Something Other Than the Same Old Rice as a Side Dish

Something Other Than Rice as a Side Dish

Every night it’s rice, or maybe potatoes if you can find someone to peel them for you. If you’d like something completely different for a change, here are some nutritious alternatives. All are easy to find in the supermarket or health food store, all are low in fat, and all quick and easy to make.

1 - Couscous - It cooks in 5 minutes. You can purchase this either plain or whole wheat. I like to toss it with sliced, stir fried mushrooms, and green peas. Couscous or kuskus is a pasta of North African origin and is widely served in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt. It is made of crushed steamed semolina.

2 - Bulgur - (also bulghur). It cooks in less than 20 minutes. This is a nutty-flavored fiber rich precooked whole grain. Not to be confused with cracked wheat. Although they both start out the same - as whole wheat berries, the processing is a bit different. For bulgur, the berries are parboiled, dried and chopped, thus making it a quick cooking option. For the cracked wheat, the berries are simply chopped. It is a parched and cracked hard-wheat and is commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes.

3 - Quinoa - (keen-wa) - This grain cooks in 12-15 minutes. It is lower in carbs and higher in protein than most. Quinoa was a staple of the ancient Incas and it means the mother of grains. Be sure to rinse thoroughly in cool water. Some recipes recommend toasting it in a skillet first. That's a personal taste choice. (see photo below of uncooked organic quinoa)

But if you just can’t give up rice you may want to try a different kind of rice. Here are some other rice suggestions:

1 - Jasmine - this long grain rice is sometimes known as Thai fragrant rice. It has a nutty aroma and is from Thailand.

2 - Basmati - this long grain rice is grown in India and Pakistan. It's name means the fragrant one in Sanskrit.

3 - Brown Rice - is unmilled or partly milled rice. It is a kind of whole grain that remains unbleached. It does take longer to cook than the other rices.

Easy way to cook couscous, quinoa and rice

You can save yourself a lot of time and aggravation by using a rice cooker. Found in every kitchen is S. Korea, I can’t imagine cooking my rice any other way. You measure the water, and the rice, add a pinch of salt, throw it in the cooker and forget about it. I have also used it to cook couscous, and quinoa. Perfect every time and the cooker keeps the rice warm during dinner time. The high end cookers can keep rice warm for up to 12 hours.

See link for other types of rice on the market

Uncooked Organic Quinoa

Source

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Comments 23 comments

jim10 profile image

jim10 7 years ago from ma

Thanks for the suggestions. I tried barley last week since we were trying new options. But, it was kind of gross. Maybe I will try some of these.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi jim10 - too bad about the barley but I know what you mean - it's just never right. The couscous I keep on hand - I like mixing peas, or tiny bits of chopped vegetables with it. It becomes a meal in itself.

Hope you like one or the other!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California

I love rice, but I welcome the opportunity to try something different. I have actually tried and like couscous Thanks for the suggestions. I will bookmark this hub, for future reference.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks fastfreta - I'm a rice lover too! I eat every kind of rice. I think I'm just getting bored with all foods and am looking for something new! Hope you like the others!


Chris Eddy111 profile image

Chris Eddy111 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Hey, Bk what happened to the veggies? I gave up rice but every now and then I have to have it because my mom cooks the best rice & peas. See, we're Jamaican so gotta have that rice & peas with chicken. We eat our island food when we can find it, like green bananas, plantain, yam and sweet potatoes as the side dish.

I've tried some of the other rice that you mentioned before too. Cool hub. Thanks.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Love the peas and rice and everything else with rice. Rarely a day without rice. Plaintain, sweet potatoes, yam. I live in Brooklyn (NYC) where I get to eat it all!

Can't give it up. But will try a few other side dishes. Living in S. Korea it was rice just about everyday - but I must say superior rices than what you find here in the US!

Good to talk to you and share!


krishnasumudra 7 years ago

While in South India meals cannot be imagined without rice. Basmati rice is something which is grown in areas like punjab But basmati rice is very expensive and so used in special rice recipes like biryani. Its very delicious in taste and talk about the aroma your neighbors will easily find that biryani is being prepared.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'm a big fan of basmati rice. Fortunately, I can find it here in Indian markets - otherwise it is overpriced in regular markets and so called health food stores.

I think the same can be said about daily rice in most of Africa and Asia. Our quality here in the USA is not as good, though.

Thanks for writing!


krishnasumudra 7 years ago

O that's great, so occasionally you try Indian dishes, so apart from rice did you experiment other dishes. I know Indian dishes are sometimes too hot to try, but in certain parts of India like Bangalore people prefer to prepare dishes that are not hot and spicy.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Love hot spicy Indian food - I am a big fan. I'm not a meat/chicken eater so I can enjoy all the vegetable dishes. And I love sweets so there are many sweet treats, including kulfi. Indian food is very popular in NYC and there is a giant supermarket named Patels to get all the fresh foods and basmati rice and spices. If it's a little too spicy hot then just a bit of yogurt cools it down!

My cousins just got back from visiting India and brought me lovely teas.

I love the healthy foods of India. I just have to visit now!


The Rope profile image

The Rope 6 years ago from SE US

Great options, appreciate the tips. I've been limited by the knowledge of "how to" and making too many messes. Thanks!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome The Rope! Glad the hub is useful. Variety is, after all, the spice of life! Thanks for commenting!


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Yes, you should BkCreative - visit India, I mean :)

Great options there. We use a whole lot of other grains as well like finger millet, pearl millet, sorghum as well as sago and tapioca.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Would love to visit India! One day I shall!

And I just read the most amazing things about sorghum - another product that is hard to find here. This is the great thing about being global - learning about real food and real health.

Thanks for the food list!


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

BkCreative, Nice suggestions! This gives me a few more side options for dinner! Thank you as always for sharing. Peace & Blessings!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome DeBorrah K. Ogans - it's nice to mix it up a bit. Always lovely to hear from you. Many thanks!


TheVacationLady profile image

TheVacationLady 6 years ago from Everywhere

ooooh I love ALL of these! Especially couscous!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

It's so good and great with mushrooms. Thanks for writing TheVacationLady - loved your Phuket hub!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for writing Veronica Trix. I eat so much rice - and love it - but change is good.


cheapsk8chick profile image

cheapsk8chick 5 years ago

Great hub! It's nice to be reminded of some of the options out there!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much cheapsk8chick for writing. I'm already one of your fans!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

My husband would eat rice every day if I let him - white rice. I try to mix it up with quino and brown rice. A few days ago I brought home barely for a soup and we both agreed it's a grain we'd forgotten about. Can't get into couscous and bulgar yet but maybe I just haven't found the right recipe.

Great hub


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So glad to hear your good news Danette Watt. Nothing like a little variety - so glad you wrote. Yay!

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