Let’s talk about rice. We all know rice is one of the well-utilized carbohydrate options that most of us eat on the daily. However, plain steamed gets boring real quick, no matter how crafty you get with the condiments. I put together 5 of the MANY rice recipes that I like to make, depending on what food I’m eating with it. Let’s get started.
If you’re heavy in the potato, sweet potato, pasta rotation because rice is boring, I get it. I am going to solve that issue for you today and share a few reasons you should show rice a little love:
- Family Win: the whole house (including my picky toddler) is into it
- Versatility: you can add it to anything, or add anything to it.
- Affordable: It’s pretty cheap for a huge bag to keep on hand, and you don’t have to worry about spoilage.
Game Changer: Toasting the Rice
Toasting the dry rice works similarly to toasting nuts, it just brings out the natural flavor so you can appreciate it a bit more. In addition to toasting it, I use bone broth to cook it. Bone broth adds additional protein and is excellent for your gut health. If you want to shed a couple extra calories, fat free broth or water will work too.
Any oil will work, but some of my favorites include coconut, extra virgin olive, avocado, butter or ghee. I will list my personal favorites for each variation, but you can use ANY of them.
As long as you stay away from short grain, or instant, you’re in good shape. My personal favorites: For flavor – Jasmine and for fiber – brown.
Let’s dig into some of the many, many, many ways you can shake rice up so you can actually be excited about what you’re eating.
Standard pilaf is basically rice, toasted with onion and steamed with less liquid than usual to make a fluffier consistency. This will be the base recipe listed below that you will work off of for each variation. I made a couple quick changes to a recipe I found on the Kitchn
This is a quick fix that I like to use when adding rice to Mexican dishes. If you have avocado oil, it’s my favorite with this recipe. For this variation, add finely diced bell pepper to the onion sauté before the rice goes in. 3 Tablespoons of low sodium taco seasoning will also be added after the broth before bringing it to a boil. Sprinkle with cilantro and squeeze some lime juice over top and you’re good to go!
What makes this French? A mirepoix (pronounced meer-pwah), otherwise known as an onion, celery and carrot combo. Half a cup of each is all you need to totally transform the flavor. I added the veggies to the butter (my favorite with this variation) base before toasting the rice. Add a sprig of fresh thyme and a clove of minced garlic to the broth and remove the thyme when you fluff the pilaf.
1/4 cup of pesto sauce added to the pilaf after it’s done is all you need here. Whether you use homemade, or jarred, it’s amazing and easy. I like to do this with leftovers so the next night isn’t an exact replica of the previous dinner. You can also toss in leftover veggies for a total change up!
This is one of my absolute favorites. It’s basically a dumbed down version of my chicken fried rice that I have about once a month. Add 1 cup of frozen peas and carrots to the avocado oil base before toasting.
After the pilaf is fully cooked and fluffy, move the rice to the outside, creating a well in the center. Add 3/4 cup liquid egg whites to the center and scramble. Once the egg whites are cooked, stir into rice and combine, then add 3 Tbsp. coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil. Now have a great side dish for beef and broccoli with extra protein!
Get Cooking and Share the Love
Please tag me in your IG stories or posts if you make this and love it. Also pin it or share it with friends and family. I still hear too often that people don’t have the time or money to eat healthy and delicious, let’s change that! Comment below any variations you make or future recipe suggestions!
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