Grains have been a staple for millennia. Served in bread, porridge, and other prepared foods, ancient grains powered early population centers of the pre-Columbian Andes and the conquests of Alexandrian Greece. They come from hardy stock, and many are still available today. Quinoa, farro, wheat berries, and barley are all packed with fiber, protein, and amino acids, and, unlike pasta and rice, they're low on the glycemic index. They're also filling and flavorful, adding a complex nuttiness to any dish. Make one or more the backbone of an easy-to-fix post-workout meal, nutritious lunch, or hearty dinner. Follow the formula in these three recipes or use the general principles to create your own combinations of grains, vegetables, nuts, and cheese. Optional: adding lean meat.
Credit: Photograph by Christopher Testani