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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
A Guide to Asian Rice
- A Guide to Asian Rice
Rice is the world's second largest food crop and is a main source of nourishment for over one half of the world's population. It is a cereal grain and one variant of the plant, Oryza sativa. In preparing an...