Brown rice, better known as one of the best complex carbs out there, is healthy and delicious! When made correctly and in various ways, brown rice can be the star of your meal that you will be craving night after night.
Disclaimer: Brown rice does take longer to cook than its colorless counterpart, but it is worth the benefits.
Brown rice is considered healthy because it is a whole grain. According to HSPH, the fiber in brown rice helps lower cholesterol, moves waste through the digestive tract, promotes fullness, and may help prevent the formation of blood clots.
There are numerous ways that you can cook brown rice. You can combine it with any sauce, vegetable, and protein of your choice to create the perfect meal.
You do not need to be a Michelin star chef to make a great dinner, especially when you are simply cooking up some brown rice! Check out the recipe ideas below, and have some fun in the kitchen.
Brown Rice Recipes
Depending on how much rice you are making, let’s start with two cups of water. Add the water and rice to a medium saucepan, add some salt, and a splash of olive oil. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
Brown Rice Asian Stir Fry:
Cook up a healthier version of Chinese takeout with this Asian-inspired recipe. You can pack in loads of vegetables and use whatever protein you would like.
Try this stir fry with chicken (pro tip: marinate it in teriyaki sauce or soy sauce), broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, and anything else you are craving! Saute the vegetables in a pan with a little bit of vegetable oil.
Once they are cooked, transfer the vegetables to a bowl. Next up, saute the chicken, add soy sauce, fresh ginger, and sweet chili sauce for extra flavor. Once the chicken is fully cooked- mix it with the rice and vegetables in a big bowl!
Top it off with whatever other sauces and flavors you prefer.
Mediterranean Chicken With Brown Rice:
This healthier version of a Greek Gyro will have you craving Mediterranean food week after week. It is packed full of vegetables and uses healthy carbohydrates that will keep you full all day.
Buy boneless skinless chicken breast and cut it up into cubes. Marinate the chicken in a Greek dressing or olive oil with garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. This chicken can be stored in the freezer or kept in the refrigerator if you are using it that night.
Chop up kalamata olives, fresh tomatoes, banana peppers, and feta cheese.
Saute the chicken until it is cooked through and simultaneously make the brown rice. Mix together in a large bowl and serve with warm pita bread.
Everyone will be asking for seconds!
Tacos – But Make It Healthy!
Tacos, but without the taco? It sounds crazy, but it is super easy. Saute ground turkey or beef until fully cooked. Make sure you have your brown rice cooking at the same time!
Separately, slice and saute peppers and onions.
Once it all is cooked, mix it in a big bowl and serve up a Mexican theme fiesta topped with a dollop of sour cream, a spoonful of salsa, and some sliced avocado – or step it up and make your own guacamole. Just check if your guests like cilantro or not before adding in that polarizing herb.
Indian With Brown Basmati Rice
Making Indian food at home is delicious, easy, and healthy when you put your mind to it. My favorite dish to make is Chicken Tikka Masala packed with fresh peppers and onions and lots of flavors, paired with brown basmati rice, broccoli, and naan!
Your local grocery store should sell naan in the bread or bakery section, so you can make your at-home cooking super authentic.
Cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into cubes and marinate the night before in tons of seasonings! Make sure you have cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, masala seasoning, and paprika. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours so that the chicken soaks up all the spices’ flavors.
Slice up multi-colored peppers and onions, saute until they are cooked, and put aside in a bowl. Then throw the chicken on the stove with some vegetable oil, and let it cook.
Make your own Tikka Masala sauce using Greek yogurt, jalapenos, masala seasoning, and some cream. If you are not up to making your own sauce, you can also buy it in a jar at the grocery store.
Once the chicken is cooked through, add in the peppers and onions and let it simmer for about 10 minutes with the pan’s sauce bubbling. Serve over brown rice with a side of sliced naan and any green vegetable of your choice – I usually opt for broccoli or cauliflower.
You will be craving this dish over and over again.
Hopefully, this gets the creative cook in you motivated to eat healthier by using brown rice instead of pasta or regular white rice. Always remember you do not need to sacrifice flavor to cook delicious healthy meals.