On brown rice

Plain brown rice can be pretty bad.  But mixed brown rice is wonderful.  Since #1 can no longer eat white rice because of her insulin resistance, she’s become something of a connoisseur.

This stuff is good and is what we get at our local grocery (it’s in the fru-fru aisle, not with the other rices).  TJ’s has some California blends that are similar and Whole Foods has a similar blend in its bulk aisle.

We also like quinoa quite a bit.

If you have leftover brown rice, it might be better as fried rice or in something like soup or a fritatta.

#2 hates brown rice.  HATES IT, MY PRECIOUSSSSS.  Also wild rice.  That stuff’s not fit for birds.   Yukk.  Quinoa is ok though.

What are your favorite grains?  Have you tried fancy mixed brown rice?

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47 Responses to “On brown rice”

  1. Foscavista Says:

    Although not a rice, what your feelings about cous cous?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      All pasta is good. :) When #1 is eating wheat (which she hopes to do again someday), she gets whole wheat cous cous. It’s nice because you can cook it in 10 min, which is far less than the 45 min required by brown rice.

  2. Perpetua Says:

    We eat a lot of brown rice. We don’t love it, but we eat it. All smothered with other yummy things, you don’t notice so much. I just made a brown-wild rice casserole with sour cream and cremini mushrooms and it was divine. I’ve been trying to experiment with more grains (or grainesque things) – couscous is great, also quinoa; I love buckwheat (crepes/pancakes). I’m all about the bulk aisle at WF.

  3. First Gen American Says:

    My family are not fans of whole grain rice or pasta. I’d probably eat a lot more of it if it were just me. That stuff you linked to does look like a pack of wild bird seed.

  4. julier Says:

    My husband is newly gluten intolerant and has given up wheat, so we have been experimenting quite a bit with different grains. One of my favorites is millet. Lightly toasted and the cooked like rice, it has a texture a bit like couscous. It is awesome in a dish with onions, carrots, raisins, and some spices. Also, TJ’s has spaghetti made from corn which was yummy with sort of a southwestern style tomato sauce. I’m not a fan of wild rice, but brown rice if yummy. I would eat more of it if only it didn’t take so freakin’ long to cook.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      WTH is up with this newly gluten intolerant thing? I HATE IT.

      With me, I feel like I can EITHER be insulin resistant OR I can be gluten intolerant. Both is killing me.

      Still hoping it goes away when the pregnancy is over.

      • julier Says:

        In M’s case, the gluten intolerance probably isn’t new, but the awareness of it is. His mom was recently diagnosed with Celiac’s. He realized he had similar symptoms and decided to give up wheat. Symptoms improve when he abstains and return with a vengeance when he doesn’t.

        Pregnancy is kind of like being parasitized . Fingers crossed that your overall metabolism improves once your parasite becomes free living.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        One of my (not pregnant) friends suddenly became intolerant… she had probably always been a little intolerant, but suddenly started getting really scary symptoms. After ruling out cancer, and some other scary possibilities, her big city doctor recommended trying to abstain from wheat and it worked. Luckily she lives in a city with a ton of great mostly gluten-free Asian food options.

  5. bogart Says:

    I prefer white rice but try to eat brown when it is in things where its brownness doesn’t bother me. Those do exist; one that works well for me is a mix (one-dish meal) of chicken, spinach, brown rice, and curry. It’s also OK together with some sort of sausage (links, cut up), apples, and raisins, particularly if the sausage is fatty enough to share some flavor with the rice. Brown rice sushi? Ugh, ugh, ugh.

    I’m fine with quinoa and couscous (love the ease of prep of the latter). And my mother makes wonderful, wonderful turkey (and chicken) soups involving all sorts of veggies, brown rice, and barley. Really the perfect thing for a cold rainy day or if you are sick. I can make them also, but I usually don’t, and in fact I probably have 8 (?) servings of her soup in my freezer right now.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The brown rice they use with sushi is often bad quality. We went to a place in Santa Monica once that had great quality brown rice sushi. It makes a world of difference. Though sushi rice is generally not as bad as regular white rice because they balance it with vinegar.

      • bogart Says:

        Ah, that may be true. I think the brown-rice sushi I had came from WholeFoods, where sushi is one of my go-to “grab a lunch” options. Honestly, I like white-rice sushi enough (mmmm….) that I think I’ll just stick with what I know and like.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        WF brown rice sushi is soggy. Blech. I don’t think they even use sushi rice, just cheap brown rice (of the kind that makes people dislike brown rice).

      • bogart Says:

        Yes, that’s probably right. I turn to them for convenience, not quality. Well, they’ve got some pretty decent cheeses, but sushi, not so much.

  6. scantee Says:

    “#2 hates…wild rice.”

    This is the craziest shit I ever read. #2 doesn’t like wild rice soup? Isn’t #2 “supposedly” from the midwest?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      #2 has some weird food dislikes. She’s been gradually growing out of many of them– in high school she didn’t like guacamole!

      • Linda Says:

        I didn’t like guacamole when I was growing up, and then I tried some *real* guacamole made at a Mexican market/take out place. The stuff I had been offered as “guacamole” as a child and young adult was basically pureed, unripe avocados with no real seasonings. Yuck!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        It is amazing what a difference good quality makes. (Same is true with brown rice!)

      • scantee Says:

        You mean guacamole isn’t supposed to be avocados and mayonnaise?

      • Cloud Says:

        @Scantee, the idea of mayonnaise in guacamole goes against all that is natural and right.

        That said, I’m not a huge fan of it, and I live in a place where it is trivially easy to acquire good, fresh guacamole. Heck, I have a large avocado tree in my back yard.

  7. Cloud Says:

    Hmmm. I’m pretty much happy to eat any starch, so all grains are good with me! Couscous was a revelation back when I discovered it (grad school, I think), because it is so quick to make.

  8. Linda Says:

    I guess I’m one of those weirdos that likes brown rice. I buy it in bulk from either WF or one of the ethnic markets. I’m currently working my way through a 10-pound bag of brown basmati rice I bought at an ethnic market. Cooking brown rice is no big deal in my awesome Zojirushi rice cooker. http://www.amazon.com/Zojirushi-NS-ZCC10-Cooker-Warmer-Premium/dp/B00007J5U7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327593711&sr=8-1 I LOVE this appliance and am so glad I bought it a few years ago with Amazon gift cards I’d amassed from work. (It’s an employee recognition program that is pretty cool, IMHO.)

    I also like wild rice. I basically like ANY rice: red, black, brown, golden, white, etc.

    Quinoa is good, but I don’t make it very often ’cause I haven’t figured out the best way to cook it in my *awesome* rice cooker yet. (Can you tell I love my rice cooker?)

    Last year Mother Earth News had an article on barley which intrigued me. I keep meaning to pick up some unhulled barley at the WF bulk area try some of the suggested recipes, but haven’t gotten around to it. Millet is also something I’ve considered, but I’ve read that it is highly goitrogenic and I try avoid such foods. (My thyroid is already screwed up enough without adding to the problem.)

  9. chacha1 Says:

    I’m not a fan of white OR brown rice except in fried or risotto/paella preparations (i.e. rice hidden by quantities of spices and delicious add-ins), but I really really like red, purple, and black. They do a great job of staining the inside of the rice cooker, but who cares. They actually have flavor, and don’t get soggy.

    Best tuna “salad” ever: prepare purple rice for two in rice cooker. After getting that started, take 1/2 lb sushi-grade ahi tuna and cut into dice. Marinate in lime juice, red chili flake, and sea salt. Slice an avocado and fan the slices out on two plates. When rice is finished, dump in the tuna and mix it all up and let it sit for 5 minutes till tuna is heated through (or till cooked if you don’t like it rare). Then scoop out the rice/tuna onto your avocado, et voila.

  10. og Says:

    I like brown rice, not as much as white, but it’s pretty good and better for health. The one thing I really dislike is wheat pasta.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Some ww pasta is also better than other ww pasta. I really don’t understand why they even bother with bad quality semolina, but they do. At some point #2 is going to post about her experiences trying different brands (she also hates ww pasta… I don’t know if she found any acceptable as a sometime substitution or not).

      • julier Says:

        I’m not a big fan of whole wheat pasta either, but TJ’s used to have a very nice, extremely cheap (< $1/lb) whole wheat pasta. Sadly, as often the case with Trader Joe's) it was discontinued and I haven't seen it in a couple of years.

        I would be very interested to know if anyone has identified a decent rice based pasta for GF folks.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I haven’t had any luck with rice-based standard pasta– it always ends up gummy no matter what brand I’ve tried or how little I cook it. Sometimes I’ve been able to get the TJ’s corn pasta to work (this was back when we did TJ’s), but have to be very careful about not over-cooking (and we’ve always used southwestern inspired sauces like the other commenter). Some quinoa-based pastas haven’t been too bad.

        I do like Asian Rice noodles, the kind that just need a little warm water to get soft and then you stir-fry. Not with spaghetti sauce though. (And I can’t eat them while pregnant because of the insulin thing!)

        What I’ve lately been doing while the rest of the fam eats spaghetti is pouring the sauce over kidney beans. It’s not the same, but at least I can share. :|

        I too used to enjoy TJ’s WW pasta.

      • Debbie M Says:

        I’m with og, only I like Barilla Plus pasta–it has fiber in it like whole wheat pasta, but it’s forgiving on the cooking time and yummy like regular pasta.

        I even had brown rice on my fake sushi yesterday (soy wrap, brown rice, cooked chicken, avocado, orange slices and spinach with teryaki sauce on top at How Do You Roll?).

        I mostly cook with pasta because it’s cheap and quick, but I also make rice and use bread. I also like corn, but it’s mostly GMO. I may or may not care about various genetic modifications, but I greatly care about modifying a plant so that it no longer makes a seed, not to mention certain horrible business practices adopted by a certain horrible large company that rhymes with Bomb-Stan-Toe. I’m so happy I’ve finally been finding some non-GMO corn products lately.

  11. chacha1 Says:

    Oh and btw sliced cabbage is a pretty good substitute for spaghetti noodles. Cook it fast in a little olive oil, garlic powder, and basil/oregano, then add the sauce. :-)

  12. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    I love steamed brown rice! I also love buckwheat kasha! Wolff’s whole-grain kasha is the f*cken best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    Oh, and quinoa suckes f*cken shitte.

  14. Kingston Says:

    You might like brown basmati rice better than regular brown rice.

  15. mom2boy Says:

    I am the worst rice cook ever. I’ve burned rice in a rice cooker. I was dependent on uncle ben’s rice in a bag (microwavable) to feed Tate during his rice and beans only phase. Now I can cook uncle ben’s five minute wild rice (I like wild rice) on the stove top and I can make the small bag of yellow rice but it still tends to be on the crunchy side. And yuck, crunchy rice.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I can only make rice in a specific size le crueset. Any other pot and something goes wrong.

      Or you know, a rice cooker.

      • oilandgarlic Says:

        Re: Burning rice in a rice cooker. This is the “trick” my parents taught me. In a rice cooker, you measure the water to cover the rice by putting in your index finger. The water should go up to the first bend/ridge in your finger. Finger should be washed/cleaned of course.

  16. Debbie M Says:

    I don’t get what is so bad (or even different) about brown rice. I’m sure I’m eating the bad cheapo stuff, but compared to other things that are good for me (all vegetables), it’s actually yummy, just not quite as yummy as white rice.

  17. MutantSupermodel Says:

    I have tried to get with the brown rice thing and can’t. I have no idea what this quinoa you speak of is. I love my white rice- love love love. It’s mine and I’ll never ever let it go again. Ever.
    Couscous is yum

  18. Adjunctorium Says:

    I prefer converted rice (sold in boxes as Uncle Ben’s), to brown rice, which tastes just like cardboard. Converted rice has a decent flavor and more nutrition that white rice.

    A while back I ran across something called “farro,” which apparently is a form of wheat. Delicious! It’s very hard to find. Costco had it once (I just ate the last of the bag I found there), and that was the last of it. No one in town seems to carry it.

    Quinoa’s good when treated as a savory dish (add garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, tomatoes, and Parmesan) rather than served like a sweetened gummy hot breakfast cereal. Try rinsing it before cooking–washes off that odd, bitter flavor that spoils the taste for some folks.

  19. First (Link)Loves « Adjunctorium Says:

    [...] Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured has become one of my favorite blogs, because of its wide-ranging subject matter: you name it, and nicoleandmaggie write about it. Recently we’ve gone from pedagogical strategies to career angst and parenthood via brown rice. [...]


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