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Originally published Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at 7:01 PM

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Recipes: Brown-Rice Salad with Spinach and Tomatoes, Black-Bean and Brown-Rice Cakes and One-pot chicken and Brown Rice

Everyday Food, a Martha Stewart publication, gives these recipes for using brown rice — Brown-Rice Salad with Spinach and Tomatoes, Brown-Rice Cakes and One-Pot Chicken and Brown Rice.

Unlike white rice, brown rice retains the nutritious bran and germ covering of the rice grain. This gives it a chewy texture, a nutty aroma and plenty of essential nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc. Brown rice also contains three times the amount of fiber as white rice.

Find brown rice in packages or in the bulk section of the supermarket alongside white rice. Brown rice is more perishable than white rice but will keep for up to 6 months if stored in an airtight container. For longer storage, freeze in a resealable freezer bag for up to 1 year.

To cook Brown Rice

For 3 cups of cooked rice, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in 1 cup brown rice and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Cover and simmer over low until rice is tender, about 40 minutes.

Brown rice can be used almost anywhere you'd use white rice: with stir-fries, in pilafs and salads, with beans, or simmered with chicken.

Brown-Rice Salad with Spinach and Tomatoes

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon sugar

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Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 cups cooked brown rice (see above)

1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced

2 cups baby spinach

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, dill, garlic and sugar. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add rice, cucumber, spinach and tomatoes and toss to combine.

This recipe makes enough to serve four as a main course. The patties also can be served as appetizers or vegetarian burgers for eight.

Black-Bean and Brown-Rice Cakes

Makes 4 servings

2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained

2 large scallions, coarsely chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 cup cooked brown rice (see above)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus leaves for serving

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, pulse half the beans with scallions, jalapeño and cumin until a chunky paste forms. In a large bowl, combine bean purée with rice and remaining beans; season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture into eight 3-inch-wide patties. (To freeze, wrap individually in plastic and freeze up to 2 weeks; thaw before cooking.)

2. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with oil; place in oven to heat, about 5 minutes. Carefully place patties on hot sheet; bake until bottoms are golden brown, about 10 minutes to 12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let patties rest on sheet 5 minutes before removing.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve patties topped with yogurt sauce and cilantro leaves.

A great dish for the whole family, this all-in-one meal is a smart way to use up the vegetables you probably already have on hand. Swapping brown rice for white in a chicken casserole adds hearty flavor — and a dose of fiber and vitamins.

One-Pot chicken and Brown Rice

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (6 to 8 ounces each)

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 large yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges

2 celery stalks cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

2 medium carrots cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 bay leaf

1 cup brown rice

1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place, skin side down, in pot. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10 to 12 minutes. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot; add onion and celery. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes.

2. Add carrots, bay leaf and 1 3/4 cups water; stir in rice and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until rice absorbs almost all the liquid, about 40to 45 minutes. Let stand, covered, for about 10 minutes before serving.

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