Being of the whole grains are better grains persuasion, I don’t often use white rice. But this evening, I was doing a simple stir fry of bay scallops with onion, red bell pepper and baby spinach leaves with some bottled sauce, and the white rice just sounded better- and would cook faster than brown.
Here’s what I do: I add some other whole grains to the mix. Since I use one of the ‘Fuzzy Logic’ Rice Cookers, it’s all pretty automatic, but works simillarly enough to my old rice cooker for this purpose. You add X cups rice and/or other grains and then water or broth to the corresponding mark. Close lid. Push a button and wait for the dingaling. I keep the ratio to about 4 parts white rice to 1 part other grains.
I keep Quinoa and Amaranth on hand all the time. I add these to the white rice and don’t notice any discernible difference in looks, but a nicer, but subtle nutty flavor. These grains are often available in specialty markets or the natural foods aisle. They are also available in bulk bins more often these days.
One of the great things, doing it this way, is that even fussy kids aren’t going to notice the difference. Ah … Moms’. We’re a sneaky bunch.
Shown above: Red Quinoa. Also comes in different colors.
Shown below: Amaranth
Another grain I’ll sometimes add is quick cooking barley, or barley flakes ( which I’ve blogged about on here before). All of these grains add protein, fiber and micronutrients that bring a wealth of nutrition. You’ll not be sacrficing anything for the look and texture of white rice.
I also commonly add low sodium chicken or vegetable broth for extra flavor.
Rice is so wonderfully flexible that it will adapt to almost anything, and sometimes white rice is the best choice even when you’re trying to go whole grain. It’s nice to know how to amp it up.