An easy way to increase whole grain consumption is to prepare whole grain pasta. I like Barilla Multi Grain pasta. It's not as heavy as whole wheat pasta but still packed with nutrition. Try adding a little whole wheat pasta to basic pasta a little at a time and gradually adjust your tastes.
Brown rice is another easy addition and now can be purchased as quick-cooking and also boil-in-bag. Cooking brown rice requires about 45 minutes so add time to your meal plan or use one of the convenience foods above.
I often add barley to soup because its whole grain goodness adds a chewy and satisfying goodness. Pearled barley has been partially processed to remove the bran so it cooks it less time but it is still high in fiber. Pearled barley can be purchased ground coarse, medium or fine.
Hearty Beef Barley SoupMakes 8 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds lean beef strips (sirloin, round)
1 cup chopped onion
4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups sliced carrots
2 (32 ounce) boxes beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup pearled barley
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan and add about half pf the meat. Cook over high heat until browned. Remove and add remaining oil and meat to the pan. Cook until browned and remove from the pan. Cook the onions in the oil until tender. Add a little more oil if needed.
Tip: Use 50% reduced sodium, fat-free beef broth.
This soups freezes well.