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Cooking with Rice

Delicious whole grain rice recipes that are rich in fiber and low in fat, including recipes for jambalaya, porcini mushroom risotto, tomato pesto risotto, broccoli and cheese pie, and southwestern salad.

| April/May 1993

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    A tasty wild rice salad is just one of the healthy recipes you can make with rice.
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    Jambalaya is so good.
  • 137-031-03
    Risotto is the perfect side dish.

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It will come as no surprise to any member of my family that I'm writing about rice, one of my favorite foods. I was the "Queen of Rice" growing up, never tiring of ol' "Uncle Ben." I despised eggs for breakfast, and preferred a bowl of hot rice and milk topped with butter and cinnamon-sugar. My mother seldom had the time for special orders, so I looked forward to overnight visits at my grandparents who would spoil me with my breakfast treat.

While I was obsessing over rice, my baby brother was "Prince of Pasta," throwing a fit if he missed his daily fix of noodles or spaghetti. Young children seem to develop carbohydrate addictions, perhaps because children listen to their body's needs over its desires. I've never had a preschooler approach me with, "Boy, I sure could go for a 16-ounce steak!" It'll take a few years of fast food conditioning before a child's desires turn to beef.

Young (and old) bodies need a diet rich in complex, unrefined carbohydrates. Our American diets have, however, have given us an overabundance of protein; only vegetarians, body builders, and pregnant women should be overly concerned about their protein intake. Instead we could benefit by consuming more grains such as rice, which is the staple food of over half of the world's people.

Grains were once the dieter's forbidden food. (No starchy foods allowed!) However, we are now finding that because whole grains are rich in fiber and low in fat, they are excellent foods for weight watchers. Carbohydrates burn more calories than protein because up to one-third of the carbohydrates aren't digested and are excreted, unabsorbed. So some of the carbohydrate calories that you eat don't count. Complex carbohydrates are also high in fiber which fills you up so you eat less—not to mention the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Rice bran has been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect similar to oat bran.

With all of the choices of different types of rice, and so many interesting and flavorful varieties available on the market, we don't have to get stuck in a rice rut with plain old white rice anymore.

Types of Rice


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