Good Question: Help Me Enjoy Brown Rice

Monica recently switched from white rice to brown, but she's not enjoying it very much! Can you help her liven up her rice?

Recently, as per my doctor's recommendations for a weight loss plan, I switched from white basmati rice to brown rice in my diet. I like being able to eat rice regularly but I don't like the taste of the brown rice. Do you have any ideas or suggestions for dressing up or flavoring brown rice? Preferably, I'd like something that doesn't add a whole lot of calories or fat to the rice.

Monica, brown rice is definitely better for you, with more fiber and nutrients. But it does have a nuttier flavor and texture, and it's very different from white rice in the way it tastes. What is it that you don't like about brown rice? Is it simply less familiar? Or are there tastes in it that you want to cancel out?

We find, first of all, that brown rice requires more salt than white rice. Try adding an extra 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the brown rice after it's cooked.

Then try experimenting with fresh herbs, which add no extra calories or fat. We love brown rice with herbs like cilantro, with a tiny drizzle of oil to make it all stick together!

Also try adding spices and ingredients that enhance the nutty flavor of brown rice. We like to add smoked paprika to many dishes; it's not too spicy, but it's deeply flavorful. Or add a teaspoon of miso paste to increase the umami factor.

And finally, if you want to create an entire dish out of brown rice, try one of these. The fried brown rice is one of our favorites; it doesn't use too much oil, and it can stand alone as a light vegetarian meal.

Recipe: Fried Brown Rice with Ginger and Scallions
Recipe: Brown Rice with Winter Squash and Cashews

Any other ideas for Monica?

Related: Good Question: Brown Rice Risotto?

(Image: Faith Durand)

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