Rice is used in almost every type of cuisine in most countries and cultures around the world. My Favourite Gluten-Free, Vegan Rice Recipes below are just a tiny selection of the dishes I cook but they might give you a little bit of inspiration.
Why is Rice So Good?
Rice is low in fat, low in cholesterol, high in starch, and has a high nutritional content. It also contains a range of important nutrients, including B and E vitamins, protein, and minerals – especially potassium which helps the body reduce toxins.
Rice is also very versatile and can be used in a huge variety of sweet and savoury dishes. From soups and stews, to sides to risotto and paella and the ultimate comfort food, rice pudding.
Very few people are allergic or intolerant to rice and so rice is usually a pretty good base for a dish.
Types of Rice
Rice is classed as a cereal grain and is an incredibly widely consumed staple food. It is especially widely consumed in Asia. Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice).
Rice is characterised as one of three varieties – long grain, medium grain, or short grain rice. These varieties refer to the length and shape of the grain. Simply speaking, long grain rice will have a longer cylindrical shape, whereas short grain rice will be shorter and wider.
Generally, short grain rice contains more starch and the result is a more ‘glutinous’ dish. Rice does not contain gluten but glutinous rice is used for short-grain rice in Asia and can cause confusion. There is also wholegrain and processed rice (brown and white rice). Processing rice removes the nutrient-rich outer layer of bran.
Wild Rice – is not a rice. It is a type of grass. Wild rice is of the genus Zizania of grasses.
Some rice varieties give off a distinct smell while being cooked. For example Basmati Rice – a type of long-grain rice popular in Indian cooking (one of my favourites). Jasmine Rice, sometimes known as Thai fragrant rice, is a type of long grain rice with a long kernel and slightly sticky texture when cooked. Use it to infuse a subtle jasmine flavor and aroma into your dishes.
The rice used for risotto is a high-starch, low-amylose round medium- or short- grain white rice. This type of rice absorbs liquids and releases starch. This results in a creamy, rich dish.
Paella is often confused with risotto (and pilaff and jambalaya and…). Whilst paella and risotto both use short-grain rice the ingredients (spices and herbs) are different and the method employed is very different. Paella is Spanish and risotto is Italian but that doesn’t even begin to tell you all the local and regional variations of any ‘national’ dish. Paella rice is a short to medium grained rice that absorbs stock well without becoming too creamy.
Rice is frequently associated with arsenic contamination in the popular press. Arsenic is naturally present in air, soil and water and a wide range of foods may contain arsenic at trace levels. In some countries groundwater or well-water is a significant (natural) source of arsenic. Arsenic can be present in organic and inorganic form. Inorganic arsenic is believed to be bad for health if consumed regularly at high levels over long periods of time.
Any food can be contaminated with arsenic due to the natural occurrence of arsenic in the environment. Milk and dairy products along with drinking water are significant sources of arsenic. If you are concerned about arsenic contamination of rice or grains you can soak the produce in water to reduce any small amounts of arsenic.
If you maintain a wide and varied diet arsenic contamination will have a minimal impact on your health.
Cooked rice can contain Bacillus cereus spores, which produce an emetic toxin when left at 4–60 C. When storing cooked rice for use the next day, rice should be rapidly cooled and stored in the fridge to reduce the risk of toxin production. One of the enterotoxins produced by Bacillus cereus is heat-resistant; reheating contaminated rice kills the bacteria, but does not destroy the toxin already present.
My Favourite Gluten-Free, Vegan Rice Recipes
Rice is one of my favourite grains. I love it as a side or as part of a main. I also love a good rice pudding!
I love SIMPLE!!! My favourite side dish is Perfect Plain Rice. Cooking rice well is not difficult and once you do you will never go back. My method works every time. I promise! Plain rice is comfort food for me. I love it! Especially with Tofu and Green Peppers in Black Bean Sauce.
Brown Rice takes quite a bit longer to cook than white rice but it is worth the little bit of extra effort and time. Nutty, savoury brown rice is wonderful with so many things. Especially Ratatouille.
Mushroom Risotto with Grilled Mushrooms and Tarragon
Mushroom Risotto with Grilled Mushrooms and Tarragon is the ultimate comfort food. Warm, earthy flavours and fresh with the slight aniseed tang of tarragon. This risotto has a wonderful silky texture but with a tiny bit of bite. I love this dish. It makes the world alright again. Fresh, seasonal mushrooms can get lost in a risotto. By grilling the mushroom separately and either stirred in at the end – or even served on the side – allows the fresh, nutty flavour and texture of the mushrooms to shine and the risotto to not eat up the delicate mushrooms.
Summer Vegetable Paella
Summer Vegetable Paella is summer-holidays on a plate. A lazy summers day finished off with a wonderful dish of seasonal vegetable paella is heavenly. It has everything you want – in one dish. So great for washing up!
One Pot Rice and Lentils
One Pot Rice and Lentils is so easy you’ll be making it every week. I love the simplicity of the dish, the complex flavours and that rice and lentils together provide a complete protein. Fantastic!
Lemongrass and Ginger Rice Pudding
Lemongrass and Ginger Rice Pudding is the ultimate comfort food. Everybody knows rice pudding from school (and its varying levels of quality) but the addition of lemongrass and ginger elevates rice pudding to new, fragrant heights. Perfect for cold autumn nights.
What are Your Favourite Gluten-Free, Vegan Rice Recipes?
There are hundreds and thousands of rice Recipes from across continents; from Asian to European to African to American dishes and from sides to mains and from savoury to sweet.
What are Your Favourite Gluten-Free, Vegan Rice Recipes?