8 Flavors of Rice

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Coconut rice, Indian spice rice, pineapple lime rice, chicken rice, spicy green rice, Mexican  rice, soy ginger rice, lemon dill rice

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I rarely make plain white rice, it never was a staple in my household. I have very much trying simple add-ins to make basic rice more flavorful as well as coming up with different options for vegetables to load up the rice with and make it more healthy/nutritious. Most of the recipes below show 2 options for each rice flavor, 1 for the simple rice, and 1 that includes add-ins to mix in with the rice or cook with the rice.

 

Coconut Rice

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This has long been one of my favorite side dishes. It is sweet and absolutely delicious. I love how easy it is to make!

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white or Jasmine rice
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
  • Splash of white vinegar
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • Handful of chopped green onions for garnish
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Combine rice, coconut milk, water, salt, vinegar, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil
  • Turn heat to low and cover for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Allow to stand 5 minutes.
  • Add green onions, black pepper (if desired), and additional salt if necessary.

Add-in version

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  • For add-ins I sauteed 2 small yellow squash and 1/2 cauliflower head (both chopped) until tender, then threw in some snap peas (~1 cup) at the end (since they take less time to cook).
  • After the rice was cooked, I mixed these vegetables into the rice

 

Indian Spice Rice

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I make this dish frequently. It is such a delicious way to pack in lots of veggies and makes the house smell amazing. This is just a very simple set of spices to try out that turns out well, it is very easy to try adding different quantities of other spices.

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tbs cumin seeds (if you don’t have these just add extra ground cumin)
  • 2 cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (change the amount of cayenne to suit your spiciness preference)
  • 4 cups water

Directions:

  •  Heat olive oil and cumin seeds in a large pot until cumin is fragrant
  • Add uncooked rice and all the spices. Stir rice to coat with spices and toast ~2 minutes.
  • Add water, bring to a simmer, cover the pot and cook ~20 minutes until rice soaks up all the water. Stir occasionally to keep bottom from burning. If rice is still slightly hard, add more water 1/4 cup at a time to reach desired consistency.

Add-in version

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I never make this dish without veggie add-ins! As opposed to some of these rice dishes, I add the veggies during the cooking process instead of at the end.

  • When I add lots of veggies I double the spices added (so 2 tbs curry powder, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tbs salt, 1/2 tsp cayenne)
  • Veggies I used – 1 onion, 1 green bell pepper, 1 small head broccoli, 1/2 head cauliflower, handful green beans, handful peas
  • Heat olive oil, onion, and cumin seeds in a large pot until cumin is fragrant
  • Add chopped veggies (except peas) and all spices. Stir for ~5 minutes to begin cooking the vegetables.
  • Add the rice and peas. Stir to coat rice with spice and toast for ~2 minutes.
  • Add the water, bring to a simmer, cover, simmer about 20 minutes until rice is cooked through. Add more water as needed 1/4 cup water at a time.

Pineapple Lime Rice

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This sweet and citrusy rice dish is a great accompaniment to all kinds of different different grilled meat or you can add meat in directly to make this a main dish. The flavors here are great, and again this rice is so easy to make!

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups long grain rice
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tbs butter
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 3 chopped green onions

Directions:

  • Combine rice, pineapple, water, butter, lime zest, and salt into a pot. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is soft. Stir occasionally to make sure the rice on bottom doesn’t burn. Add more water if needed (the rice starts to burn or you run out of liquid before the rice is soft).
  • To cooked rice, add chopped cilantro, lime juice, and green onions, stir to mix.

Add-in version

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  • I added some veggies to this dish by sauteing 1 orange bell pepper and a handful of green beans (both chopped) with a bit of olive oil and salt ahead of time and mixing them in after the rice was cooked.

 

Chicken Rice

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Using stock (chicken, beef, vegetable) instead of just water to cook rice is an extremely easy way to add some flavor to plain old rice. For the add-ins I used classic soup vegetables that pair well with the chicken stock flavor. Depending on the flavor strength of the bouillon you use you may want to do 1.5x or 2x the needed amount for the water in this recipe to give it extra flavor, especially if you’re adding vegetables. You can also certainly use actual chicken stock instead of bouillon!

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • chicken bouillon (optional: double the amount needed for 4 cups water)

Directions:

  •  Add rice, water, and bouillon to a pot. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for ~20 minutes until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally.

Add-in version

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  • I used carrots, onions, celery (chopped somewhat small to help with cooking time), and sliced mushrooms.
  • Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add water and bouillon, bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add rice and another 1/2 cup water. Simmer for ~20 minutes, or until rice is cooked.

Spicy Green Rice

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This is the only recipe where I did mix in any add-ins because I included the peppers and zucchini in the base recipe. This turned out delicious! I enjoy this method of blending up vegetables to add to the rice and might play around with this even more.

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 14 oz vegetable broth
  • 2 poblano peppers, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 3 serrano peppers, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped (the amount of serranos can be adjusted depending on spiciness preference, using 3 made it fairly spicy. You can also substitute jalapeno peppers if you prefer)
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice

Directions:

  •  Add peppers and zucchini to vegetable stock in a pot, bring to a simmer, simmer for 15 min
  • Pour peppers, zucchini, and stock into a blender. Add cilantro, garlic, and salt and blend together until not chunky.
  • Heat oil over medium-high  heat, add onions and cook until tender, add rice and toast for ~2 minutes. Pour pepper mixture into the pan, bring to a boil then simmer for ~20 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.  (add more water if needed)

Add-in version

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  • I ended up not adding any additional vegetables to this dish since I blended the zucchini up with the peppers, but it would be easy to saute some bell pepper, more zucchini or squash, or a variety of other veggies and stir them into the mix.

 

Mexican Rice

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The simple version is a take on classic Mexican rice you get at restaurants. Tomatoes and spices add a great flavor to the rice.

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  •  Put all ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 min until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally to make sure the bottom rice doesn’t burn.

Add-in version

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This recipe makes a great base for adding in all kinds of veggies.

  • Cooked with the rice – 1 chopped onion, 3 minced cloves garlic, 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup frozen corn kernals, 1 cup diced carrots
  • Added into the rice after cooking – 2 chopped Roma tomatoes, chopped cilantro
  • I doubled the spices from the recipe above
  • Heat 1 tbs olive oil over medium-high heat in a pot. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in rice and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato sauce, vegetable broth, corn, carrots, peas, and spices. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer ~20 minutes until rice is cooked through
  • Stir in chopped tomatoes and garnish with cilantro

Soy Ginger Rice

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Delicious Asian flavors make this rice awesome. This is an alternative to making fried rice where you add already cooked rice in with the stir-fry.

Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbs sherry
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs Sriracha
  • 1 tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup uncooked rice

Directions:

  •  Mix all ingredients into a pot. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for ~20 minutes until rice is cooked. Add more water if needed, stir occasionally.

Add-in version

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  • You can load this recipe up with tons of veggies and they taste great! I added: 2 cloves garlic, 1 red bell pepper, 1 head cauliflower, 1 head broccoli, 1 carrot, a handful of snap peas, 1 can of cut baby corn.
  • Double the sauce ingredients if you are adding several vegetables. (double soy sauce, sriracha, brown sugar, ginger, and sherry).
  • Option 1: cook plain rice and mix into stir-fried veggies with more sauce to make fried rice
  • Option 2: Cook rice alone in the sauce as in the simple version, stir-fry the veggies in more of the sauce and add them into the rice after they are cooked
  • Option 3: Stir-fry veggies in pot with sauce, add rice and water and simmer until rice is cooked. Directions: heat 1 tbs sesame oil in pot. Add garlic and cook till fragrant. Add all veggies and the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, sriracha, and ginger. Stir fry until veggies almost cooked. Add the rice and water, simmer 20 minutes until the rice is cooked through.

Lemon Dill Rice

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Simple version

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • chopped fresh dill
  • chopped green onions

 

Directions:

  •  heat olive oil in a pot, add lemon zest, rice, and turmeric, stir to coat.
  • Add vegetable stock, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes until rice is cooked through.
  • Mix in dill and green onions.

Add-in version

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  • For this rice I added some garlic and onions in while cooking and then afterwards stirred in some dried cranberries, cherry tomatoes, and pine nuts.
  • Before adding lemon zest, rice, and turmeric, add onions and garlic to the oil and cook for a few minutes, then proceed with the rest of the recipe
  • Add in other components after rice is cooked.

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