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Wheat berries -- whole wheat kernels -- are one of my favorite whole grains. After cooking, toss them with bottled vinaigrette and a variety of finely diced vegetables like red pepper, seedless cucumber, and red onion. They hold their crunch even after a few days and make a great base for a lunchtime salad; just add grilled chicken, tuna, or shrimp. Millet, quinoa, and amaranth can all be prepared by simmering in salted water or seasoned broth until tender; amaranth, which has a slight peppery flavor, can also be popped like popcorn for an alternative movie snack. Farro (sometimes called spelt) is a variety of whole wheat that has an earthy flavor and can be prepared risotto-style. Some high-end pasta manufacturers also make farro-based noodles, which have a strong wheat flavor and chewy texture; rich meat sauces provide a delicious counterpoint.
Originally published in Fitness magazine, December 2005.