If you grew up anywhere in the Lowcountry, or for that matter, the state of South Carolina, rice is a part of your regular diet. Because the Lowcountry used to grow rice in fields throughout the Trident area, it is a part of our culture. Being part Asian and all Southern, our rice cooker stayed on the counter at my house. And frankly, that is okay.  At that time, we did not know the problems with habitual white rice, and brown rice was quite expensive. However, today there are so many options for grains outside of the traditional white rice.

Why shouldn’t we eat white rice regularly? White rice is brown rice that has all of the fiber taken off. Can anyone guess why we need fiber?

Fiber is essential in many health protective things such as:

-going to the bathroom

-keeping our blood sugars from getting out of control

-helping prevent heart disease

So brown rice, is the better option to white rice. But today there are other grains that provide protein, fiber, and flavor too. One is called quinoa.  You may not have tried this wonderful seed, but it is quite popular as of late. It cooks just like rice and becomes this fluffy & nutty grain that the whole family can enjoy. Here are some recipes for ways to use it:

Tater-less Tots

Tater-less Tots

Make a whole meal with:

Quinoa Peppers

     Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Or just replace your rice with plain cooked quinoa!  The most important thing to remember is portion control. One serving of starch (rice, pasta, grains, corn, potatoes) is 1/2 cup. That’s about the length and width of a female adult palm (just the palm, no fingers). No one, including adults, needs more than one serving if they’re getting their vegetables with their starch. If you have any questions, let me know.

Have a healthy week,

Margaret Ling