More than 70 percent of the rice we eat in the U.S. is white rice [source: Hendrick]. One of the easiest things to do when choosing whole grains over refined grains is to start eating brown or wild rice instead of white rice. Use it not only as a side on its own, but as a stuffing for roasted tomatoes, in pilaf, or in your dressing.
Just as you'd replace white rice with brown to get the whole grain benefits, consider using barley or bulgur as a side dish. Some grains such as brown and wild rice, cracked wheat berries and quinoa can be eaten as a side, as a star on their own, or in a duet with a handful of dried fruits and a splash of vinaigrette or sautéed wild mushrooms mixed in.
Grains can also easily be added to soups, pilafs and salads. Risottos, too, can be modified and cooked with the whole grain farro and millet instead of Arborio rice.