Did you know that rice can be traced back to 2500 BC is the most eaten food on the planet? In fact, over three billion people consume rice on an everyday basis. In addition the infinite ways to enjoy rice, this food staple contains many nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, making every mouthful matter. Rice is low in fat, low in sodium and very low in harmful saturated fats and trans fatty acids, which are known to raise blood cholesterol levels.
Although some diets preach no carbs, any health professional will tell you that it is important to eat a balanced diet made up of 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 20% fat. Rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which provide the fuel for our body used for physical activity, brain performance, bodily functions and everyday growth and repair. So, if you have started your diet this month, and have added an exercise regimen, it is crucial to give your body the energy it needs following a good workout.
Because it has the highest nutritional benefits, brown rice is the most recommended type of rice to eat, however, some people just don’t enjoy its taste or texture and others find it hard to digest. An alternative to brown rice is parboiled rice, which is close to brown rice in nutritional structure, but easier to digest. The parboiling process makes the rice nutritionally superior to white rice and provides 80 percent of the nutritional value of brown rice. Parboiled rice requires slightly more time for cooking than unconverted white rice, but nearly half the time as brown rice, so it’s easy to cook at home.
RICE SALAD WITH MEXICAN RICE
1 pack of Nueva Cocina® Mexican Rice Mix
2 ½ cups water
½ medium onion (white or red), cut in thin strips (julienned)
1 large tomato (semi ripe)
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, cut in strips (julienned)
4 oz. cooked garbanzos, drained and rinsed (1/2 can)
4 oz. whole corn kennel (Fiesta Corn preferred) (1/2 can)
4 oz. of diced beets (1/2 can)
1 clove of garlic very finely minced
1 teaspoon of capers
2 teaspoons of green olives stuffed with red peppers
¼ cup of chopped cilantro
1 large lime
3 tablespoons of olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
A pinch of salt, if needed, to taste
Preparing the Rice
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package of the Nueva Cocina® Mexican Mix. Use 2 ½ cups of water and 1 table spoon of olive oil. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
Preparing the Salad
Rub the minced garlic on the inside of large bowl. Mix in it the cooled rice, onion, tomato, cucumber, green bell pepper, garbanzos, corn, beets, capers, green olives, half of the cilantro, the remaining olive oil (2 tablespoons), salt (if needed) and black pepper. Toss all ingredients until olive oil, salt and black pepper have covered all ingredients. Squeeze the juice of the lime on top of the mixture and toss again. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Place the salad on a large platter and sprinkle the remaining cilantro on top.
Makes 4-6 servings.
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