Menu incidences of grains are up 62%,* much of that growth was fueled by including quinoa in dishes. While ancient grains are typically associated with containing fiber, it may be a surprise to learn these grains also contain protein and make a delicious alternative to the traditional rice or pasta.

While not all ancient grains are gluten free, there are plenty of gluten-free options to choose from, such as sorghum, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and teff among others. But be sure to check the label or with your supplier for gluten-free certification.

Chef Kyla Tuori recommends these menu ideas to incorporate ancient grains into your menu.

Sorghum

This vegetarian dish is packed with unique flavors: crispy sorghum stir-fry with black garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and mustard greens.

Spelt

Create an instant breakfast classic by serving spelt and oat savory oatmeal with crispy pork belly, braised leeks and topped with a poached egg.

Amaranth

Use amaranth polenta with gorgonzola and mascarpone cheese and walnuts as a delicious base for garlicky sautéed greens.

Amaranth and Grilled Shrimp

This simple yet unique dish is big on flavor. It’s perfect as an amuse bouche or part of a tapas menu.

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*MINTEL MENU INSIGHTS Q1 2013-Q1 2016