You can find all these grains at large supermarkets. (Check the rice or natural foods aisle.) Prepare according to package directions, then stash the cooked grain in the fridge or freezer for adding to soups and salads or using in recipes. See recipes below the grain guide.
For recipes using grains, see Meat-Free Comfort Food Recipes or click on the links below.
Bean-Mushroom Sloppy Joes Canned beans supply fill-you-up protein at a fraction of the cost, fat and calories of ground beef or turkey. In our sloppy joes, we dress navy beans in mustardy tomato sauce that has all the familiar flavor of the meaty original.
Roasted Kale, Tomato and Chickpea Salad with Wheat Berries Our hearty salad tastes equally good warm from the pan, cold from the fridge or even at room temperature, so it’s perfect for make-ahead meals and leftover lunches. Other grains, such as barley, faro or wild rice, also work well in this salad.
Hidden-Veggie Spaghetti with Ricotta Plain old spaghetti? Look closer. Grated cauliflower uncannily mimics the texture of ground beef in chilies and sauces like our stove-top marinara. (We added shredded carrot, too, for sweetness and extra nutrients.)
Mushroom-Lentil Shepherd's Pie Worcestershire sauce and mushrooms are rich in umami—the savory flavor our brains associate with meat. We used both in our shepherd's pie, a low-fat, high-fiber, 'tater-topped casserole that delivers 100 percent of your daily comfort.
Bean and Sweet Potato Paties with Lime-Jalapeno Cream Because canned beans can be mushy, pair them with crunchy ingredients. Our sweet potato, quinoa and pinto bean patties had plenty of smoky, garlicky flavor. But when we added walnuts and served them over crisp romaine, they soared.
Asian Roasted Vegetables with Tofu Cheap, soy-based tofu has a bad rap for being bland. But so is chicken breast! The trick is getting it crispy, then piling on flavor. For our one-pan meal, we dry the tofu first in the microwave, roast it with vegetables, then go heavy on zingy Sriracha-peanut sauce.
Chili Verde with Corn Bread Croutons Bulgur wheat lends meaty texture, fiber and protein to soups and stews, where it can cook in the broth. In our sweet and savory chili, we match the grain with salsa verde, peppers and edamame—a weeknight meal that makes it oh-so-easy to be green.
Cheesy Dutch Baby with Pesto-Dressed Vegetables We’re convinced that colorful food tastes better—and nutritionists will tell you it’s better for you, too. Proof: Our innovative recipe. While the egg-and-cheddar batter puffs in a skillet, a crazy-quilt of veggies roasts separately. When the timer beeps, put them together for a savory twist on a fruit-filled Dutch baby pancake.