September is National Whole Grains and Rice Month and that means we have a month of amazing dishes ahead of us. Grains and rice don’t have to be side dishes; they can be the main attraction of a meal.
Grains and rice are some of the most important foods in the world and for billions of people, are the main source of sustenance. They are also an important food for many cultures.
Rice is a highly nutritious component of a healthy diet. It is high in complex carbohydrates, has basically no fat or cholesterol and is low in sodium. Rice is also a great pantry staple if you’re cooking on a budget. Ancient grains are whole grains that come from seeds that have been around for millennia and are free of hybridization and genetic manipulation. Besides being natural and healthy, these ancient grains have unique tastes and textures and many of them are gluten-free.
If you need recipes, we have a lot. Check out Think Rice is Boring? Try These 25 Exciting Recipes That Will Change Your Mind and Eat More Ancient Grains With These 15 Vegan Recipes. Then, get ready to celebrate all month long with these 30 recipes that put grains and rice in the spotlight.
1. Mushroom and Kale Farro Salad
This Mushroom and Kale Farro Salad is refreshing and light, but still filling. The farro provides the bulk of the sustenance while the vegetables sautéed in broth add a delicious flavor, and the pomegranate seeds add a delightful crunch. Enjoy this for lunch or dinner, or make a big batch as a side dish for your next gathering.
2. Rainbow Chard Wraps With Millet and Chickpeas
Packed with protein, these Rainbow Chard Wraps With Millet and Chickpeas are super delicious! You can make them as they are in this recipe: stuffed with chickpeas, carrots, cucumber, cabbage, mint, hummus, hemp seeds, and millet. Or you can switch out the millet and use quinoa, or add peanut sauce instead of hummus. These are versatile and can be switched up in any way. Enjoy!
3. Vegetable Paella Risotto
This Vegetable Paella Risotto is a fusion dish that combines the best of the worlds of paella and risotto into one seriously delicious and comforting meal. It has a creamy texture like risotto and the savory flavors of paella without the dairy or seafood. What’s the secret? Smoked paprika. This dinner entrée is so flavorful, packed with vegetables, and not to mention, easier than traditional risotto.
4. Quinoa Bread
This Quinoa Bread is gluten-free, nutrient-dense, and delicious. It’s a fabulous alternative to your typical supermarket bread and even better still. This bread is ideal to toast, so enjoy it with lemony smashed avocado.
5. Asian-Style Rice Crust Pizza With Mushrooms
You’ve never seen a pizza like this Asian-Style Rice Crust Pizza With Mushrooms! This Asian-style twist on the Italian classic starts off with a rice crust slathered in tomato sauce and is topped with mushrooms, soy sauce, baby corn, and scallions. Food fusion at its finest!
6. Teff Porridge With Blood Orange and Coconut Butter
If you’re looking for a filling, warm breakfast, try out this Teff Porridge With Blood Orange and Coconut Butter. Teff grains cook up quickly, have a lovely thick consistency like polenta, and are super high in calcium and plant-based protein. To add a burst of flavor, top the porridge with slices of blood orange and hemp seeds.
7. Chickpea and Edamame Quinoa Salad
This Chickpea and Edamame Quinoa Salad will power you throughout your day! The mixture of green edamame, deep red cranberries, red bell peppers, and fresh herbs mixed into fluffy quinoa adds an assortment of vibrant color and different textures. Make a big batch of this quinoa salad at the beginning of the week and eat it for lunch at work or school. You can even enjoy it a number of different ways by drizzling different dressings over it, mixing it with greens, or wrapping it up in a flour tortilla with kale and microgreens.
8. Carrot Barley Risotto
This Carrot Barley Risotto is made with hearty barley as an alternative to the standard Arborio rice. Ginger and garlic substitute as aromatics in place of the traditional onion used in risotto, resulting in flavors that are unlike any other.
9. Baked Zucchini and Amaranth Patties
These Baked Zucchini and Amaranth Patties are crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Zucchini, onions, salsa, and spices to complement the earthiness of the amaranth. Serve these on a bun like you would with a burger, or on a bed of leafy greens, with salsa and vegan sour cream.
10. Cheesy Quinoa Meatballs
Trade meatballs in for something a little more wholesome (but just as filling) like these Cheesy Quinoa Meatballs. Fluffy quinoa is rolled in flax seed, diced onion, garlic, herbs, and shredded vegan mozzarella, and then baked in the oven until brown. Serve on top of salad, in a sub, or with marinara and pasta.
11. Cheesy Rice Stuffed Jalapeños
These spicy Cheesy Rice Stuffed Jalapeños are sure to impress at your next get-together. Fresh jalapeño peppers are halved and then stuffed with rice coated in a cheesy sauce made from carrots and potatoes. Try topping these guys with smoked paprika for another layer of heat and serve with chips and refreshments because these really pack a punch when it comes to spiciness.
12. Carrot Poppyseed Buckwheat Porridge
In this Carrot Poppyseed Buckwheat Porridge, buckwheat groats are soaked overnight prior to cooking in order to give them a soft and oatmeal-like texture. This breakfast dish is creamy, thick, and it tastes just like carrot cake, with no refined sugar needed. The addition of protein from the buckwheat and healthy fats from the hemp hearts are just an added bonus.
13. Fermented Buckwheat Bread
Did you know that buckwheat is actually not a grain, but a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel? It’s true. And surprisingly enough, despite not being a grain, raw buckwheat groats can be transformed into a delicious bread like this Fermented Buckwheat Bread! In this recipe, groats are combined with agave, sunflower seeds, and a bit of oregano for an herby bread that pairs well with pretty much anything.
14. Mexican Cornbread Pizza Cake
The only thing better than pizza is pizza cake and the only thing better than pizza cake is vegan Mexican Cornbread Pizza Cake! That’s right — three layers of sun-dried tomato jalapeño cornbread plus refried beans, nacho cheese, guacamole, pizza sauce, and veggies galore. This cake is nothing short of epic.
15. Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sticky Rice
There’s nothing like a big bowl of rice and veggies to keep you full and satisfied — and you can be so versatile with the flavors. Exhibit A: this Sweet and Sour Pineapple Sticky Rice. With sweet pineapple and spicy sauce, this sweet and sour sticky rice is a tasty Thai-inspired dish. This easy-breezy recipe is something the whole family will love and the cooking takes only 30 minutes!
16. Colombian Coconut Rice
Fluffy brown rice is cooked with rich, full-fat coconut milk to create this sweet and nutty Colombian Coconut Rice. Besides being incredibly flavorful, this side has a hefty amount of protein and healthy fiber. So, next time you’re going to make rice to complement your meal, consider adding this rice for some Caribbean and Latin flare.
17. One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Quinoa
This One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Quinoa is a powerhouse meal that is loaded with Mexican-inspired flavor and ingredients that will keep you full. Quinoa, black beans, and chickpeas bring on the protein and chopped red bell pepper is mixed in for fresh flavor and crunch. It’s cheesy, warm, and takes only one pan to make.
18. Sorghum Banana Paniyaram
Paniyaram is a steamed Indian bread with a batter similar to idli or dosa, but it’s light and fluffy in texture. Mild and sweet, this Sorghum Banana Paniyaram is loaded with the flavors of banana and cardamom powder. The sorghum in this soft bread is high in protein and calcium, and is conveniently gluten-free! While this interpretation of the Indian dish is sweet, paniyaram can also be made savory.
19. Gujarati Khichdi: Indian Rice and Lentils
Khichdi is a dish popular throughout Indian, Pakistan, and Nepal. Typically made with mung beans, this Gujarati Khichdi uses pigeon peas instead, but is also loaded with rice, vegetables, and plenty of flavor. It has a mix of all different spices and fried onions for a sweet, but savory taste.
20. Einkorn Zucchini Waffles
Who said waffles had to be sweet? These savory Einkorn Zucchini Waffles are loaded with zucchini and fragrant basil. Serve these zucchini waffles with come chopped tomatoes. They make a perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
21. Rice and Veggie Bowl
Who doesn’t love easy one-pot dishes like this Rice and Veggie Bowl? Rice is tossed with fresh chopped vegetables like broccoli, red bell pepper, cauliflower, and seasoned with flavorful spices and savory tomato paste to create a hearty and delicious meal. This is a fast wholesome meal to prepare for a busy week; make a big batch for dinner and save leftovers for lunch, served with different condiments and sauces to keep things different.
22. Summer Berry Spelt Buns
Summer’s not over yet! Soft, doughy buns filled with warm seasonal berries, what better way to use up all that fruit? These Summer Berry Spelt Buns are best served warm with a cup of tea when the dough is its softest and the berry filling is at its gooiest. But, you can also freeze them and save them for later!
23. Coconut Arancini With Tomato Curry
Sticky coconut rice balls are rolled in a bread crumb mixture to form these deliciously crispy Coconut Arancini with Tomato Curry. A combination of bread crumbs, chia seeds, flaxseed powder, and nutritional yeast makes the exterior of these savory treats not only delectably cheesy, but good for you! Paired with a tangy tomato curry, this dish is a gift for your taste buds.
24. Rosemary Garlic Spelt Agnolotti
Agnolotti are a lot like ravioli. They’re tender stuffed pasta shells stuffed with deliciousness, except instead of cheese, agnolotti are stuffed with roasted vegetables or meat. These Rosemary Garlic Spelt Agnolotti are filled with a creamy rosemary garlic and white bean filling and served with a mesclun pesto. They’re like a dish from a fancy Italian restaurant, but better, because they’re homemade!
25. Roasted Beet Sorghum Salad With Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette
This Roasted Beet and Sorghum Salad With Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette is as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the taste buds. In this recipe, roasted beets are combined with sorghum, an ancient grain with a unique texture, and a zesty ginger-lime vinaigrette. This salad’s vibrant flavors make it ideal for serving at barbecues and outdoor parties, or it can be brought along to work for lunch whenever the weather is warm.
26. Sweet and Salty Pineapple Fried Rice
You’re going to love digging into this richly savory Sweet and Salty Pineapple Fried Rice with surprising bursts of tart juicy pineapple. Pile it high in your favorite bowl and serve with your favorite plant-based protein to complement the flavors, like teriyaki tofu. The addictive variety of flavors will have you making this dish again and again.
27. Buckwheat Pooris
Poori is an unleavened deep-fried bread, commonly consumed in India. This Buckwheat Poori is made with buckwheat flour, filled with warm mashed potatoes, and seasoned with green chili. Typically, this bread is served with curry, but you can also serve it as an appetizer.
28. Freekeh and Turmeric Chickpea Salad
Freekeh is a grain that’s similar to quinoa in that it provides ample nutrition while tasting great. In this Freekeh and Turmeric Chickpea Salad, the young, green wheat is lightly cooked, and served with garlicky mushrooms and toasted, turmeric-infused chickpeas. Dress it up with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, or any dressing of your choice.
29. Persephone Bowl
This Persephone Bowl (so named for the inclusion of luscious pomegranate seeds) is a celebration of the changes all around us: it’s colorful, vibrant and literally bursting with juicy flavors and hearty bulgur wheat and just a touch of heat.
30. Mixed Herb Lentil and Wild Rice Soup
A delicious warming and flavorsome chunky soup, this Mixed Herb Lentil and Wild Rice Soup definitely fills the spot. With sweet potato, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, and mixed beans, this soup is filled with wholesome nutritional goodness! Adjust the spiciness level to your liking!
There are so many delicious grains that you can eat a different dish each day of the month and never get bored. With all these amazing rice and grain-filled recipes, we definitely have something to celebrate.
Lead image source: One-Pan Cheesy Mexican Quinoa