Two simple whole-grain sides to add to your repertoire

The recipes in this post were developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook, and taste-tested in the Nutrition Action Test Kitchen. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

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Whole grains play a starring role in these two sides. Have pre-cooked grains? Each dish will come together in just 15 minutes.

To cook wheat berries: Boil them in plenty of water (like you would cook pasta) until tender, 25-35 minutes. Drain well, then return the cooked wheat berries to the stovetop. Heat them while stirring for a minute or so to remove excess water.

Wheat Berry & Apple Salad

Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4.

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
2 tsp. whole-grain mustard
½ tsp. honey
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 apple (any type), cored and diced
8 cups salad greens
1 cup cooked wheat berries
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt.

2. Toss with the apple, salad greens, wheat berries, and walnuts.

Per serving (2 cups):

  • Calories: 230
  • Total fat: 12 g
  • Sat fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 27 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 1 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 200 mg

Wild Rice & Mushrooms

Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4.

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
½ lb. mushrooms (any type), sliced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 scallions, sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked wild rice blend
¼ tsp. kosher salt

1. In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering hot. Sauté the mushrooms with the thyme, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5-7 minutes. Discard the thyme stems.

2. Stir in the scallions, celery, and rice. Cook while stirring until hot, about 1 minute. Season with the salt.

Per serving (¾ cup):

  • Calories: 220
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 33 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugar: 2 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 150 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood & Jennifer Urban/CSPI.

The recipes in this post first appeared in the December 2018 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

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