Low-Calorie Dinners with Whole Grains
Smoked Turkey, Kale & Rice Bake
This hearty one-skillet dinner is loaded with celery, kale, tomatoes and quick-cooking brown rice. It's easy to make the recipe vegetarian by substituting smoked tofu for the turkey.
Barley Hoppin' John
Traditionally made with rice, this classic Southern dish gets great toothsome texture here from quick-cooking barley instead. Serve with a green salad.
Baked Curried Brown Rice & Lentil Pilaf
Pop this fast and fragrant vegetarian dish into the oven and forget it till the timer rings. Serve as a main course on a bed of wilted spinach to add color and maximize iron absorption or serve as a side with Turkish Chicken Thighs.
Bulgur & Lentils
Caramelized onions add deep flavor to this fast take on the Middle Eastern dish mjadra, a simple vegetarian recipe featuring bulgur and lentils. Serve with a salad of chopped parsley, tomato and cucumber tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.
Creamy Hamburger Noodle Casserole
The EatingWell Test Kitchen takes lean ground beef and combines it with whole-grain bulgur, egg noodles and a creamy tomato sauce in a baked casserole topped with Cheddar. With less fat and calories than the original skillet meal, this dish is sure to become a new family favorite.
Vegetarian Quinoa & Squash Casserole
An aromatic mixture of garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander, allspice and cayenne flavors this vegetarian quinoa and squash casserole recipe. Frozen squash is a super-easy topping.
Creamy Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms
Sliced Brussels sprouts and mushrooms cook quickly and cling to the pasta in our fall version of pasta primavera. Look for presliced mushrooms to cut prep time. Serve with a tossed salad.
Quick Beef & Barley Soup
Quick-cooking barley and sirloin help get this beef-and-barley soup on the table in a snap--and it doubles easily. If leftovers get too thick in the fridge, add a little broth when you reheat it. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of malbec.
Chile-Lime Veggie Noodles
We love the bright flavor that lime and chile-garlic sauce give to this quick and easy veggie-and-noodle stir-fry. Multicolored peppers make this recipe festive, while the addition of eggs makes it a satisfying vegetarian supper.
Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole
These bean burgers will even please carnivores. The cornmeal coating gives a pleasant crunch and smoked paprika, cumin, cilantro and guacamole add Southwestern flavor.
Toasted Quinoa Salad with Scallops & Snow Peas
This scallop-studded quinoa salad gets an exciting texture from crunchy snow peas, red bell pepper and scallions. Feel free to substitute shrimp or thin slices of chicken for the scallops.
The addition of richly flavored dried mushrooms and the whole-grain goodness of bulgur increases the vitamins and minerals and decreases the saturated fat of this meatloaf. The loaf is free-form, rather than baked in a loaf pan, which means more delicious, browned crust. This recipe is large enough to feed a big group or, even better, have leftovers for a cold sandwich the next day.
Quinoa & Smoked Tofu Salad
We took the tangy fresh flavors of tabbouleh and paired them with smoky tofu and quinoa to create a main-dish salad that's perfect served on a bed of greens. This salad is jam-packed with heart-healthy ingredients--whole grains (quinoa), legumes (soy-based tofu) and plenty of vegetables.
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
This zesty Cajun-style pasta is full of lean chicken, peppers and onions. Serve with sautéed green beans.
Cream of Mushroom & Barley Soup
This sophisticated take on creamy mushroom soup is rich with earthy porcini mushrooms and has the added goodness of whole-grain barley.
A touch of cinnamon distinguishes these delicious tomato-sauced meatballs. Adding whole-grain bulgur allows you to use less meat, resulting in meatballs with less than half the total fat and saturated fat of the original. Plus a vibrant-tasting combination of fresh and canned tomatoes in the sauce helps reduce the sodium by two-thirds. Serve with pasta, polenta or even on a whole-grain roll with a bit of melted part-skim mozzarella for a meatball sub.
Creamy Garlic Pasta with Shrimp & Vegetables
Toss a garlicky, Middle Eastern-inspired yogurt sauce with pasta, shrimp, asparagus, peas and red bell pepper for a fresh, satisfying summer meal. Serve with: Slices of cucumber and tomato tossed with lemon juice and olive oil.
Wild Mushroom & Barley Risotto
In this pungent mushroom risotto, we substitute fiber-rich barley for the more traditional arborio rice. Any combination of mushrooms will work; if you use shiitakes, remove the stems from the caps before using.
Pork & Snap Pea Lo Mein
Lo mein is a Chinese restaurant takeout favorite that's easy to make at home. This lo mein recipe features lean pork loin chops and snap peas, but snow peas or asparagus work well too. Serve with shredded radish and cabbage tossed with rice vinegar.
Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili
This rib-sticking chili offers a hearty mix of wheat berries, beans, peppers and onion. Feel free to add an additional chipotle pepper to crank up the heat in this one-pot meal. Cooked wheat berries will keep for up to 1 month in your freezer and there's no need to thaw them; just stir them directly into the chili.
Leek & Lemon Linguine
This simple pasta recipe has bold lemony flavor. It's nice with a salad for a light supper or serve it along with seared fish, shrimp or chicken. Vary it as you please--add a bit of crumbled goat cheese, chopped rinsed capers, shelled edamame or thin strips of yellow bell pepper.
Spring Chicken & Barley Soup
You might think of barley as an addition to hearty, wintery soups, such as mushroom-barley or beef-barley soup, but it also works well in lighter soups like this one with chicken, asparagus and peas.
This truly tasty half-hour vegetarian chili is made possible by using convenient canned beans and tomatoes (no pantry should be without them). Whole-grain bulgur adds another layer of toothsome texture and nutritional heft. This chili is relatively mild, so it's a good crowd-pleaser. If you like it spicy, add extra chili powder or serve with hot sauce.
Skillet Tuna Noodle Casserole
Known as Tuna-Pea Wiggle to some, this family-friendly tuna noodle casserole tends to be made with canned soup and whole milk, which means high fat and sodium. We remedy this by making our own creamy mushroom sauce with nonfat milk thickened with a bit of flour. Look for whole-wheat egg noodles--they have more fiber than regular egg noodles (but this dish will work well and taste great with either).
Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you're serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.
Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup
Serve this zesty bean and barley soup garnished with chopped fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if desired.
Broccoli, Ham & Pasta Salad
A great make-ahead entree, this lightened-up pasta salad is loaded with broccoli and peppers. Smoky ham and sweet raisins give it plenty of punch. Enjoy the leftovers for a fuss-free lunch. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.