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

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 ( and Roger Ebert’s The Pot and How to Use It (

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.