The Secret Ingredient for Easy, Healthy Meals (Any Time of Day)

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I love this simple ingredient and eat it several times a week.

It's easy to cook, tasty to eat, and one of the most versatile foods in the healthy cook's pantry.

In my house, the secret to getting any meal off to a better start is...

Brown rice!

Brown Rice for Breakfast
At breakfast, mix rice leftover from last night's dinner (or a convenient ready-to-eat pouch) with eggs and your favorite vegetables for a heartier take on an omelet. Sprinkle cheese on top and broil until melted.

If you prefer a sweeter start to your day, serve your brown rice as you would oatmeal. (Here's a recipe to get you started.)

Brown Rice for Lunch
For lunch, rice helps turn random ingredients into a meal to remember:
  • Sprinkle some rice on a salad to give it texture and a dose of whole grains
  • Mix brown rice into your favorite canned soup
  • Layer it with salsa, canned beans and cheese for a no-fuss dish that can be made in the microwave!
Brown Rice for Dinner
At dinner, the sky is the limit with brown rice. I swap it into casseroles, stir in cilantro and lime for a jazzed-up side dish, and serve it with stews to sop up all those delicious juices. The pouches of brown rice or instant varieties turn casseroles into quick meals, and they help fill the void on the plate when you realize dinner's on in five… and you need a side dish!
Have I sold you yet on the versatility of my favorite whole grain? What's your favorite way to enjoy brown rice at breakfast, lunch or dinner?
These recipes were provided by our sponsor, UNCLE BEN’S®

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i so do not like brown rice. It also takes forever to cook. Report
Long grain brown rice is the only rice I use. I buy it in the bulk section and use it to make several 'from scratch' dishes. When it lasts long enough, I freeze single portions in sandwich baggies, which are stored in a large freezer bag. We used to make a rice casserole with ground beef, tomato soup (sounds gross, but it's actually really good), herbs, onions, garlic, and a little soy sauce. DH hasn't been a fan since I switched from white to brown rice. I don't use it as a main dish or 'required' side dish very often, but I still make it for myself to use as a base for lunches. Report
In Hawaii, we eat rice three times a day (or more, LOL), something adopted from the many Asian cultures who started immigrating here in the mid and late1800's. Problem is, we eat medium grain white rice and the portions are way too big. The School system started serving what we call "hapa" or half white and half brown mix in the late 1970's for meals, and I think that may have made it easier for some to transition over to full brown. I have some things that I eat that in my mind I just have to have white rice with, but it is very rare, and I measure out an exact portion. I am pretty much a brown rice girl, though I still go with a medium grain. Long Grain never seem to come out right, to me. Report
I eat brown rice for lunch and dinner. I love it. I cook mines with onion, garlic and a little soy sauce. Report
Brown rice is excellent. I make a batch quite often - great to eat with chilli, curry etc. I also find freezing portions of it is great for a quick stir fry. I buy ready chopped frozen veg too (my supermarket does a stir fry mix), and with brown rice and egg all cooked together, plus some soy sauce at the end it makes a fast healthy dinner. Report
I love my brown rice casserole. Chicken breast, peas & carrots, Bragg's liquid amino(instead of soy sauce), onion & garlic. Sometimes I put broccoli & sweet potato in brown rice. Yum. Report
We eat a lot of rice and I really like brown rice. Others in the family prefer white rice, but I love the fiber content and nuttiness of the brown. I make a yummy curried rice and lentils dish that has other veggies in it that everyone will eat. So good! Report
I have tried brown rice and do not like it. Sorry, I'll stick with my white rice and be happy. Report
If only I actually liked brown rice... oh well. Report
Brown rice: thumbs down. I do not like rice. Report
i didn't realize you could freeze brown rice, i will portion control some in zip lock bags, i think its having to make it from "get go" is what stops me from eating it. it makes for a wonderful warm dessert with something a little sweet like raisins and walnuts. Report
i didn't realize you could freeze brown rice, i will portion control some in zip lock bags, i think its having to make it from "get go" is what stops me from eating it. it makes for a wonderful warm dessert with something a little sweet like raisins and walnuts. Report
It's been awhile since I fixed brown rice (or any rice for that matter). This blog has awakened my taste for some. Tonight with left over pork chop. Yum. Report
Cooked brown rice freezes really well. I just pack it in serving-sized zip-locs and break one out when I want it. Brown rice also makes an excellent rice pudding. Report
As a Type 2 diabetic Brown Rice absolutely drives my blood sugar sky high. It is worse than mashed potatoes. The color of the rice does seem to matter. Healthy food? Maybe or maybe not. Report
Love brown rice and frequently include it in our meals. Rarely do I use instant brown rice however. My go to is long grain brown rice, low sodium broth, and my rice cooker. Report
I love brown rice. I eat my (dry) oatmeal with yogurt. I will try the rice. My husband does not like it. Report
dH doesn't like rice. Any suggestions Report
Have brown rice with dinner, never thought about breakfast! Going to have to fix some! Sounds yummy! Report