Every culture uses rice in its cuisine. From Chinese Fried to Cuban Black Beans and Rice, so many cultures seem to have their own rice recipe ideas. Rice does more than stretch a meal to feed extra mouths; whole grain rice provides needed nutrients and fiber to our diet. Rice grains have multiple layers. ‘Brown’ rice is rice with only the outer layer removed leaving most of the nutrition intact. White rice has many more layers removed; as a result, its nutrition value is much lower.
For full flavor, you can’t beat traditionally slow cooked rice. For a hurried dinner time meal, instant rice is quick and just as nutritious. For super- fast dinner meals with added favor and high nutrition, think rice instead of potatoes or pasta when preparing dinner. If you’re not sure how to begin, we suggest this selection of easy to fix recipes for rice. Remember rice refrigerates and can be kept for several days. Cook some extra for meals later in the week and dinner will on the table in even less time.
1. Stir-fried Rice with Pork
This rice recipe is a great way to use up pork left over from the Sunday roast. A large skillet with plenty of room to stir is the only pot needed. Cooked rice, colorful veggies and spices are all you need to make this food that’s better than take out and much lower in fat.
2. Mexican Rice
This rice recipe is the perfect accompaniment to pork, chicken or beef. Serve it with a little cilantro on top and adjust the spiciness by adding more or less jalapeno pepper to taste. Put some in a thermos for a warm lunch time treat. Reheating is easy and it will taste even better the next day.
3. Baked Rice
This saffron flavored rice dish is traditionally baked in a clay pot or dish. If you don’t have one of those any deep dish casserole dish will work. Make a big pot of this rice dish on the weekend and you’ll have it as a side dish for dinner during the week. For a one pot meal, add cooked chicken vegetables or even a little cooked sausage.
4. Pigeon Peas with Rice
Traditionally the national dish of Puerto Rico it makes an appearance at every celebratory occasion. The flavorful peas taste even better when blended with the peppers, garlic and onion and ham that make up the dish. Hearty enough on its own to be a meal, it makes a great side dish with the flavor improving every time it’s heated.
5. Cuban Beans and Rice
You know how good Cuban Black Beans and Rice can be on a cold day. Think how much better they’ll taste with the addition of crispy fried plantains. If you’ve not had fried plantains then you’re missing out on one of life’s true treats. The plantains are better freshly made but the black beans and rice have even richer flavor on day two, if they last that long.
6. Black Rice and Guava Salad With Basil Lime Vinaigrette
Black rice is more nutritious than white rice and cooks up with a nutty texture. Mix the dressing, blend it into the rice and chill for at least 20 minutes. Fold the sliced guava in right before serving. This makes a great dinner along with chicken or pork and can easily be rolled into a lunch time burrito for the next day.
7. Spinach and Red Rice Pesto
Rice comes in all colors, including red. Asparagus, fresh spinach and spices come together to make a wonderful pesto sauce. Toss it with the cooked rice for a colorful and flavorful dish. The spinach and asparagus make it nutritious and the red rice adds a slightly nutty taste that your family is sure to love.
8. Dessert Rice Pudding
This is one of the best recipes for rice we can think of. Left over rice makes a great dessert when mixed with coconut milk, coconut flakes and slivered almonds. This Latino take on a traditional dessert will bring back memories of childhood days and warm you up from the inside.