Thursday, June 13, 2013

Baked Rice Pilaf

Mmmm, I love this stuff.  But, before I get into the recipe.  I want to talk a bit (just a wee bit) about white rice vs. brown rice.

Have you been avoiding white rice because it's... well... wickedly white (like cousins with white sugar and white flour)?  Have you been [unhappily] consuming the brown stuff because it's... well... brown (so it must be healthier)?  Yeah, me too.

The difference between them is bran and germ.  Brown rice has it, white rice does not.  Admittedly, the bran and germ do contain some nutrients, but guess what else it has that actually makes brown rice less healthy for you than white rice...

Phytic Acid!  Ugh.  That stuff again.  Rice bran is loaded with it.

Remember, we talked about that in our breakfast discussion...  Phytic acid binds itself to minerals in your system and robs you of them.  Phytic acid is a nutrition thief.

So, brown rice is not a good nutritional choice (though redeemable if soaked, but that another blog post), but white rice, devoid of bran and germ, is essentially little starch nuggets.  We all know that starchy foods have been villain-ized  and not deemed appropriate for a healthy diet.  The thing is, though, we do need some starch (which becomes glucose); it fuels our bodies.

I think the scales tip in favor of white rice, at least on occasion!  And how do you suppose we could prepare it to increase it's nutritional value?  Prepare it using bone broth instead of water!  Then, when you serve it up, be sure to melt in a couple of pads of butter, it will help you absorb all those amazing nutrients.

Here's how I've been doing it...




Baked Rice Pilaf

Ingredients:

2 T tallow or butter
1 scant cup onion, diced (about one small onion)
1 cup white rice
2 cups bone broth (chicken or beef)
1 T parsley flakes (or a small bunch, chopped)
1 t sea salt



Saute onion in tallow or butter till soft.  Add rice and stir until moistened and slightly toasted (color changes but doesn't quite turn brown... becomes more opaque).



Add broth, parsley, salt and stir, bringing it to a boil.  Transfer to an oven-safe casserole dish with a lid (if you don't have a stove-top pot that can go in the oven)...



...and bake covered for about 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with fork and serve, and don't forget that butter!



You could further dress this up by adding your choice of ingredients after it bakes, such as cooked peas, sautéed mushrooms, diced scallions, caramelized peppers... anything that suits you.




In a few days I'll have a recipe for that bone broth I'm always touting!



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6 comments:

Mon said...

Awesome! I'll start making this for sure. We've been avoiding rice altogether, but you've convinced me I needn't!! Thanks, Pammie

Marigene said...

I have been baking rice for several months, it comes out so much nicer than boil/simmer it. Thanks for sharing.

Marlene Baird said...

I love rice Pilaf and I don't know why I never thought to bake it. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friends Friday.

Diane Balch said...

Great recipe.. I wouldn't worry too much about Phytic acid in rice as long you are alternating grains there is a postive side to it's cleansing effect. "Alternatively, the ability of PA to chelate minerals has been reported to have some protective effects, such as decreasing iron-mediated colon cancer risk and lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides in experimental animals."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8777015

Pam O'Brien said...

Interesting, Diane. Thanks for the info on Phytic Acid and the link.

Anonymous said...

what temperature is this baked at?