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1 grain, 5 unique grain bowl dinners

Healthy, reheatable, simple, fast and fully customizable. Grain bowls are a great meal for busy people. Using one simple grain as the base, such as rice, the number of unique meal options is essentially limitless.

The meals can be entirely made from scratch, but there are a number of shortcuts for those who are short of time, kitchen space or cooking enthusiasm. Precooked microwavable rice can be heated in just 90 seconds. Frozen vegetables can save time of chopping. Canned corn, beans and lentils can all be used in place of their more labor-intensive counterparts. Best of all, several days worth of rice can be cooked at once and prepared differently each day to keep you out of a rut.

These five grain bowls will get you through an entire work week without feeling like you’re eating the same old thing night after night.


Mediterranean bowl

Grain bowls are a great meal for people who are trying to make healthy choices. As such, they go hand in hand with Mediterranean food that’s known for being light and fresh.

Of course, this dish starts with cooked rice. Next grill chicken that’s been marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, garlic and oregano. Or use your own go-to recipe if your family already has a favorite.

When it comes to the vegetables, they can be added straight to the bowl or prepared as a salad beforehand. Use lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives and onion. A simple dressing can top the salad or the entire bowl. Make it using olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper.

Add hummus or whole chickpeas to the bowl and sprinkle some feta cheese on top.


Tasty taco bowl

Start with a bowl of cooked rice; it can be as simple or complex as you like. Spanish rice will give the bowl extra flavor, but plain white rice serves as a nice backdrop for all your other ingredients as well.

Next choose a meat — or don’t. Ground beef or shredded chicken work well. Black beans or pinto beans taste good with the meat or as a stand-alone protein source.

Round out the bowl with some veggies such as corn, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno and avocado.

 Top it all off with sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

For folks that embrace leftovers, extra rice, meat and beans can be mixed together and stored in the refrigerator. When lunchtime comes around tomorrow, reheat the mixture in the microwave then add all the fresh veggies and toppings for a second tasty meal with little extra work.

Click here to read the rest of the article in our FREE online section: A Salute to Grain.

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