Rice is high in carbohydrates, low in saturated fat, sodium and sugar – and it’s gluten-free. Here are 10 ways to use leftover cooked rice.
1. Go nuts for salad
Combine brown rice, almonds, toasted pine nuts, sliced tomato, crumbled feta cheese, sliced red onion and chopped parsley. Dress with olive oil, red wine vinegar and lemon juice.
2. Boost your soup
Stay full for longer and increase fibre by adding a cup of brown rice to soup when almost ready. Cook until heated through.
3. A touch of Asia
To make a simple fried rice: stir-fry garlic, onions, cooked peeled prawns and chopped carrot. Add frozen peas, bean sprouts, chopped green onions, a dash of light soy sauce and some oyster sauce. Toss. Add jasmine rice and chopped fried egg. Toss until heated through and serve with slices of cucumber.
4. High-protein rice
Add flavour and protein to plain rice. Reheat cooked rice in the microwave, then mash in some soft-boiled egg until sticky and yellow. Season and serve.
5. Vegie rice cakes
These are great for lunches. Combine 2 cups rice, 1 cup cooked vegetables, 2 beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 cup grated cheese, 1 chopped onion and 1 tablespoon dried basil. Shape into patties. Spray a frying pan with oil. Cook patties for 3 minutes on each side or until golden.
6. Indian, anyone?
Cook a simple chicken biryani. Chop 1 onion and 2 garlic cloves. Cook in a teaspoon of oil on low heat. Add 1 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice and 1 cup chicken stock. Cover until stock is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Stir in 500g cooked chicken, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger and cumin until heated through. Serve hot.
7. Simple stuffing
Stuff large, hollowed out tomatoes with a mixture of brown rice, crumbled feta cheese, chopped parsley, basil, oregano and freshly cracked pepper. Replace tops, spray with olive oil and bake in the oven until tender.
8. Rice pizza
Combine 3 cups rice, 2 beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons tomato paste and a sprinkling of grated, reduced-fat cheese. Shape into 4 pizza bases, place on a lightly greased tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove, top with any toppings you like and bake for 10 more minutes. Easy, healthy pizza!
9. Add an avocado
Have a side of avocado rice salad. Chop tomato, capsicum and coriander; combine in a bowl with brown rice and avocado slices. Season with pepper. For a main or a light meal, serve with grilled chicken or fish.
10. Pita pockets for the family
Great for a picnic or packed lunch: Combine brown rice, cooked chicken strips, cucumber, tomato and onion. Dress with honey mustard sauce. Line pita pockets with lettuce, fill with rice and chicken mixture and serve.