Friday, February 20, 2009

Let's Talk About Rice

I'm going to try and get back into the swing of posting great uses for leftovers. I'm slowly feeling more like myself, and while I still can't really cook, I do have some recollection of how I used to do it! ;-)

Gayle over at the Grocery Cart Challenge hosts a recipe swap every Friday, and I love to participate, as well as gather great new tried-and-true recipes. Gayle asked me to review how I use up my leftover rice awhile back, so I thought I would post a few rice recipes for the swap, as well as to help everyone use up those yummy little grains.

One of my very favorite uses for leftover rice is to turn it into mock fried rice. While "fried rice" screams fat and calories, you can actually create an excellent version of it with little fat. This is a great side dish, or I've also added leftover pork, beef, or chicken to make a complete meal.

"Fried" Rice

1-2 cups leftover white or brown rice
1-2 eggs or egg whites (use more egg if you have more rice)
1/2-1 c. leftover cooked veggies (corn, cabbage, carrot, celery, etc.)
1 T. soy sauce (or more to taste)
1/4 t. ginger
1/2 t. dry mustard (you can omit this, but it really is good!)

Scramble the eggs in a skillet sprayed with no-stick spray, then set aside when done.

NOTE: If you don't have leftover cooked veggies, but do have fresh carrots and celery, re-spray your skillet and saute the chopped/diced vegetables for 2-3 minutes till crisp tender, then continue the recipe.

Add cooked veggies and rice to the skillet and toss to combine. Stir in the soy sauce and seasonings (and any chopped meat, if using) until well-coated. Stir in the eggs and heat through.

Another great and common use for leftover rice is rice pudding. You can find lots of recipes online, or here is a quick and simple recipe:

Rice Pudding

1 pkg. cook n serve vanilla pudding mix
3 c. milk
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
3 c. leftover cooked rice

Cook pudding and milk according to package directions. Remove from heat and blend in the seasonings. Stir in the rice. You can serve this warm, or chilled.

Another option, that can be used for breakfast or dinner, that is very cheap, is a quiche! You can combine leftover rice with an egg and a bit of shredded cheese and pat it into a pie plate. Bake until lightly browned for a crispy crust, or simply add your quiche ingredients and bake it all at once for a softer crust. I have a post about making quiche here (though I used potatoes for the one I demonstrate).

A lot of people like stuffed peppers (though I really don't!) or stuffed tomatoes. Your family will never know the rice was "leftover."

Burritos or enchiladas can use up the rice in a yummy way. I have mixed the rice with chopped tomatoes, seasonings, and chicken or beef and rolled it up in corn tortillas for enchiladas or flour tortillas (with some refried beans) for burritos. My family just loves these options!

Another family favorite recipe where I always use leftover rice is Pizza Rice Casserole, which I posted previously.

Of course, there is always the standby of making soup. You can make up some nice chicken stock and create a quick and tasty chicken-rice soup. Or you can put the rice in a container in your freezer where you put all your small bits of leftover meats, grains, veggies, and broths/gravies. Once a month, you can have a batch of Freezer Soup. It may sound questionable, but it really comes out tasting great! I have been truly surprised at how much my family has liked the freezer soups I've "created." And that is about the most frugal meal you can find!!

I know I'm forgetting a bunch of uses for rice, but this will at least get you started. Please add your ideas in the comments section! Rice is a wonderful grain that can really stretch a grocery budget!!

And for more wonderful recipes, don't miss the latest Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap!!!!


  1. I love fried rice with my leftovers! Your other ideas sound great!

  2. Glad to see you up and around a bit! I've missed your posts.

    The mock fried rice looks good!

  3. Here's the three-column blogger link that I used.

    Good luck!

  4. Looks wonderful, Janelle! I love the new look!

  5. Yum! I love fried rice; I'll have to try it out again next time I have leftover rice!

  6. Fried rice is an old favorite of mine but darn it, the blood sugar doesn't like it. :( I might try to do the fried rice recipe with cauliflower, though. Naw, it won't be the same but it might be good 'nuff! :)


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