Tipili – Dominican bulgur wheat salad – is a great dish with which to incorporate more whole grains into your diet. (Photo/Courtesy Clara Gonzalez)

3 great whole grain recipes

All week long we’re focusing on our five food resolutions of 2013, with lots of delicious recipes and tips on how to eat better this year. From posting yummy recipes incorporating whole grains to providing healthy protein alternatives to the usual chuletas and carnitas, NBC Latino is sharing how you can kick off 2013 in a healthy way.

Let’s state the obvious: we Latinos love our white rice, served fluffy and in generously-sized portions. But with a new year comes the resolution to eat healthier, better-for-you foods, including plenty of whole grains. And we’re not talking about choking down dry wheat toast either: instead, incorporating whole grains in a Latin diet is easier (and more delicious!) than you might think.

Mexican-style quinoa.

Mexican-style quinoa. (Photo/Betty Cortina)

Quinoa may be one of the hottest whole grains among foodies right now, but people are just catching onto what farmers cultivating the grain in South America have known for more than 5,000 years: it’s a great source of protein, and with the added nutritional benefits of containing all nine essential amino acids (usually only found in animal protein), it’s a member of the grass family that’s also packed with calcium and iron. Serve it in lieu of white rice; when cooked with savory onion, garlic and low-sodium chicken broth, it’s entirely crave-worthy. Click here for the recipe.

As evidenced by Clara Gonzalez's beautiful bulgur wheat salad, whole grains don't have to be boring.

A savory – and healthy! – bulgur wheat salad (Photo/Courtesy Clara Gonzalez)

Salads don’t have to be boring, as blogger Clara Gonzalez will gladly tell you. Her version of tipili – a bulgur wheat salad that’s central to Dominican cuisine – combines the toothsome whole grain with juicy tomatoes, bright lime and herbs like fragrant parsley and mint for a side dish that’s anything but boring. Bulgur – made from precooked wheat berries – takes only 20 minutes to cook and has more fiber (a whopping six grams!) and nutrients per cup than a serving of brown rice. Consider it the Latin version of that Middle Eastern favorite, tabouleh, and serve it alongside your favorite proteins and veggies. Click here for the recipe.

Veggie flautas

Veggie flautas (Photo/Betty Cortina)

Whether you call it a taquito or a flauta, deep-fried tortillas wrapped around a meat and cheese filling sound like the definition of delicious. But healthy? Not quite. Use 100% whole-wheat tortillas (instead of the usual corn or flour tortillas) to make a baked taquito, which, when stuffed with mushrooms and veggies, becomes a healthy weeknight dinner option. Click here for the recipe.

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