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Rice recipes to the rescue

Short on grocery shopping time and even shorter on healthy recipe ideas? Keeping your pantry stocked with rice – and a few other ingredients – is one way to keep your family well-fed while giving you a healthful foundation from which to build a wide variety of satisfying, simple meals. Rice is one of those kitchen staples that can come to the culinary rescue for any meal of the day and any part of meal. So, the next time you need a convenient and nutritious dish, give one of these easy-to-fix rice recipes a try.

Variety of Rice

Choose rice with flavor and nutrition

Five-minute white rice may seem like the best choice when you need a quick side-dish or component for another dish, but the refined white grains won’t add anything particularly special to your final meal. Quick-to-cook white rice is devoid of nutrients, pale in flavor, and basically boring.With the intriguing array of different types of rice available, you can choose brown, basmati, wild, jasmine or a mix of grains that will not only give your meals texture and color, these tasty grains also deliver more fiber, vitamins and minerals to your family’s diet. They will make your meals more satisfying and also keep your family full longer than processed white grains.Having a wide variety of rice to choose from also gives you the convenience of never having to serve the same dish twice. Peruse the rice aisle or bulk section of your supermarket or natural foods store and choose a different rice every week. You can transform the humble grains into delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner dishes as well as sweet and creamy desserts.

Rice recipes

Recipes courtesy of Lundberg Family Farms

Frittata Bites

Serves 6Little bites of egg, rice and cheese are fun for the kids and can even be elegantly served for a special brunch. Serve with sour cream, tomato coulis or pesto to add scrumptious flavor and color.Ingredients:
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup cooked short grain brown rice
1/2 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup skim milk
1-1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoningDirections:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a miniature muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.2. Cook zucchini, pepper and garlic in butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain well and stir in rice. Cool and stir in cheese. Press approximately 1 tablespoon rice mixture into miniature muffin cups.3. Combine eggs, milk, Italian seasoning and salt and pour evenly over rice mixture. Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Cool in pan 5 minutes before removing.

Wehani Rice Salad

Serves 6Gorgeous and long-grained, Lundberg’s Wehani is a type of basmati rice with deep honey-red color and a lovely nutty flavor. This rice salad makes a gorgeous side-dish or vegetarian meal.Ingredients:
3 cups hot cooked Lundberg Wehani
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 to 2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup fresh basil minced
2 fresh bell peppers (1 red, 1 green), seeded, chopped fine
1/2 cup small-diced carrots
1 medium tomato, seeded, chopped fine
3/4 cup sliced and chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1 small can sliced olives
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheeseDirections:
1. Place rice in a large bowl. Combine oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, rosemary and pepper in a small jar or blender with a lid. Shake well or process, and pour over rice.2. Toss rice mixture lightly to coat. Cover bowl and let cool. Add remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Bavarian Rice Cloud with Bittersweet Chocolate

Serves 10This stunning rice dessert will impress the most hard-to-please family members or guests at your next tasty get together.Ingredients:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups skim milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 cups cooked brown sweet rice
2 cups frozen light whipped topping, thawed
1 tablespoon Amaretto or other almond-flavored liqueur
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce (recipe below)
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toastedDirections:
1. Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small saucepan and let stand 1 minute or until gelatin is softened. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin dissolves.2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add rice and stir until well blended. Chill until the consistency is like unbeaten egg whites. Fold in whipped topping, liqueur and vanilla.3. Spoon into a 4-cup mold coated with cooking spray. Cover and chill until firm. To serve, unmold onto serving platter. Spoon chocolate sauce over rice pudding. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

3 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 tablespoon Amaretto or other almond-flavored liqueurDirections:
Combine cocoa and sugar in a small saucepan. Add buttermilk and mix well. Place over medium heat, and cook until sugar dissolves. Stir in liqueur and remove from heat.

More on rice and rice recipes

Wild rice recipes
Top 10 secrets to cooking with rice
Soaking grains can reduce damage from diabetes

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