Great grains not limited to wheat

Tabouli is a Levantine Arab salad that’s become increasingly popular in America in recent years. Tabouli is a Levantine Arab salad that’s become increasingly popular in America in recent years.

Tabouli is a Levantine Arab salad that’s become increasingly popular in America in recent years.

Whole grains are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. They provide beneficial B vitamins, iron and antioxidants, along with fiber to help control hunger and decrease blood sugar levels. Regular intake can also decrease the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Many people forget that grains are not limited to wheat. Quinoa, spelt and barley are only a few of the many varieties of grains that can provide equally beneficial nutrition. These tasty grains can easily be incorporated into a casserole or stir-fry, as a topping for yogurt, or a healthy breakfast alternative for traditional oatmeal. On the ingredients label the first ingredient should say “whole,” so you know that the product contains more whole grain than any other ingredient.

Spice up your grain intake and experiment the next time you take a trip to the grocery store.

Tabouli

Makes 8 servings

• 1 cup bulgur (uncooked)

• 1/2 cup olive oil

• 1/2 cup lemon juice

• 1/2 tablespoon salt

• 1/2 tablespoon black pepper

• 1 bunch of parsley (Italian or curly)

• 1/2 of a green bell pepper, finely chopped

• 1/2 of a red bell pepper, finely chopped

• 1/2 cup olives, sliced

• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 3 tomatoes, finely chopped

Cook bulgur according to package directions.

Mix bulgur with lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper; mix well.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate at least two hours, then serve with a salad or on a sandwich.

Nutrition information per serving (1 cup): 211 calories, 15 grams fat (12 grams unsaturated), 19 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 396 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber

Emily DelConte, Kali Garges, Amy King, Kelly Markiewicz and Meghan Martorana write this column and are registered dietitians at EVOLUTION — Nutrition Counseling by Dietitians in Bristol, East Greenwich, Newport and Providence. They adapt the recipes from public domain or copyright-free recipes.

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