All you need is rice

Coconut brown rice with cilantro, green onions and peanuts. Photo credit: Grace Kerfoot

If you can boil water, you can make rice and make it well.

Rice is an incredibly versatile, accessible and nutritious grain.

Available at just about any grocery store in bags, bulk or boxes, rice can cost less than $1 per pound and cooks up to twice its dried volume.

Although there are many different varieties of rice available with varied degrees of fiber and vitamins, all forms are an excellent source of starchy carbohydrates to keep you feeling satisfied.

There may be plenty of pre-seasoned rice kits on the market, but cooking plain rice is just as easy and makes for an excellent platform for any food. Cook up a batch any day— or every day— and incorporate it into your diet creatively throughout the week.

Rice for breakfast

Simmer cooked rice in milk and spices to make breakfast porridge or fold a few scoops into pancake batter to add an unusual, but enjoyable, texture.

Rice for lunch

Rice bowls are an easy way to use leftover rice and avoid a sad-desk-lunch situation. Using rice as a base, build upon your bowl with whatever leftovers you may have.

Rice for dinner

If you haven’t caught on already, rice can go with just about anything to round out a meal. Add cooked rice to soups, stuff it into burritos or mix it into a frittata (yes, you can eat frittatas for dinner). Alternatively, you can razz up your rice with some fresh herbs and turn it into a delicious and satisfying side dish.

Coconut Rice with Green Onions and Peanuts

The color and texture of this dish make it pleasing on the eyes and the palate. It can stand alone as a side dish, but adding a fried egg, or even steamed tofu, can turn it into a substantial and satisfying meal.

Makes about 6 cups of rice

  • 2 cups medium of grain brown rice
  • 1 13 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 1/4 cups of water
  • 1 heaping tsp. of salt
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 1 cup of roasted peanuts
  • Lime juice

In a large pot bring rice, water and coconut milk to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the salt, reduce the heat down to low and simmer with the lid on. Set your timer for 35 minutes.

After 40 minutes, check to see if all the liquid has absorbed from your rice. Turn the heat off, fluff the rice with a fork and place the lid back on the pot, letting the rice steam for 10 minutes.

Slice your green onions— both the white and the green parts— into thin rings. Coarsely chop the cilantro. Keep your peanuts whole. Add everything to the pot and stir.

Before serving, add a squeeze of lime and extra cilantro if you’d like.

Grace Kerfoot can be reached at [email protected] or @gracekerf on Twitter.