Brown Rice: Dietary Penance

Just a couple of quick follow-up comments about brown rice that occured to me since I wrote up the limping dinner post. Today, I'd like to discuss two additional advantages of this simple yet wholesome food.

First, brown rice isn’t just easy to make, it's also healthy and a surprisingly well-balanced food, with protein, some fat, plenty of vitamins and minerals, and of course lots of fiber. This is in stark contrast to white rice, which, while it’s a favorite staple here at Casual Kitchen, is essentially a nutrient-free starch by comparison.

Second, brown rice can serve as a form of dietary penance.

Let me share an example: The other weekend, my sister and her husband came to visit us, and we spent their entire visit essentially eating our way across Manhattan (two amazing and wallet-busting restaurants worth mentioning: Fleur de Sel and Spice Market). Don’t get me wrong, it was a glorious time and I loved every minute of it, but by the third night I was looking around for a walk-in angioplasty clinic.

So our first meal at home after my sister left was--you guessed it--spicy brown rice. We used it to undo all the artery-clogging eating from prior few days and get back to some basic food that’s not quite so hard on our digestive systems.

That's why those macrobiotic “purifying” diets that people did in the 1980s in places like Ithaca, NY (not that I’d know anything about this of course) involved eating only brown rice for a week or more, and then gradually introducing other foods into your diet after the initial detox period.

So the next time you prepare a meal, think about including a side of brown rice instead of white rice. And the next time you have one too many heavy meals in a row and you feel like your body is crying out for an angioplasty, try a limping dinner of spicy brown rice to get your system back to normal.

Related Posts:
The Limping Dinner: Spicy Brown Rice

Why I'm a Part-Time Vegetarian
Ten Rules for the Modern Restaurant-Goer
How to Live Forever in Ten Easy Steps


Hedy Leibowitz Johnston said...

Question for you think that instant brown rice has the same health benefit as the regular stuff? I recently tried this and while it isn't quite as good as regular brown rice it is less time-consuming to make. I just don't always have the time to make regular brown rice these days.

Daniel said...

Hi Hedy!
I'm sure intant brown rice has more dietary benefits than instant *white* rice, but I seriously doubt that it has the same benefits as regular brown rice.

I'd encourage you to stick with regular brown rice and think of ways you can use "parallel processing" by working on other tasks while it's cooking. You'd be surprised how many other things you can do in the 45 minutes while you are waiting for the rice to cook!

Also you can simulate your own "quick brown rice" by making a large batch of brown rice over the weekend. Each day, just scoop out what you want for that day's meal, add a couple of teaspoons of water, and reheat it in the microwave. It's just as good and takes 60-90 seconds to heat up.

I have to tell you, I've never tried instant brown rice, and I don't think I could bring myself to try it. It seems sort of wrong to me to have somebody cook my food partially (on an industrial scale no less), put it in a box, and then sell it to me for more money.

Thanks for reading and thank you for your comment!


Hedy Leibowitz Johnston said...

i never thought that I would ever buy instant rice of any type. I figured that I would give it a try to save some time.It's not bad, but of course the real stuff is a lot better. I bought Wegmans brand so it's not too costly. Making it in advance is a good idea, i will try that. Thanks!