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Brown Is Beautiful

Brown Is Beautiful

Making the switch from white to brown rice.

by Elana Mizrahi

A lot of people are hesitant to try to prepare healthy dishes. A common complaint I've heard is that, "My family won't eat it." Or, "I don't know how." It's true that when it comes to food people, especially children, are weary of change. But healthy cooking doesn't mean you have to make drastic changes. You can start with something simple, like switching from white to brown rice.

The process of converting brown rice to white rice destroys the majority of the vitamins B3, B1, and B6 naturally found in rice, and half of the manganese, phosphorus, and iron, as well as all the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. By making the switch to brown rice, you'll be serving your family a dish rich in vital nutrients.

You can also replace your rice recipes with quinoa, a seed with a fluffy, nutty texture that is high in complete protein (meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids), manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorous. Or give whole wheat bulgur a try which is also rich in magnesium, manganese, dietary fiber, and vitamin E.

Arroz Mexicano

1 cup of brown rice
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp dried parsley or cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 Tbs canola oil
2 cups of water

Sauté the onion and garlic in 1Tbs of oil over med-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the tomato, spices, and rice. Stir and continue to sauté for another minute. Add the two cups of water, cover and bring to boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and leave, covered until all the water is absorbed. Turn off heat and let sit 5 minutes before serving (To reheat, add a little bit of water to the rice and reheat over medium heat). Great served alongside chicken, fish, or beans.

Bulgur Pinenut Pilaf
A great side dish when you're in a hurry.

1 cup of whole wheat bulgur
1/4 tsp of salt
Water
1 onion thinly sliced
1 tsp canola oil
3 Tbs pine nuts

Pour enough water over the bulgur so that it covers it by about a 1/2 inch. Stir in salt and bring to boil. Cover and turn down heat to low. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, until all water is absorbed.

Sauté the onion and pinenuts until the onion is soft.

Before serving spoon the onion and pinenut mixture on top. Bulgur can be made in advance and reheated over low heat.

You can also do this with almond halves instead of the pinenuts.

Greek Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp zatar (or dried oregano)
1/4 tsp salt
8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cucumber, diced
4 pitted black olives, sliced
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
100 g/3.5 oz feta or Bulgarian cheese
Olive oil

To prepare the quinoa, bring the water to a boil and put in the quinoa. Stir in the salt and zatar and cover. Reduce heat to low until all the water evaporates. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover to allow the quinoa to cool.

In the meantime, prepare the cumber, olives, and onion. Mix in the quinoa. Crumble the cheese into the mixture. Arrange the tomatoes on top and drizzle olive oil.

Chinese Brown Rice

1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 Tbs canola oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 carrot, cut lengthwise into 4 and then chopped.
1/4 frozen peas
2 Tbs low-sodium tamari Soya sauce
1 Tbs sesame seed oil
1/4 cashews, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan over medium heat or in the oven
Sesame seeds for garnish

Prepare the rice by bringing the water and rice to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low until all the water evaporates.

Saute the onion and garlic in 1 tbs of canola oil until soft. Add rice, carrot, and peas. Continue to sauté another 3 minutes. Add soy sauce. Continue to cook another minute. Add sesame seed oil, cashews, and sesame seeds and serve hot.

Quinoa with Zatar and Olive oil

1 cup of quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbs olive oil
1 crushed garlic
1 tsp zatar

Bring the water to a boil.

As the water is boiling, saute the garlic in olive oil for a minute over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and zatar and continue to sauté for another minute. Add the quinoa mixture to the boiling water and cover. Reduce heat to low and cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Published: May 17, 2008


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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) rachel, May 21, 2008 2:05 AM

Brown rice recipes

The above recipes sounds really good. My husband and I just started a whole wheat and no sugar diet. If anyone has recipes that would really be helpful. thank you.

(3) Debby Gilden, May 18, 2008 8:46 AM

GF cholent with brown rice

for a gluten free cholent substitute short grain brown rice for barley, as the cooked texture is similar.

(2) Imanonov, May 18, 2008 7:06 AM

Warning: Brown Rice needs better checking for worms

Brown (unpolished) rice is much more likely to harbour an internal investation of the rice weevil which lives in its larvae state inside the rice kernal, than (polished) white rice. Rice is often fumigated whilst the infestation is still inside the rice, killing the larvae or pupa. When rice is polished it passes through machinery which forcefully scrapes off the outer surface of the rice. This process is so forceful that if the rice is either hollow or brittle due to the presence (past or present) of larvae, it simply crumbles and breaks into pieces. Those pieces will be removed during the sifting which follows. All that does not happen to brown rice even if it comes from a reputable source. Please ask your Rabbi how to check it

(1) Avrohom Lukacs, May 18, 2008 5:10 AM

Eating Brown Rice

I eat brown rice, almost every day. I am a Diabetic, and for me it is healthy to eat brown rice than white rice. My family, makes me each week, all kinds of recipes which includes brwon rice, and I am grateful for that.

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