Need a break from the rice rut? Tired of plain old pasta? Why not audition some of the world's other great grains? Couscous, bulgur, and quinoa -- grains that are relatively easy to find -- often can stand in quite nicely for rice in more familiar dishes. Think of this recipe collection as inspiration: Before you know it, you'll be spending time with spelt, barley, farro, wheat berries...
This pastalike semolina product with North African roots is as versatile as rice and even better for rush-hour cooking: Just add boiling water, cover, wait a few minutes, fluff with a fork, and serve. Look for increasingly available whole-wheat versions, too.
Tabbouleh is how many of us got to know bulgur, the nutty-flavored wheat grain. But bulgur is so nutritious -- it is high in fiber and has plenty of protein -- that it would be a shame not to experiment with it a little. Since it is precooked, it is a snap to prepare.Quinoa
Tiny, delicate-tasting quinoa is a South American staple that's eaten like a grain but is actually a seed with the husk removed. It packs protein and is an excellent source of essential amino acids. It is also higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than other grains. And it cooks in half the time of regular rice. Note: In its raw form quinoa is coated with a bitter-tasting deposit called saponin. Check the directions on the package -- if the manufacturer hasn't processed the quinoa to remove the resin, you'll need to give it a thorough rinse.
Good bets for rice loyalists
Way beyond tabbouleh
The ancient grain with superpowers
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