Go with the grain

Four meal choices, ready in 30 minutes or less


Grains in minutes? The smallest ones just naturally cook fast. Others are specially treated in processing to make them speedy.

Bulgur (cracked) wheat is steamed. It gets soft enough to eat when soaked but stays chewy when cooked.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), a fine, round, high-protein grain, is native to the Andes and was prized by ancient farmers because it grows at high altitudes. It has a slightly bitter natural coating that needs to be rinsed off.

Barley labeled quick-cooking has had its outer hull removed so that moisture can penetrate faster.

Quick-cooking brown rice has been cooked and dried, and needs to be rehydrated. It's ready to eat in three- quarters the time it takes to cook regular brown rice.

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