Making nutritious rice dishes

Written by Jacob Colors

Not scientifically reviewed by Dr. Eeks 


When people think about nutritious food, they imagine tasteless and colorless dishes. Nothing is further from the truth.

Nutrient-rich dishes denote preparations that contain a lot of minerals and vitamins with low calories. They provide all the necessary energy and elements to keep the body healthy. Besides, it also helps to reduce the risk of suffering chronic diseases.

However, it does not mean they have to be plain, simple, monochromatic, or with a single flavor tone. If you know the ingredients’ properties and use the proper cooking technique, you will not believe the countless nutrient-dense foods you can prepare.

Easy and yet nutritious preparations

Making healthy dishes does not mean they are time-consuming, and you have to spend half-day cooking. They do not need either special treatment or specialized kitchen gadgets.

Healthy eating is a combination of what you cook and how you cook. Nutritious dishes are beneficial ingredients cooked using healthy preparation methods.

In other words, cooking healthier dishes means avoiding techniques that need oils high in saturated or trans fats, overheating, and overcooking.

Baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, roasting, stir-frying, microwaving, pressure-cooking, and slow cooking are some techniques you can use to make healthy dishes. These methods help retain the nutrients in all the ingredients and introduce fewer toxins during the process.

Using any of them does not need extra cooking abilities. They are simple and fast. Most of them do not require added fat or moisture; if they need it, you can use water or broth.

Choosing the best ingredients

Nutritious foods must be balanced and contain loads of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

To include all the components, you have to choose the ingredients carrying the greatest amount and variety of nutrients.

Healthy ingredients include:

  • Vegetables: Include leafy green, dark green, red, or orange vegetables.
  • Fruits: oranges, raspberries, bananas, cherries, pomegranates, honeydew melons, avocados, dried apricots, raisins, citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, mangoes, cantaloupe, among others.
  • Grains: Barley, bulgur, farro, quinoa, white rice, brown rice, oat, corn, couscous, etc.
  • Low-fat dairy: It may be milk, cheese, or yogurt.
  • Proteins: lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
  • Unsaturated oils: olive, flaxseed, and canola oils.

The ever present rice

If you are starting a healthy lifestyle, it could be arduous to go to the grocery store and buy these beneficial ingredients all at once.

Take a big breath and start slowly. Use the ingredients you already know how to cook. For example, rice is a good start.

This grain is full of nutrients, easy to cook, and pairs with almost any ingredient you have in your pantry.

Rice is one of the essential nutritional carbohydrates in the world. It contains minerals, vitamins, protein, and no fat or sugar. It helps maintain a healthy weight, protects against chronic disease, and provides energy.

So, it is the best ingredient you could try to begin cooking healthy dishes that are exquisite.

Healthy rice recipes

Besides all its beneficial characteristics, rice has a blank flavor which allows for combining with several ingredients. This means you can create countless preparations, even those you think are greasy.

You can even make delicious fried rice but in a healthy version. Remember the secret behind nutritious preparations is to cook nutrient rich ingredients with a technique that does not require saturated fat. For example, check this recipe and learn how to prepare a fast and easy rice dish.

Or see the following recipe to get fresh ideas.

One-pot chicken and rice

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 4 pieces of chicken thigh fillets cut into small pieces.
  • 1 chopped onion.
  • 1 cup of sliced brown mushrooms.
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves.
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock.
  • 1/2 cup of cut cauliflower.
  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 2 cups of chopped kale.
  • 3/4 cup of frozen peas.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Lemon wedges.
  • Fresh parsley for garnish.



  1. In a saucepan, pour extra olive oil and heat at medium temperature.
  2. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are golden. Remove from the saucepan and reserve.
  3. Incorporate onion, garlic, and mushrooms into the saucepan. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower, cooked chicken, and chicken stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add rice, kale, peas, lemon wedges, and salt.
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Let stand for 10 minutes and serve with parsley at the top.


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