Why Eat Brown Rice?


The Many Benefits of Brown Rice


riceSome people can’t go without rice when they eat. Rice can be a good source of carbohydrates and other nutrients but did you know that you could have different options when eating your rice so you can get more health and nutritional benefits?

Rice comes in two types, the processed white rice and the unprocessed brown rice. Most people prefer the white rice because it is more tasty and delicious but if you want to get more nutritional benefits, then you must try the brown rice. So why does brown rice offer the most health benefits? Brown rice is processed in such a way that the outer part called the hull is not removed. This outer layer is rich in proteins, fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals, which can help prevent heart diseases like high blood. Thus, removing this layer from the processed white rice lessened its nutritional benefits by 45%.

We have always known….

Brown rice offers a lot of other health benefits which include:

1.   Brown rice is rich in iron and fatty acids, which helps boost our body’s immune system. It also helps fight the free radicals in our body, which can help prevent cancer and improve cardiovascular health.

2.   It is also rich in fiber, which promotes good digestive system, and helps lower cholesterol and sugar level.

3.   Brown rice also contains antioxidants, which helps flushes out the bad toxins from our body. Antioxidants also helps increase a body’s energy, promotes healthy and glowing skin, improves our body’s disease fighting mechanism and prevents deadly diseases like cancer.

4.   Brown rice is also recommended for those who want to lose weight as it helps balance the fat in your body.

 New research on rice today…

1.  The current guidelines from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, in the US describes grains, especially rice as a primary source of carbohydrates. Yet, there is so much more to rice. New scientific evidence on the benefits of rice all around, including brown rice, is proving once again that having a regular diet of rice is really good for us.

2.  Brown rice keeps your blood pressure healthy. Part of the tissue around the grains in the brown rice actually protects you from the protein called Angiotensin II which is contributes to high blood pressure. Brown rice eliminates this bad protein from your blood.

3.  Brown rice keeps your sugars balanced. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have discovered that brown rice lowers type 2 diabetes by 36% and white rice lowers the chances of developing diabetes by 16%

4.  White rice soothes your muscles. The outer husk of the rice grain, suppresses the release of histamine and as a result eliminates inflammation.

5.  Brown rice helps nerves thrive. There is a part of the rice see that becomes active when rice is placed in water, and which reduces any risk to nerves and vascular functioning.

6.  Black rice promotes energy and skin health. Black rice has more antioxidants than you can get from a handful of blueberries, and more fibre and vitamin E as well.

In all, it is nutty, sweet and versatile, always enjoyable in flavor but also nutritious and an important contributor to maintaining your health. Why? It is super rich in complex carbohydrates, that we knew, but now we also know rice is packed with vitamins and minerals; niacin, folate, vitamin E and potassium, antioxidants, dietary fibre and phytonutrients. Best of all, it pairs with just about anything you like, vegetables, fruits, meat or seafood.

Did you know there is more?

1.  Research that studied women who ate a regular diet of brown rice, over 12 years of their live were slimmer, did not gain extra weight and reported feeling healthier than other women.

2.  Rice is the least allergenic of the cereal grains, tolerated by children, and people with digestive difficulties or sensitivities.

3.  The type of B vitamins that are plentiful in brown rice feed and enrich the nervous system.

4.  Brown rice and black rice have been found to relieve depression.

5.  Brown rice is a good natural remedy for nausea, diarrhea and diabetes.

6.  Brown rice does not contain gluten; the absolute best benefit in today’s world of unhealthy diets of overly processed food and gluten rich grains. In fact, gluten has been found to worsen attention and behavior difficulties in children, and to make regulating blood sugar much harder.

7.  Finally, a recent study by researchers at the RIKEN Plant Science Center showed that the giant nutritional impact of rice is directed by the metabolites in the rice. 131 of them, including amino acids, lipids and flavonoids

Because of these many health benefits, brown rice is readily available now in the market. They are very easy to prepare as some can be cooked in just 90 seconds using a microwave oven or the bag of rice can be dropped straight to a boiling pan and will be ready in 10 minutes.

Your weekly meal planning with rice…

Rice can be a perfect complement to any meal and what a better way to enjoy your meal than with your nutritious brown rice. Here are some ways to enjoy very easy dinners that will provide you with all the health benefits of rice.

1. Meatloaf, corn and rice.

2. Chicken, brown rice, peas and sweet potatoes

3. Risotto with brown rice

4. Chili with rice

5. Stir-fry with rice

There is no end of creative options, especially given the newer varieties of rice either. Imagine an aromatic, soft-cooking, long grain rice, a jasmine-style rice, and charleston gold rice. Remarkably these rice products and other varieties are grown in more than 75 percent of the rice acreage in the US. This makes buying rice simple; as easy as it is to cook rice.

Prepare your brown rice perfectly by soaking it before cooking, cooking it in boiling water and letting it simmer for almost an hour. Serve immediately and by eating just two meals with brown or white rice each week, you live healthier. If you add foods with buckwheat, oats, wheat berries, and millet your body will celebrate the high fiber content and little fat. Then there is quinoa, another whole grain but it is also high in protein and fiber; making you feel full and satisfied. Combine any of these with fish or broccoli and sweet potatoes, a couple of times a week, and you will be giving your body the best of the “super foods” on a regular basis. Now, that’s heart smart.

Popcorn Butterscotch Squares

popcorn-butterscotch-squaresNow that the kids are back at school its time to start thinking about lunchbox fillers. Mind you that isn’t as hard as you think if you have the Australian Women’s Weekly Little Squares & Slices cookbook on hand

My friend Tammy makes amazing slices for her family of 5 children to pop into their lunch boxes and for after school snacks and this is one I am sure you will all love.


 Popcorn Butterscotch Squares

Prep + cook time 30 minutes (+ refrigeration)
Makes 24
Store squares in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.


• 250g (8 ounces) butternut snap biscuits
• 125g (4 ounces) butter, melted
• 395g (12 ½ ounces) canned sweetened condensed milk
• 30g (1 ounce) butter, extra
• 4 cups (40g) air-popped salted popcorn
• ½ cup (40g) toasted shredded coconut
• 185g (6 ounces) milk eating chocolate, melted

1. Grease 20cm x 30cm (8-inch x 12-inch) rectangular pan; line base and long sides with baking paper, extending paper 5 cm (2 inches) over sides.

2. Process biscuits until fine. Add butter; process until combined. Press mixture firmly over base of pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm.

3. Meanwhile, combine condensed milk and extra butter in a medium heavy-based saucepan; cook, stirring, over medium heat, about 10 minutes or until mixture is a caramel colour. Remove from heat; quickly stir in the popcorn and coconut.

4. Working quickly with wet hands, spread and firmly press popcorn mixture over base. Spread chocolate over slice. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set before cutting.

the-australian-womens-weekly-little-squares-&-slicesThe recipe is taken from the Australian Women’s Weekly ‘little squares & slices’ cookbook.

I doubt there is a household in Australia that doesn’t have a copy of at least one of the Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks.

They have an amazing range of cookbooks that cover every type of cooking that you can think of. The recipes are always easy to follow.

Each recipe is clearly photographed so that you can see what the finished dish should look like. The recipes aren’t complicated and  because they are all tested before publication, they work – every time.


Choc-Honeycomb Ice Cream Pudding – Delicious for Celebrations or Anytime

Paula and I decided to cook dinner for her brother Wal for his birthday. For the menu we cooked wild Alaskan Salmon, a favorite of ours,  with new potatoes in parsley butter, carrots and beans from  Paula’s garden, and dessert was a delicious choc honeycomb ice cream pudding.  This dessert was taken from the Super Food Ideas magazine and believe me it is delicious.

choc-honeycomb-ice-cream-puddingChoc-honeycomb ice-cream pudding.


  • 1½ x 300g packets of chocolate sponge roles. (we used a chocolate cream filled sponge roll from Coles)
  • 2 liters hokey pokey ice cream – softened
  • 2 x 55g Violet Crumble bars, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup of dry-roasted hazelnuts, chopped


  • 180g block white chocolate, chopped (we used Cadbury’s Dream White Chocolate)
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream
  • strawberries – halved,
  • white chocolate curls ( I made the chocolate curls using a potato peeler)
  • silver cachous, to decorate (optional)


Line an 8 cup capacity pudding basin with plastic wrap. (Good luck doing that, I found it to be a bit fiddly).

Cut the chocolate rolls into 1 cm thick slices. Reserve 4 slices. Line the base and side of the prepared pan with remaining cake slices, trimming to fit.

Place the softened ice cream in a bowl. Fold in the roughly chopped Violet Crumble and the chopped hazelnuts.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, Level the top with a spatula and arrange the reserved cake slices over the top of the ice cream, pressing slightly to secure.

Cover with plastic wrap, then foil and freeze overnight.


Place white chocolate and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50%) for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth, stirring with a metal spoon every 30 seconds. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly.


Turn the pudding onto a plate. Remove the plastic wrap.

Spoon 1/3 of the chocolate sauce over the pudding. Stand for 5 minutes.

Decorate with strawberries, chocolate curls and cachous. Serve with the remaining chocolate sauce.

I didn’t read the last part of the recipe and so added all the topping instead of just 1/3 , but it turned out fine and it tasted fantastic.  The topping is not too sweet and the hidden bits of violet crumble and hazelnuts certainly add a touch of pizazz to the delicious hokey pokey ice cream. We also served it with extra strawberries and cream.

I will certainly make this dessert again.

Many thanks to Super Food Ideas Magazine.

Grasshopper Pie – Courtesy Nigella Lawson – Adults Only – Decadently Delicious.


For this one I used a larger tart pan, if you use a smaller pan the pie is higher and looks much more impressive. This pie has grated chocolate on the top.

I have a few celebrity chefs that I love to watch on tv as they demonstrate their recipes with such ease and aplomb.

So the other night I was watching one of my all time favorites – Nigella Lawson.  I mean to say who doesn’t love watching this amazing woman whip up her delicious, taste tempting recipe – not me for one. I am an absolute convert. I have a range of her cookbooks and DVDs

So here I am tucked up on the lounge when she begins to make a Grasshopper Pie. On hearing the ingredients I’m intrigued, and decide that I have to try this out on the family, which I did over the holiday break.  Everyone loved it and so I think it is only fair that I share Nigella’s delightful recipe with you all. I hope she doesn’t mind.

The Grasshopper Pie recipe is from her book ‘Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, which is absolutely chock full of wonderful, mouth watering recipes.

Grasshopper Pie



28 chocolate creme filled sandwich cookies ( I used Oreo’s)

2 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped ( I used ¼ cup dark chocolate chips)

3 Tsps soft unsalted butter


3 cups mini marshmallows
( I had trouble finding packets with just white marshmallows. And unfortunately the pink marshmallows do dilute the color. The second time I made it I just used large marshmallows and it worked just as well)

½ cup whole milk ( I don’t use a lot of milk so I keep long life whole milk in the cupboard for visitors who take milk in their tea, and this is what I used and it works fine)

¼ cup creme de menthe

¼ cup creme de cacao blanc

1½ cups heavy cream

Few drops green coloring (optional) I used a few drops because the pink marshmallows had softened the green color.



Set aside 1 cookie for later use as decoration. (I forgot the second time I made it so I just grated chocolate over).

Process the remaining cookies and chocolate in a food processor until they form a crumb mixture.

Add the butter and process until the mixture starts to clump together.

Press the mixture into a high-sided fluted tart pan making a smooth base and sides with your hands or the back of a spoon. (Not having a fluted pan I just used a plain spring pan and it looks just as nice when the pie is turned out)

Put into the refrigerator to chill and harden.


Melt the marshmallows  in a saucepan over a low gentle heat along with the milk.

Once the milk starts to foam (not boil), take the pan off the heat and keep stirring until the marshmallows blend into the milk to make a smooth mixture.

Pour the mixture out of the saucepan into a heatproof bowl, then whisk in the creme de menthe and the creme de cacao. Leave until cool.

(I poured the mixture into a stainless steel bowl which of course was holding the heat so I placed the bowl into some cold water in the sink to quickly cool it down.)

In a medium bowl, whisk the cream until it starts to hold in soft peaks, then still whisking, add the cooled marshmallow mixture.  The filling should be thick but still soft, not stiff or dry, so that eventually, it will drop easily out of the bowl into the chilled pie crust.

When the marshmallow mixture and cream are combined, whisk in a few drops of food coloring, if desired.

Spread the filling into the chilled base, swirling it about with an icing spatula or silicon spatula to fill evenly.  Put the pie in the refrigerator, covered , to chill overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours until firm.

Crush the remaining cookie and sprinkle it over the top of the pie before serving.


This pie can be made 1 or 2 days ahead. When chilled and firm, tent with aluminum foil ( try not to touch the surface with the foil as it will leave marks) and store in the refrigerator. Decorate just before serving. The pie will keep for around 3 to 4 days.


The pie can be frozen for up to 3 months. Open-freeze undecorated pie just until solid, then wrap the pie (still in its tart pan) in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil.

To Thaw

Unwrap the pie and tent with foil, (try not to touch the surface with the foil as it will leave marks), then  thaw overnight in the refrigerator.  Decorate before serving.

My family, friends an I just love this pie. It’s just for adults and it’s decadently delicious.

NON- Alcoholic Version

For a non-alcoholic version you can replace the cream de menthe and creme de cacao with ½ tsp (2.5mls) of peppermint extract. It isn’t necessary to make up the amount of lost liquid by not adding the alcohol.  It is advisable to use a good quality natural peppermint extract instead of an artificial peppermint flavoring.

As you won’t be getting the green coloring from the creme de menthe you will need to add some green coloring otherwise you won’t get the desired effect as the pie will be white.


Weston Products Launches Website for Michael Symon’s New Product Line

michael-symon-live-to-cookCLEVELAND, Ohio (December 1, 2011) – Kitchenware manufacturer Weston Products has launched a new site, MichaelSymon.WestonProducts.com, as an online source for its latest line of specialty kitchen products, the Michael Symon Live to Cook collection.

Celebrity Chef Michael Symon is an Iron Chef, Food Network Star, host of ABC’s “The Chew,” and now, he has launched his first kitchenware line. The Michael Symon Live to Cook Collection by Weston includes a meat grinder, vacuum sealer, sausage stuffer, French fry cutter, burger presses, and several other stainless steel kitchen tools “for those who take cooking seriously.”
In addition to viewing product details and purchasing the items on the site, consumers can watch product demos hosted by the Iron Chef himself. The site also gives customers the opportunity to preview recipes from Weston’s Michael Symon “For Those Who Take Cooking Seriously” Recipe Collection, which is included free with each product in the line.

“We couldn’t be more excited about our partnership with Chef Symon,” said Michael Caspar, CEO of Weston Products. “Being from Cleveland made the partnership a perfect fit – our shared values on food preparation made it a no-brainer.”

Symon, currently the owner of four critically acclaimed restaurants and eight total locations, chose to partner with Weston Products to make restaurant-style cooking more approachable to the home cook. The self-proclaimed “meat-centric” chef selected products for crafting foods like burgers, sausages, and French fries from fresh ingredients.

“Weston products have changed the way I cook.” said Symon. “They make cooking easier, more efficient, and always fun.” In addition to MichaelSymon.WestonProducts.com, the Michael Symon Live to Cook collection is set to be available at fine retailers across the country in the next coming months.

live-to-cook-michael-symonAbout Michael Symon

Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly-flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his four restaurants in America’s heartland: Lola, Lolita, Roast and B Spot. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network. Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors including Bon Appétit magazine’s Top 10 Best New Burger Joints; SoBe Wine & Food Festival’s People’s Choice award, The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef and Gourmet magazine’s list of America’s Best Restaurants. Michael can be seen on Food Network’s Iron Chef and The Next Iron Chef, ABC’s The Chew and The Cooking Channel’s Cook Like an Iron Chef.

Live2Cook-Weston®- LogoAbout Weston Products

Founded in 1997, Weston Products is a leading manufacturer of specialty food processing equipment, specializing in commercial-grade meat processing equipment, home harvesting tools, and traditional style kitchenware. The company is an independently operated private company, owned by current management team Michael Caspar and Jason Berry. Weston Products was listed on the 2011 Inc. 5000, a list of the country’s fastest growing privately held companies.

More information on Weston Products can be found at http://www.westonproducts.com.