Ten simple (and downright brilliant) ways to ease the goodness of grains onto your menu

Here we present just ten of the potentially infinite ways you can include, incorporate, and innovate, all from InHarvest’s own Chef Jason “Jay Z” Ziobrowski. Get inspired. And if you’ve created something special for your menu using grains, we’d love to hear from you.

We all know grains are gaining ground with diners, as more and more Americans are interested in better-for-you menus, cleaner labels, sustainability, and authenticity. But how to get those grains onto the menu without going against the grain of the well-intentioned, yet less-adventuresome, customer?

10 ways to go with the grain:

  1. Increase grain and seasonal vegetable portions on the plate, and decrease protein portions to save on food costs.

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  2. Last night’s pilaf, if chilled properly, can be added to roasted veggies, dressed simply, and served as a cold salad.

  3. Soup du Jour gets a little help from yesterday’s leftover cooked and chilled rice and grains.

  4. Make a cake: fold grains into your favorite crab cake recipe and serve over mixed greens. Or skip the crab altogether and offer a great veggie entrée.

  5. Make a perfect parfait by mixing grains with yogurt and layer with fresh fruit. Makes a great grab-and-go option, or a gorgeous brunch item.

  6. Meatless meatballs: Try substituting Greenwheat Freekeh for beef or lamb – the flavor and texture are amazing.

  7. Go stealth: Ease into a grain like quinoa by folding cooked grains into pancake, crepe or waffle batter.

  8. For grains à la State Fair, mix into a flavorful batter with seasonal veggies and fry up some fritters and hush puppies.

  9. Stuff it: from heirloom tomatoes to poblano peppers and portabella mushroom caps, grains are an ideal stuffing base. 

  10. Wrap it up: Lettuce wraps folded around a grain salad are a sure lunch hit – especially if you choose a gluten-free blend.