Beet-GoatIf whole grain rice isn’t already a staple of your diet, there’s good evidence it should be. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and satiating fiber, just 1 cup of brown rice is a good source of B vitamins and provides 27% of your daily need of immune-fortifying selenium and 88% of manganese, which supports brain and nerve function. The good news doesn’t stop there: Studies show that whole grain rice reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, aids in weight control, and may help prevent certain cancers. Rice may be common, but rice dishes don’t have to be boring. In fact, there’s a world of options for cooking it. Get started with these recipes.

Garden Wild Rice

Makes 4 servings

1⁄2 cup wild riceGarden-Wild-Rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup pea pods
1 cup roast chicken, cut into cubes
1 avocado, cubed
1⁄2 cup red grapes, halved
1⁄3 cup pecans
1⁄4 cup bottled balsamic vinaigrette
1⁄4 cup feta cheese


Cook rice with broth according to package directions.
In a separate pot, add pea pods to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge pods into ice water to stop cooking and when cool, cut in half.
In a large bowl, add rice, pea pods, chicken, avocado, grapes, pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette. Mix well. Sprinkle feta cheese on top.

TD&N Nutrient Analysis: Calories: 364; Total Fat: 22 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g; Cholesterol: 38 mg; Sodium: 519 mg; Carbohydrates: 27 g; Fiber: 6 g; Protein: 18 g

COOKING WELLSweet-Pea
Three must-know tips for perfect rice every time
1) The right ratio is generally 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. During cooking, if your rice looks dry but isn’t done, add more water; if the rice is done but soupy, drain excess water with a mesh strainer.
2) Rice cookers are ideal for hands-off, set-itand-forget-it cooking. The device cooks the rice completely, then shuts off automatically to a warm setting to keep rice ready to eat. Because of its tight seal, you’ll need to use slightly less water when cooking.
3) For a complete how-to, refer to cookbooks catering to the joy of rice, including The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook (www.harvardcommonpress.com) and Roger Ebert’s The Pot and How to Use It (www.andrewsmcmeel.com).

READY RICE
Rice comes in many forms, and eating a variety will keep your taste buds happy and your heart healthy. Here’s a primer on some popular types:
  • Brown short grain: Use it in dishes that call for a creamy texture, such as desserts, puddings, paella, and risotto.
  • Brown medium and long grain: With fluffier grains, these are well suited to pilafs, salads, and stir-fries.Veggie-Stir-Fry
  • Brown basmati or jasmine: With a subtle aromatic fragrance, these are good choices for side dishes and desserts.
  • Wild rice: Technically a seed (but considered a whole grain), it goes best in soups, stews, pilafs, salads, and sides.
  • Himalayan/Bhutanese red rice: With a lovely red color and nutty flavor when cooked, it combines well with other grains, such as wild rice in pilafs, and goes well alongside pork or lamb dishes. (Note: Use 11⁄2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice during cooking.)
  • Purple Thai rice and Chinese black rice: High in antioxidants and sweeter in flavor, these impart a deep reddish-blue and purple hue, respectively, when cooked. They’re best in fruity desserts but also pair well with savory dishes.