Recipe: Confetti Brown Rice
By now, we all know what we *should* be eating, right? Whole wheat bread vs white bread; plain yogurt vs flavored; steel cut oats vs regular oatmeal; and brown rice instead of white. But do you know why?
For the most part, it has to do with eating foods that are as unprocessed as possible, to keep them close to their natural state. But I knew there had to be more to it, so after some Googling, I quickly found the answers about brown rice: nutrition, plain and simple! By retaining the outer husk of the rice, it kept the fiber and up to 4 times certain minerals.
I was sold, a brown rice convert. Now there was just this small problem. How do I put it? I wasn’t crazy about the taste.
I wasn’t alone, either! More Googling found tons of articles and tips on how to improve the taste — this one had some good tips, including toasting the rice in butter prior to cooking, à la risotto. Another common suggestion was to use some type of broth instead of water, to add more flavor right from the start. Finally, adding veggies to the rice was a solution that kept cropping up.
I liked the risotto idea, flavor-wise, but I didn’t think that starting a dish with butter was the right direction to take. Armed with the other suggestions, and my own arsenal of fabulous spices and spice blends, I created several delicious, healthy rice dishes.
This one is best served cold, with lots of raw veggies giving it flavor, crunch and color*. When selecting the veggies, go for a variety of colors, shapes and textures, according to what is in season. For example, my favorite mid-summer combo is red bell pepper, raw green beans, shreds of carrot and young pattypan squash.
If you are looking for a hot rice dish, try my Mexican Rice Fiesta.
4 cups cooked brown rice (see below for instructions)
1 medium onion, diced fine
3 cloves garlic, diced fine
2 cups raw veggies, diced medium
3 T olive oil
2 T rice wine vinegar or juice of 2 fresh lemons
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 T Tangy Citrus spice blend by Your Spice of Life (another blend that works very well is Racy Paprika)
For the rice: follow package directions for preparing 4 cups of cooked rice but substitute vegetable broth for the water.
Prepare the rice.
While it is cooking, wash and prep all of the vegetables and place in large bowl.
Add cooked rice to the vegetables.
Add the olive oil, vinegar (or lemon juice), sea salt and Tangy Citrus spice blend.
Taste the dish and add more sea salt, spice blend or vinegar to your taste.
This dish may be served warm, but I find it best if refrigerated and served cold.
* Note on vegetable selection: there are many veggies that we are used to eating cooked, but are fantastic raw as long as they are “young” and cut up small. For example, I’m a big fan of string beans, zucchini, small squashes and tender peas in salads and summer dishes like this confetti rice. Use your imagination!