Sunday, June 7, 2009

Falling in Love with Leftover Rice

As I mentioned in the "Lunch!" post, I'm not a huge fan of leftovers. Don't get me wrong - I love the principle and the rationale. How great is it to cook one meal and get 2 or 3? Plus, it's obviously the best use of your time and money. However, I get bored easily. Warmed over lasagna for dinner, then lunch the next day, dinner the same night...ugh. Sounds awful (to me). What I'm now trying to do is look instead for recipes or foods that can be added to for an even better meal the next time around. Hence my new love for rice.

Rice is one of the cheapest and most versatile grains you can get. You can have it plain, have it with stir-fry, make sushi...the list goes on. And, if you eat brown rice, it's also one of the healthiest whole grains you can eat. 1 cup has a good percentage of your daily values for fiber, and has lots of minerals, like selenium and magnesium. But just like everything else, I get tired of eating plain ol' boring rice more than once in a day or two span. Recently though, I came across some fantastic ways to repurpose your leftover cooked rice!

*Use it as breakfast. Huh? Yeah, it sounds weird. But when you think about it, it's a grain just like oatmeal or cereal, and probably better for you. After reading Bethenny Frankel's "Naturally Thin", I decided I'd try it and I LOVED the recipe she used. Here's a video of her making it.

*Make fried rice. Here's a good recipe from Recycle This:

-1 green onion
-2 large eggs
-1 teaspoon salt
-Pepper to taste
-4 tablespoons oil
-4 cups cold cooked rice
-1 - 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Wash and finely chop the green onion. Lightly beat the eggs with the salt and pepper.

Heat a frying pan and add 2 tablespoons oil.
Add the rice. Stir-fry for a few minutes, using a wooden spoon to break it apart. Add the eggs. Cook, stirring, until they are only lightly scrambled.

Stir in the soy sauce as desired.
Stir in the green onion. Serve hot.

*Add to soup to make a heartier, healthier meal. Some soups are all liquid and no substance. You're hungry 30 minutes after you have a bowl of chicken noodle soup. By adding rice, you're adding filling fiber and whole grains.

*Make a delicious rice pudding. Add milk, raisins, a touch of vanilla extract, cinnamon, and sugar to leftover cooked rice. Put in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil, and then cover and reduce heat. Remove from heat after it starts to thicken up, around 7-10 minutes. There are a ton of recipes out there for rice pudding that use coconut milk, orange zest, dried cranberries - find one that sounds good to you!

YUM! Now it's time to start up the rice cooker!

1 comment:

  1. If you eat rice, but haven't made fried rice, you are missing out on an easy, tasty treat. It is quick and easy and can be enjoyed with stuff that is just hangin' around: eggs, green onions, (a regular onion in a pinch), lunch meat (ham) and frozen peas. YUMMY!