions, garlic, ginger, thyme, turmeric, chili powder, salt, pepper and cayenne.

Make Dessert

Often solely associated with savory foods, whole grains can also make incredible additions to sweet dessert treats. For these two options, I’ve swapped in Brown Jasmati® Rice on account of its aromatic flavor and subtly sticky texture.

This Crème Brûlée Rice Pudding is made with Jasmati® Rice, vanilla, sugar and cream with a characteristic caramelized crunchy top. Serve cold or warm.

For something warm and smothered in a delicious sauce, these Cinnamon Rice Fritters can be made with fluffy whole grain rice!

Use Whole Grains in Soups

Rich and comforting, soups with added whole grains makes them all the more hearty and filling! This Creamy Mushroom and Garlic Rice Soup is loaded with flavor and brown rice.

Use Whole Wheat Orzo in place of Traditional Orzo for this Lemon Chicken and Orzo Soup. You can find more information on Orzo on our website such as is Orzo rice? And what recipes go best with Orzo.

As an alternative to Orzo, you can also try incorporating this meal into a Pearl Couscous recipe.

Bake Whole Grain Bread

Learn how to make homemade bread using Texmati Brown Rice for the Perfect Sandwich Loaf. For best results, we suggest using ½ whole wheat flour and ½ lower protein all-purpose flour for a less dense bread. Bread flour can also be used, but a splash more milk may need to be added as it absorbs more liquid.

Get Creative

If you’re looking for something new, when in doubt, get creative. Use these examples as inspiration to fuel your ideas in the kitchen.

Enjoy meat-free Mexican Burgers in adobo sauce with brown rice, kidney beans and much more!
Or, make a delicious risotto with our Arborio Rice!

Grilled Veggie Burger Recipe

Seasoned with a homemade BBQ spice rub, this vegan veggie rice burger is meaty, rich and loaded with lots of yummy toppings.

Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe
Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe
Royal Stuffed Pork Loin Recipe

This recipe for pork loin stuffed with a Royal Blend® of whole grain rice is a show-stopping dish for any holiday table or special occasion.

Indian Royal Blend® Chicken Biryani Recipe

With a host of spices and seasonings, this Indian Royal Blend® Chicken Biryani recipe is packed with amazing flavor and a Royal Blend® of grains.

Serve up a bit of spontaneous brilliance with these incredible culinary grains and blends from RiceSelect.