Spice Up Your Brown Rice

Nutrition
on November 1, 2009

With these creative ways to embellish brown rice from the new book, The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health, you can try a different variety everyday for two weeks.

RELATED: 10 Healthy Brown Rice Recipes

Basic recipe: Plain Rice

1 cup rinsed and drained brown rice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water

In a saucepan on high heat, stir together the rice, oil and salt and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, stir once and simmer uncovered until tender, about 45 minutes. If you like softer rice, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more water.

Embellishments:
1. Onion-herb rice
Before adding the rice to the saucepan, cook 1/3 cup diced onions and the salt in the oil, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite dried herb (thyme, terragon and oregano are good options) and then the water. Or stir 2 or 3 teaspooons freshed herbs into the cooked rice.

2. Saffron Rice
Crumble a pinch of saffron into the rice when you add the water. Remember, a little goes a long way. Saffron rice is also good with onions. Cook 1/3 cup diced onions in the oil before adding the raw rice.

3. Indian Rice
Add 3 whole cloves, 3 cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick with the water. Remove them when the rice is done. A pinch of saffron adds another dimension to this aromatic rice.

4. Coconut rice
Replace half of the water with unsweetened coconut milk. Or add 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut with the raw rice.

5. Ginger rice
Add 3 slices fresh ginger root and a garlic clove with the water and then remove them when the rice is done.

6. Sesame rice
Add 1/4-cup sesame seeds with the raw rice and omit the salt. To the cooked rice, add 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.

7. Ginger-sesame rice
With the rice, add 1/4-cup sesame seeds and omit the salt, and add 3 slices fresh ginger root and a garlic clove with the water. To the cooked rice, add 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil and soy sauce to taste.

8. Jeweled rice
To the ginger rice, sesame rice or ginger-sesame rice, add about 1/3 cup diced red bell peppers and 1/3 cup green peas during the last 10 minutes of simmering. When the rice is done, toss in 1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced scallions.

9. Zesty rice
Add a generous teaspoon of freshly grated lemon, orange or lime zest with the raw rice.

10. South of the Border rice
When you cook the raw rice in the oil, add 1/2-teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 garlic clove and 1 small chile pepper. When the rice is done, remove the garlic clove and chile and stir in 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes and 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro.

11. Wild rice pilaf
In place of 1/2 cup of the brown rice, use 1/3-cup wild rice. When you add the rice to the pot, add 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or rosemary or 1 teaspoon minced fresh herbs and a garlic clove. When the rice is done, stir in 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley.

12. Red rice pilaf
Replace 1/3 cup of the brown rice with 1/3-cup wehani or other red rice. With the raw rice, add a bay leaf and 1/4-teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne. When the rice is done, stir in 1/4 cup chopped pecans and 2 or 3 tablespoons chopped scallions. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

13. Italian rice
Add 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes with the water. When the rice is cooked, stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil. Top with 2 or 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts just before serving.

14. Fruit and nuts rice
Toss the cooked rice with 1/2-cup currants or chopped apricots or other dried fruit and 1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts.

Found in: Nutrition
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