There are some foods that go together, like curry and white rice. As much as we love white rice, it does have some drawbacks. Anyone who’s watching their carbohydrate intake may be astounded to learn that one cup of cooked rice has 44 grams of carbs in it. In addition, white rice has a higher glycemic index than brown rice, according to Livestrong. Your body will transform it into energy faster – but that can also lead to a an energy crash. Instead of eating white rice, try these alternatives:
Instead of using a starch for your next lunch or dinner, you can use cauliflower instead. Because it is still a vegetable, you only need to steam it to create a tender side dish. The Minimalist Baker breaks down how to make cauliflower rice with both a cheese grater and a food processor. The final product comes in at just 25 calories per cup. Blend your cauliflower rice with a few dollops of cream cheese and rice vinegar to make the base for maki rolls to up your sushi game.
Did you know couscous is actually a type of pasta? Since its base ingredient is semolina, like the spaghetti you buy in the grocery store, it is an easy-to-make side dish, noted Bon Appetit. You can use it as the base for spicy dishes, just like you would with white rice. This spicy chickpea and couscous dish from House and Garden seems like a great place to start.
This white rice alternative also packs a great protein punch: It offers 8 grams of protein per cup. Embrace a Mediterranean-style dish with food blogger Cafe Delites balsamic chicken salad with lemon quinoa recipe. Making the quinoa base is the easiest part: Add the quinoa to stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the quinoa absorb the savory goodness of the stock. It’ll be ready to eat in 15 minutes!
Quinoa is a quick, easy-to-make alternative to white rice.
This is a heartier grain than white rice – and offers a richer, nuttier taste as a result. It can offset the sweetness in recipes like this breakfast oatmeal from Food and Wine, making it a wholesome addition to your breakfast rotation. Add in fresh raspberries or strawberries for a boost of antioxidants.
If you’re still interested in adding rice into your diet, swap out white rice for black rice. The dark color is due to anthocyanin, a good-for-you antioxidant. This food also has a regal history: According to Modern Farmer, the rice was so rare that it was only served to Chinese emperors, earning it the nickname “emperor’s rice“.
Whether you’re trying to cut down on carbs or you’re looking to increase your daily intake of protein and vegetables, there are so many options to choose from. Make sure to experiment with the kinds of dishes you can create with these white rice alternatives.