Grain recipes include whole grain foods and refined grains like rice, quinoa, oatmeal, or couscous. Our grain recipes don’t include pasta (which has it’s own category). They do include couscous, although it’s technically a pasta. Flour is made from grains, and can be a whole grain food, but we put it in bread recipes.
With so many rice recipes out there, it’s no surprise that rice is one of the most consumed grains on the planet. Rice originated in Asia and Africa thousands of years ago, but today it’s cultivated on every continent except Antarctica, with 90 percent of the world’s crop currently produced in Asia. With its high nutritional value, more than two-thirds of the world’s population relies on rice as a dietary staple.
Though many people see rice as a rather bland side dish, it’s actually a healthy grain and a valuable part of a balanced diet. With approximately 100 calories per 125 ml serving, it’s free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Rice is easily digestible, making it suitable for all ages and individuals with sensitive digestive systems and its naturally mild flavour is a suitable complement to many dishes.
There are several different types of rice you can use in your recipes. While they can generally be used interchangeably, it should be noted that cooking times and techniques may vary and recipes are usually composed with one type of rice in mind. Types of rice include white rice, brown rice and wild rice which has a rich, nutty flavour often considered a delicacy.
Rice recipes will vary in how you prepare the rice. In some instances, rice can be boiled, soaked, or steamed via microwave, stovetop, or specialized cookers. Dry rice triples in size when cooked, so take care to choose an appropriately sized container for preparation. Rice does not need to be rinsed or washed prior to cooking – indeed, washing enriched rice may remove the added nutrients and diminish the nutritional value. To prevent steam from escaping, always cook rice while covered and fluff with a fork or slotted spoon when finished. To make less sticky rice, sauté the grains briefly in butter before adding the liquid. To reheat cooked rice, add a tablespoon or two of additional liquid.