Brown rice is loaded with nutrition: fiber, omega fatty acids, minerals and even protein. Being a whole grain, brown rice is a good choice for people with blood sugar issues as it is digested slowly. It fills you up and is easy to prepare - and no - don't use "minute: brown rice. I'll tell you how you can make one pot of brown rice at the beginnig of the week and make a minimum of 5 meals with it!
Brown Rice Preparation:
These are not single serving size portions, mind you - this is how much rice to make for use in approximately 3 to 5 meals. Cooked brown rice will store nicely in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week. A portion size is anywhere from 1/2 cup ro 1 cup of cooked rice. To prepare the rice:
If you're a single or a couple, measure 1 and 1/2 cups of rice to 3 cups of water.
If you have a family of 4, measure 2 cups of rice to 4 cups of water.
Rinse your rice if you'd like. Then, pour approx. 1 tablespoon of oil into the bottom of your pot (olive oil or canola oil, or even butter). Add the dry rice, and cook on high for a minute or so, stirring. Then add the water and a pinch of salt. Stir once. When then water boils (approx 5 mintues), stir the rice once again, then put the lid on, and turn the temp down to low. Then walk away for about 45 minutes. Yes, brown rice takes a long time to cook, but you don't have to stand there for that time. Enjoy another activity. Check the rice at 45 minutes. If all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, it's done. If it's not, let it cook a bit longer. It's easy.
Now that you have your pot of rice, here are the meals you can make with it:
Beans & Rice:
Rinse 2 cans of organic, low sodium beans (kidney, black or cannelinni - your choice - even mix two). Set aside. Saute 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, 2 stalks of celery, chopped, and 1 carrot, chopped in a tablespoon or two of olive or canola oil. Add the drained beans. Stir. From here - customize it! Add a little vegetable broth or soy sauce or fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Don't be afraid to experiment! Cook until the veggies are tender or to your liking.
Slice fresh peppers, an onion, sugar snap peas or thnly slicd carrots and celery. Saute in a wok or frying pan with a bit of oil. Add meat of your choice - sliced thinly so it cooks quickly - or shrimp (also cooks quickly). Sprinkle with pepper and seasonings of your choice. Add some splashes of soy sauce toward the end of cooking (this is a quick meal, cooking time will be less than 10 minutes). Serve with brown rice.
Wraps are easy to make and tote - perfect for a lunch item. Try to find and use whole wheat wraps. I have 3 wrap ideas using brown rice. I'm sure you could come up with more combinations.
1. Add brown rice, chickpeas, chopped roasted red peppers, feta or fresh mozzarella cheese and some basil leaves. Wrap it up and eat at room temperature or even cold.
2. Another wrap option: brown rice, scrambled egg, peas and carrots (heated from frozen). Sprinkle with soy sauce and wrap it up (this one tastes best heated).
3. One more wrap idea: brown rice, leftover chicken, spinach leaves with vinegrette dressing - wrap it up!
Search my website for my frittata recipe. You can always add rice into the egg mixture in the pan before placing the pan in the oven. It adds a heartiness to the dish.
Brown rice for breakfast? That's right. Skip the oatmeal for a day. Use some brown rice - about 3/4 cup for one person - to a pot. Add a splash of milk, soymilk, or almond milk with a bit of cinnamon, honey and if you'd like, dried fruit. Stir and heat until the milk is absorbed. (You could use the microwave if you prefer). Then you could even dress it up with sliced bananas and/or a small amount of nuts or seeds. A delicious start to the day!
These are just some ideas. Brown rice can be enjoyed in so many ways! I hope you try and enjoy at least a few of these meal ideas. Don't be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. Cooking is a learning process. The more you do it, the more you'll learn about what flavors you like together and what ones you don't. Good luck and let me know how your experiments go!