5 Great Grain Bowls

Get inspired by these dishes popping up on restaurant menus everywhere.

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Grains Go Global

If you've spent any time at health-conscious restaurants recently, you've probably noticed the uptick in menus featuring grains as mains. No longer relegated to the side dishes section, rice, oh-so-popular quinoa and other grain varieties provide the perfect canvas for a medley of colorful vegetables, proteins and sauces. To come up with some tasty grain bowls of our own, we looked to the globe to reference an assortment of international flavors. They're perfect for lunch, dinner or even a savory breakfast.

Food Network Kitchen’s quinoa bowl with chicken and avocado cream sauce as seen on Food Network.

Quinoa Bowl with Chicken and Avocado Cream

Every grain bowl should have a successful balance of crunchiness, creaminess and bold flavor. In this Mexican-inspired bowl, the crunchy tortilla chips and roasted pepitas are nicely complemented by avocado cream and hearty quinoa. Make a big batch of quinoa and keep portions frozen in resealable bags for up to 1 month; thaw and reheat as needed. Having a whole-grain arsenal in your freezer will help cut down on prep time.

Get the Recipe: Quinoa Bowl with Chicken and Avocado Cream

Brown Rice Bowl with Curried Roasted Cauliflower and Green Chutney

It's hard to choose our favorite part of this Indian-inspired rice bowl. Is it the earthy roasted cauliflower, the fresh and tangy green chutney or the crunchy potato sticks? Fortunately, we don't have to choose — they all work together quite perfectly in this balanced bowl. To cut down on your prep time later, cook batches of brown rice, freeze portions in resealable bags for up to 1 month, then thaw and reheat as needed.

Get the Recipe: Brown Rice Bowl with Curried Roasted Cauliflower and Green Chutney

Barley Bistro Bowl

A grain bowl and a classic French bistro salad probably don't seem like a natural fit, but we love the way the egg yolk and garlicky tomato-pepper sauce coat the barley in this hearty dish. We prefer to use hulled barley, because it has slightly more fiber and toothsome bite than its more refined cousin, pearled barley. But feel free to use pearled; the cooking time will be less. For quicker lunch or dinner prep, cook bulk batches of barley, freeze portions in airtight bags for up to 1 month, then just thaw and reheat.

Get the Recipe: Barley Bistro Bowl

Wheat Berry Bowl with Salmon and Miso Sauce

We love the way the creamy miso sauce coats the chewy, toothsome wheat berries in this Asian-inspired bowl. For a timesaver, cook off a large batch of wheat berries, freeze portions in resealable bags for up to 1 month, and thaw and reheat as needed.

Get the Recipe: Wheat Berry Bowl with Salmon and Miso Sauce

Millet Bowl with Stuffed Grape Leaves and Yogurt-Hummus Sauce

Of all the gluten-free foods out there, millet is at the top of our list for its versatility - it can be porridgey, popped or fluffy (as it is in this Greek-inspired bowl recipe). To save prep time later, cook batches of millet, cool and store in freezer bags for up to 1 month. If you like, sub leftover chicken for the sausage, or keep the bowl vegetarian.

Get the Recipe: Millet Bowl with Stuffed Grape Leaves and Yogurt-Hummus Sauce

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