Veggie rice cakes and the benefits of brown rice

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There are  many varieties of rice available on the market. White rice, Basmati rice, Himalayan red rice, Chinese black rice, long grain brown rice, medium grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, wild rice and so on. Most rice, especially the white rice is refined or polished. Although removing just the outer bran layers would still leave most of the nutrients, further milling takes place. The rice is bleached, cleaned, oiled and coated. This creates a smoother, less chewy texture, even perhaps more digestible, but it removes a great amount of the nutrients so what is really a point in eating this kind of rice?

Brown rice contains good amount of essential minerals such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, copper, selenium and calcium. It is a good source of high quality protein, powerful antioxidants, B vitamins, folate, vitamin E, vitamin K, fiber and fatty acids.

There are many health benefits of brown rice. To name a few:

  • helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes
  • keeps the heart healthy by maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol
  • boosts immune system
  • keeps the bones strong
  • reduces the risk of various types of cancers
  • keeps the brain and nervous system healthy and well functioning
  • helps maintain healthy weight
  • is a natural anti-depressant

There are many ways to enjoy rice. Besides just being boiled to be eaten with poultry, fish or vegetables, it can also be consumed for breakfast as a breakfast cereal (cream of rice) or a dessert such as sweet rice with fruit and nuts or you can make rice cakes using the recipe below.

This recipe makes about 5 servings as a main dish so if you prefer less quantity or have it as a side dish, adjust the recipe and make about a half.

Ingredients for the rice

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 8 cups water or chicken / vegetable stock
  • salt
  • coconut oil or organic butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup flour of your choice (almond or coconut)

Ingredients for the veggies

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 finely cut carrot
  • 1 cut red pepper
  • 1 cut smaller size zucchini
  • 2 finely cut smaller celery sticks
  • 1 cup cut broccoli
  • 1 cup cut mushrooms
  • handful finely cut parsley
  • coconut oil or organic butter
  • salt and pepper
  • any seasoning you prefer

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan with higher edges, heat the oil/butter and saute minced garlic.
  2. Add washed brown rice and about 4 cups of water (or chicken or vegetable stock). You can always add more water as it cooks. How much water you need, will depend on the type of brown rice you are using. Mine took 8 cups to be fully cooked.
  3. Season with salt and bring it to boil.
  4. Once boiling, turn the heat down and let it simmer for about one hour or until cooked (soaking the rice prior to cooking will reduce the cooking time). 
  5. Add more water or stock if it is fully absorbed and still not done.
  6. While the rice is cooking, wash and cut (very small pieces) all the vegetables.
  7. Heat some oil/butter in a saucepan and saute garlic with onion.
  8. Add all the vegetables, seasoning of your choice and saute until tender.
  9. Once everything is cooked, combine the rice together with sauteed vegetables in a bowl and gently mix together.
  10. Add whisked eggs, flour of your choice and mix.
  11. Season with salt and pepper and any other seasoning you like if still needed.
  12. Using a scoop (ice cream scoop works great), form little cakes and place them in a heated oiled skillet.
  13. Fry for about a minute or two on both sides.
  14. Garnish with fresh parsley or any other herb you desire.
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