What’s this week’s four-letter word? RICE. Yes, rice. Talk about plain and simple, rice can do just about anything, and there are more varieties of rice than you can shake a stick at. Brown rice, white rice, wild rice, long grain, short grain….the list goes on and on.
For most of us, the first decision is white rice versus brown rice. Brown rice is whole-grain rice, and the white version had much of the extra nutrition removed—very similar to how bread has white and whole-grain brown types. White rice cooks a little faster, but brown rice is healthier and only take about 5minutes longer to cook.
Check the package of every rice variety for cooking proportions, but much of the time, it’s two or three to one; that is, two or three parts water to one part rice. Some use a bit more or less, so read the label the first time. Rice does best when the water is brought to a boil; rice added; returned to a simmer; cover and simmer until water has been absorbed.
Once cooked, refrigerate rice in a covered container. It also freezes well. Spread it on a baking sheet, in a single layer. Freeze and then transfer to a freezer bag where you can remove as much as you need at a time. This is almost instant rice!
Have you ever made fried rice? It’s nice and simple. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic and a cup each of shredded carrots, frozen peas and leftover chicken. Sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups of cooked rice and add soy sauce tot taste. Serve throughout and serve! (Don’t forget the chop sticks.)
Or how about green rice salad? Mix 1 ½ cups cooked rice, 1 cup thawed green peas, ¼ cup chopped parsley and about 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing. Mix and serve!
Rice has lots of carbohydrates, which makes it a good energy source. Brown rice has more complex carbohydrates, due to the whole-grained nature of it. Diabetics need to watch how much rice they eat, because of their concerns with carbohydrate balancing. People on a gluten-free diet can enjoy rice in place of pasta!