Classic Rice Dishes

Rice and Noodle Pilaf

Rice and noodle pilaf

Combining pasta with a grain is fairly common in Eastern European cuisines, as well as Middle Eastern. Here’s one such pilaf, combining rice and slender noodles, which makes for a simple and tasty side dish. Serve with plenty of green veggies, and a salad to which you add chickpeas or other beans, for a simple dinner menu. more→

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Mexican Green Rice

Called arroz verde in its native language, Mexican green rice (spiked with chilis, cilantro, and lime) is a good side dish to serve with burritos and other Southwestern or Mexican specialties. more→

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Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Cauliflower rice pilaf

Once you have some rice cooked, this sturdy, aromatic dish featuring cauliflower and curry seasonings comes together quickly. For a nice meal, serve with Lentils with Greens and Sun-Dried Tomatoes and a simple salad. more→

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Dirty Rice, Vegan Style

Brown rice

Traditionally, what makes Creole “dirty rice” dirty is the addition of fowl gizzards. Um, no thanks. Chopped eggplant, a Louisiana crop, takes its place in this super-satisfying veggie version. Not spicy in itself, but you can make it that way. That’s what Tabasco is for. Photo by K. Buntu. more→

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Saffron-Sesame Rice with Pine Nuts

When cooking a rice dish, I like to make extra to have as leftovers. You’ll get about two extra servings from this simple brown rice pilaf recipe. more→

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Caribbean Pigeon Peas and Rice

Pigeon peas

Traditionally, this is made with pigeon peas —cute, round, and tan, also known as gungo peas or gandules. They’re a staple in markets with big Latin and Caribbean communities. If you can’t find them, no worries, use red beans — another island favorite. No harm will be done. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled — it’s bright and refreshing either way. Recipe and photo by Ellen Kanner. more→

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Saffron Fruited Rice

Saffron Fruited Rice

This rice dish, made with aromatic brown Basmati rice, fresh apple, dried fruits, and sweet seasonings, is a perfect companion to curried vegetable dishes. It gets its bright yellow color from saffron, but you can substitute turmeric for a similar effect. more→

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Chinese-Style Vegetable Stir-Fried Rice

Chinese vegetable fried rice

Chinese-style stir-fried rice, filled with lots of veggies, is an easy and tasty side dish to serve with Asian-style vegetable and tofu dishes. It’s a great way to use up leftover brown rice, too. On the rare occasions when my family gets Chinese take-out, there’s always a lot of leftover rice, and this is usually the way it gets repurposed!

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