One of the reasons I love to cook is to be aware of exactly what I’m consuming. By touching every ingredient that goes into my meal I become very conscious of what I might be consuming that is bad for me and my family, and seeing if there are ways to avoid it.

It’s been known for a long time that whole grains are better for you than processed ones, but recent studies have hammered this point home, even to the point of saying that some low-carb diets that cut out whole grains may actually be missing some crucial health benefits of whole grain foods that actually curtail diabetes risk and can help protect you from heart problems, colon cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Prior to reading these studies, I had actually been working to eat as low-carb as possible on weeknights, opting for recipes like my poached fish stew, foil-wrapped salmon, or making a simple chicken salad. While I’m still going to enjoy these dishes several times a week, I’ve also been revisiting my older recipes and seeing how I can replace white, processed carbohydrates with healthier whole grain options.

Pictured above is my bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, one of my most popular recipes on search– I tried it this week replacing the normal kaiser roll with a fresh whole grain bread roll. I was delighted by the crunchy texture and found that the sandwich was made even better by the use of whole grain alternatives. This is now going to be a regular fixture in my household.

Other dishes, such as beef and broccoli are easy to serve with brown rice instead of white rice, or even over quinoa, which complements the broccoli nicely. I also like substituting cauliflower rice if the recipe accomodates it. I’ve made pasta dishes such as summer vegetable pasta with whole grain pastas, such as Sfoglini’s whole grain pasta, and found that the recipes don’t suffer from the substition, but rather are usually enhanced by the interesting textures of whole grain pasta.

Will Chiong

Mild-mannered engineer by day, ambitious home cook by night.