Brown Rice is On the Menu
Did you know?
Rice is a symbol of life and fertility, which led to the tradition of throwing rice at weddings.
Today I want to share a great way to make brown rice because it is such a staple for me (and can be for you) on this diet. Not only is it delicious, but filling and very healthy. Whole grains are one of the Four Food Groups on a plant-based diet, and brown rice is one of those whole grains. Rather than create one long post with the recipe and all the details, I’ve posted the Easy Brown Rice in the Recipe section with the whys and wherefores of Whole Grains in the Nutrition section. I hope you will read both. Understanding WHY whole grains are good for you just makes your choice a lot easier, and it lets you know what is and what is not whole grain. But here’s a little something extra about brown rice, specifically, and why we choose it (or other colorful rice varieties) over white rice.
What’s so great about brown rice?
For starters, white rice is refined, with the germ and bran removed — just like white flour. Whole-grain rice is usually brown – but, unknown to many, can also be black, purple, red or any of a variety of exotic hues. Brown rice, black rice, and wild rice are whole grain products — white rice is not.
Studies indicate that whole grain brown rice may do the following:
• cut diabetes risk
• lower cholesterol
• helped maintain a healthy weight
In addition, rice is one of the most easily-digested grains – one reason rice cereal is often recommended as a baby’s first solid.
To be sure you are getting the right product, the term “brown rice” is always whole grain, as are most other colored rices, such as black rice or red rice.
And . . . what you won’t see in this blog is any talk about calories, but what we will share is information on the recommended number of servings in the Four Food Groups — and it’s not do-or-die. If you eat a little more of this and a little less of that, but you are getting a variety each day, that’s the key. And just one cup of cooked brown rice provides two of three daily whole-grain servings. So you will find it’s easier than you think to eat right and get fit.
One more thing . . . it’s not a recipe, but here is my go-to meal for brown rice:
When I’m busy and don’t have time to cook something up (which happens often), I take my prepared brown rice out of the fridge, open a can of black beans (rinsed & drained) and a can of Mexicorn (drained). I scoop what I want of each ingredient into a bowl (for microwave heating) or into a saucepan (to warm on the stove) and heat to serving temperature. I also like to add a little salsa . . . and if I have it on hand, a scoop of chismol (recipe to come later, fabulous!). It’s also excellent if you have some chopped up veggies on hand, or throw in some fresh, chopped spinach.
You can vary the ingredients according to your personal taste.
Now, for company, place a lovely bowl of warm brown rice on the table, complimented by a heaping bowl of black beans, and smaller bowls of different vegetables. The idea is to make a bed of rice on the plate, topped by the beans and vegetable of choice. For the “dressing” you can offer salsa, a balsamic vinegar, or “safe” dressing of choice (more on “safe” foods later).
And before closing, I’ll just say — you can begin a plant-based diet today, just by consciously reducing the animal-based foods in your diet and incorporating more plant-based foods. Yes, we will talk more about the 28-Day Fresh Start and how to approach it, but you can start wrapping your mind around it today.
Guest blogger tomorrow!
Information on brown rice thanks to Whole Grain Council