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This Protein-Packed Rice Alternative Is Much Easier to Cook

This Protein-Packed Rice Alternative Is Much Easier to Cook


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Banza’s new line of rice alternatives is perfect for busy home cooks.

I was so excited for Banza to launch a line of rice alternatives, since I’ve enjoyed using their line of chickpea pastas in place of wheat varieties for a little extra protein and fiber boost at dinner. Their chickpea-based rice stacks up just as well nutritionally, with 5g of fiber, 11g of protein and 10 percent of our daily iron and potassium needs per serving. Their legume-based rice had a similar nutritional profile, just with a little less potassium per serving. But did it actually cook well and taste good? Here’s what I thought.

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I’m terrible at cooking rice on its own, and if I don’t have access to a rice cooker I won’t do it. But I decided to give it another shot with a bag of the chickpea-based Banza rice, and I must say, it was pretty foolproof. I would definitely recommend cooking your rice in a big pot because there will be lots of white foam produced as the rice cooks, and the Banza website advises against using a rice cooker.

The rice also only took five minutes to cook, which is a huge time saver for weeknight dinners or when you’re trying to meal prep several dishes. You do have to run it through a colander after cooking, but that’s still way better than waiting 20 minutes or more for it to cook.

It’s important to note, however, the Banza rice is much more like an orzo than a grain for your burrito bowl or stir-fry (although, it can certainly function as such!) It would be perfect in an orzo salad, soup or risotto, but not so much in a curry dish. I loved the texture and heartiness of the rice and truly wouldn’t have known if someone had served me a traditional orzo or this chickpea version.

Looking for more healthy (but still tasty) alternatives?

While Banza is a little pricier than your average bag of white or even brown rice (about $4 for an 8-oz. package), it’s a great option if you’re avoiding gluten or just trying to get your family to eat more fiber and plant-based protein. As a vegan, I love that it’s a great iron booster and will certainly be putting Banza’s rice on heavy rotation in my home. Banza’s new rice line is available exclusively at Whole Foods, but you also can order it online through Banza’s website.


Quinoa Fried Rice Meal Prep

This fried rice is protein packed and gluten free. It’s easy to make in large quantities and reheat for your weekly meal prep.

I stopped doing meal prep since our trip to Austin. I didn’t realize that we were all out until I caught my husband trying to pack leftover cookies as his lunch. So, we’re back to meal prepping!

I love using quinoa as a rice substitute. It works especially well in this fried rice dish. I kept this version vegetarian but you can add chicken, shrimp or beef if you’d like.


  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • A pinch of Salt
  • 1/4 tsp of White Pepper
  • 2 tbsp of Olive oil
  • Cut off the green leaves from the cauliflower. You can use the green leaves by steaming them and adding them to rice recipes. But the greenish leaves are not used for making riced cauliflower. The rice is supposed to be white, adding the greenish leaves makes it greenish. Remember, we want the riced cauliflower to look like the usual white rice.
  • Add some vinegar to water and deep the cauliflower into the water.
  • Ensure the cauliflower is fully immersed in the water containing the vinegar. The vinegar helps to destroy microorganisms on the cauliflower.
  • Allow it to sit in the water for at least 5 minutes and then drain the water off.
  • Using a hand grater, grate the cauliflower into small strands like rice. The medium-sized holes of the grater would be perfect for this. This is a perfect alternative to using a food processor. The grated cauliflower can be called Riced Cauliflower.
  • You can pad the riced cauliflower with a paper towel to further reduce some water content in it.

Using a food processor for grating the Cauliflower

If you are going to use a food processor, then use the cheese grater to grate the cauliflower into small even pieces. Ensure you chop the head of the cauliflower into small golf-ball sizes before adding to the food processor. You can also use the regular blade attachment but the disadvantage of using this blade is that the sizes of the riced cauliflower may not be the same.

How to Cook Cauliflower Rice

  • After making the riced cauliflower, place a pan on the stovetop.
  • To the pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil allow the oil to heat up, and then go in with the riced cauliflower.
  • You can cover and steam the rice for 5 minutes on low heat while stirring intermittently.
  • Once it is slightly cooked, add a pinch of salt and some white pepper. Other seasonings can be added to your taste.
  • Remove from heat and serve it just the same way as you serve parboiled white rice.

Tips to make the best Adai Recipe:

1. Soaking the dal and rice for a minimum of 4 hours That helps the dals to soften and easy to grind.

2. I have used my blender to grind the batter, if your making in large quantity, some people prefer grinding in the grinder. However, blender works perfectly fine for me.

3. The adai batter has to be coarsely ground for the right consistency.

4. The consistency has to be little thicker than the regular dosa batter. So add water little by little to get the right consistency.

5. You can drizzle some ghee for more flavours.

How do you serve these?

Adai can be served with jaggery or the classic way to serve is with Avial.

How long can I refrigerate the adai batter?

Adai batter can be refrigerated for 2 day s! Just grind the batter and store in a proper air-tight container.
Just before you make adai, add freshly chopped onion and mix the batter.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked short-grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
  • 3 mangos, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Combine the rice and water in a saucepan bring to a boil cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

While the rice cooks, mix together 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat bring to a boil remove from heat and set aside. Stir the cooked rice into the coconut milk mixture cover. Allow to cool for 1 hour.

Make a sauce by mixing together 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the tapioca starch in a saucepan bring to a boil.

Place the sticky rice on a serving dish. Arrange the mangos on top of the rice. Pour the sauce over the mangos and rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.


Crock-Pot Beef Ragu

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Sick of the usual meat sauce and meatballs on a weeknight? Take your Italian cooking up a notch with this delectable beef ragu recipe. Not only is it easy to make, but this dump-and-go Crock-Pot recipe is perfect to prep and freeze for later!

Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Beef Ragu.


If you are not too confident a cook then why not check out my tips and recipes with butternut squash too.

Are omelettes something else you struggle with? Tips to make omelettes and with eggs, in general, can be found here.

Not everyone can cook well but simple easy to follow recipes can make you a great cook in no time.

Do you ever make risotto? Here is how you can easily make risotto and some recipes to try too, my favourite is mushroom risotto.

If you like doing anything the easy way then do check out one of my other websites Live the Easy Life or read my guide to easily buying wall art for your home. Nothing should ever be difficult, I love finding easy ways to do anything!


Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ (12 ounce) package firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • ¼ onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (8 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce, or to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic cook and stir until vegetables are just soft 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir rice, egg, and spinach into the tofu mixture until egg is no longer runny, about 5 minutes. Stir in sriracha season with salt and pepper.


How We Cook Now

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every aspect of life, down to the way we shop for groceries and what we cook (just look back to the recent rise of homemade bread and ensuing shortages of yeast and flour). For many people, cheap and easy meals are always a priority—but even those who have the time, budget, and inclination to cook multi-course feasts on the regular are likely looking for affordable and simple recipes right now.

Economic uncertainty and stress are even more of a factor for anyone without the good fortune to be able to work from home, including millions of restaurant industry employees and service workers who are still currently unemployed. Stimulus checks may have provided some measure of assistance, but now that increased unemployment benefits have ceased, many will face further financial challenges.

We’re all cooking more from our pantry stores, minimizing grocery trips, and doing whatever we can to reduce stress during such uncertain times, so uncomplicated, easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are what’s in order. Luckily, food doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or involve much effort to be delicious.


Need more help?

If you're totally new to all this, see some more kitchen skills to master, 10 kitchen commandments all cooks should follow and an A-Z ingredients substitution guide for anything you may be missing.

Chowhound's quarantine kitchen headquarters is full of even more great tips and guidance on staying well-fed and healthy (plus how to help others during the COVID-19 crisis).

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.



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