Rice is high in carbohydrate, 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 add fibre by adding 1 cup brown rice to soup when almost ready. Cook until heated through.
3. A touch of Asia
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 salt-reduced 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. 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.
5. Rice pizza
For an easy, healthy 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 from oven and top with any toppings you like, then bake for 10 more minutes.
6. Add an avocado
An avocado rice salad makes a great main or light meal served with grilled chicken or fish: in a bowl combine chopped tomato, capsicum and coriander with brown rice and avocado slices. Season with pepper.
7. Simple stuffing
Stuff large, hollowed-out tomatoes with a mixture of brown rice, crumbled feta cheese, chopped fresh parsley, basil, oregano and freshly ground black pepper. Replace tops, spray with olive oil and bake in the oven until tender.
8. Vege rice cakes
These make a great lunch variation: 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.
9. Indian, anyone?
Cook a simple chicken biryani: chop 1 onion and 2 cloves garlic. Cook in a teaspoon of oil over a low heat. Add 1 1/2 cups cooked basmati rice and 1 cup chicken stock. Cover and cook 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.
10. High-protein rice
Give plain rice flavour and protein. Reheat cooked rice in the microwave. Mash in some soft-boiled egg until sticky and yellow. Season and serve.