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brown riceMany of us prefer, if not love, white rice by default. We didn’t know other rices existed because we were never offered them. Heck, it’s only relatively recently that other rices were brought to our attention. This scenario was fine and dandy until we realized that white rice is neither nutritious nor readily digestible.

If you read white rice label, you’ll find that many appear nutritious because they are “fortified,” which is a fancy way of saying that powdered nutrients are added to them. The problem is that those nutrients (e.g. the powder coating) washes off pretty easily. More often than not, depending on how your prepare white rice, you’re left with the stripped down and questionably nutritious seed.

Enter brown rice, stage left. Not only is brown rice more nutritious, it’s also easier to digest and is considered more beneficial in numerous ways (Google it!). If you were raised on or around brown rice, well, I’m jealous! Of course I’m jealous as an adult who enjoys brown rice. Goodness knows that the child version of me may or may not have wanted or liked brown rice, but let’s not dwell on that. My point is that most of us were raised on, and thus learned to prefer, white rice. For the longest time and still today, it’s everywhere you look. The good news is that times are a’ changin’ and brown rice is “cropping” up more and more (heeHEE: cropping).

Anyhoo…before you lose patience with my “ode” to brown rice, let me say that it ends with very simple and easy recipes! These are aimed at everyone from the brown rice averse to the brown rice aficionados who are looking to add a bit of healthy “jazz” to plain brown rice! So, here goes. Recipes numero undici, dodici, e tredici…

CILANTRO BROWN RICE

Ingredients: ~4 cups dry brown rice, ~1/2 cup fresh cilantro [optional: olive oil, sea salt]

Preparation: Cook rice to desired doneness (tip: rice cookers rock!). While cooking, dice (or process) cilantro. When rice is done, mix in cilantro and let sit (covered) for a few minutes. Stir as needed. Serve. (fyi: replace fresh cilantro with your favored fresh herb to personalize your flavor) [optional: Lightly drizzle olive oil and/or add a dash of sea salt to each plated serving.]

GARLIC BROWN RICE

Ingredients: ~4 cups brown rice, ~1/8 cup fresh garlic or garlic powder (tip: use garlic powder to reduce sharpness of flavor and smell) [optional: olive oil, sea salt]

Preparation: Cook rice to desired doneness. When rice is done, mix in garlic (if fresh, let sit, covered, for a few minutes). Serve. (fyi: replace garlic with your favored fresh or powdered root vegetable–e.g. onion, ginger, etc–to personalize your flavor) [optional: Lightly drizzle olive oil and/or add a dash of sea salt to each plated serving.]

BALSAMIC BROWN RICE

Ingredients: ~4 cups brown rice, ~1/4 cup balsamic vinegar [optional: olive oil, sea salt]

Preparation: Cook rice to desired doneness. When rice is done, mix in balsamic vinegar. Serve. (fyi: replace balsamic with your favored vinegar to personalize your flavor) [optional: Lightly drizzle olive oil and/or add a dash of sea salt to each plated serving.]

It bears mentioning that in each of the recipes, the optional drizzle of olive oil and dash of sea salt really add to and tie together the overall flavor. Enjoy! 😀

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