A whole new world of whole grains is opening up to us these days, and rice alone comes in a host of varieties. You may have eaten basmati rice at an Indian restaurant, green “Bamboo” rice or even black rice that actually cooks up to be dark purple and is popular in China and Thailand.
This week’s Health-e-Recipe is for Red Rice Dressing. The phytonutrient called anthocyanin – also present in red berries – creates its hue. Red rice is grown in countries as far-flung as France and Bhutan. (Don’t confuse it with “red yeast rice,” a supposedly medicinal substance used in traditional Chinese medicine.) Red rice contains potassium, magnesium and other minerals.
All rice provides about the same number of calories in a half-cup serving: about 200. But brown, wild and colored rices can contain more cancer-fighting fiber thanks to their whole-grain status from retaining their germ and bran, versus white rice that has had these fiber extras refined out of them. Not all exotic rice is a whole grain, either: if you’re looking for basmati or jasmine rice, for example, choose brown versions to get the most fiber.
The chewy quality of red rice clues us in to its additional fiber. Its slightly sweet flavor makes it perfect for a pilaf that blends savory onions with dried fruits and slivered almonds, as our recipe does. Rice pilafs are classic dishes, often made for celebration banquets or other elegant occasions in India and the Middle East. Herbs like saffron or turmeric can color pilafs and grilled vegetable and/or meat kabobs are perfect accompaniments. AICR’s Red Rice Dressing uses poultry seasoning for a savory holiday dish on American tables.
Check out the tantalizing variety of rices from the Whole Grains Council to choose types that will help you make your cancer-preventive meals interesting and enjoyable to you. You can order them from online vendors, too.