Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

From Our Pantry: Brown Rice

This January, we are focusing on stocking your pantry for healthier meals and a healthier budget. If you haven’t entered to Win Pantry Staples for a Year, head over to that blog post now and then come right back.

When you pick up the items on our $50 Pantry Stock Up list (see below), you’ll be ready to add a few fresh ingredients, herbs and spices to be able to cook 14 of our favorite recipes. We’ll feature all of these recipes individually in these “From Our Pantry” posts throughout this month.

This time we’re talking brown rice. (You can see our earlier posts on Oats and on Soup, Stew and Chili.)

Brown rice is a nutritious whole grain that delivers fiber, protein and selenium. It is not another type of rice; it's the same as white rice without all the good stuff removed in processing. Whole grains in general are packed with nutrients and fiber, which aids in healthy digestion and weight management. These are the "good carbs" that help balance your diet and can fill you up.

First things first, you need to learn how absolutely simple it is to cook brown rice. Here’s our step by step instructional recipe called Learn to Cook: Brown Rice. (Um, but really, there’s only about two steps.)

Read through the customer comments on the recipe. They share some great ideas for using a rice cooker and how to adjust the recipe to better suit temperature issues when cooking on electric or a ceramic cooktop.

Now that you’ve got the basics down, you can whip up some dinner and dessert.

Brown Rice with Chicken and Broccoli

Lean protein, greens and whole grains all in this one-pot weeknight meal.

In addition to your pantry staples, you’ll need a boneless, skinless chicken breast (a package of frozen makes this easy), onion, garlic, broccoli florets (again, frozen can make this even easier) along with a bit of fresh thyme and pine nuts.

Almond Brown Rice Pudding

A rich mixture that's not too sweet but just enough to be enjoyed as a warm after-dinner treat. This non-dairy pudding uses unsweetened almondmilk for a creamy texture. You’ll need dates, raisins, almonds, cinnamon along with almond and vanilla extracts in addition to your pantry staples.

Here’s the complete Pantry Stock Up List (download the pdf) that gives you all the pantry ingredients needed for these three recipes and 11 more.

  • 1 lb black beans
  • 1 lb lentils
  • 1 lb quinoa
  • 2 lbs brown rice
  • 3 (32-oz) boxes vegetable broth
  • 1 (32-oz) box chicken broth
  • 1 lb rolled oats
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 lb orechiette pasta
  • 1 lb pasta, your favorite kind
  • 1 jar unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened soymilk
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened almondmilk
  • 1 (5-oz) can tuna
  • 3 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 package no-oil sundried tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce

We priced these in our 365 Everyday Value® line and the list came in around $50. We encourage you to visit our bulk department and keep an eye out for sales for even more value.

Do you have a favorite recipe using brown rice that comes together easily with help from a well-stocked pantry? Please share in the comments.

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Holly Davis says …

Trying very hard to include beans, grains, brown rice in my diet now. I am Diabetic and these foods are included in a health diabetic menu. I find lots of interesting recipes at Whole Foods

Sharon says …

I always use a pressure cooker to prepare brown rice in 15-20 minutes depending on the recipe. I would never go thru all the time, trouble and energy waste of cooking brown rice stovetop in a regular pot. Visit some of the great pressure cooking blogs like: Hip Pressure Cooking or a Lorna Sass blog.

Carla says …

My favorite "go to" recipe for brown rice: Once the rice is cooked, stir in a can of black beans and a can of Rotelle, diced fresh tomatoes or favorite salsa on hand and serve it all over a bed of greens. A great wholesome meal in a pinch!! For non-vegans, dress it up with a sprinkling of cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream.

Gail Brown says …

Hi ~ A regular collector of your recipes ... wish you would include serving size/portion when listing the calories, protein, etc. You say 'per serving' ... Thanks. Gail

says …

@Gail Thanks for reaching out! Typically our recipes indicate # of portions from the recipe as the first bolded line on the page. For the Almond Brown Rice Pudding the recipe indicates that once completed it will serve 6. Also, the Brown Rice with Chicken and Broccoli says it will serve 4. Thanks for being a recipe loyalist!

Peggy says …

Cook's Illustrated did a story on the best way to cook brown rice, and they concluded that a rice cooker was the way to go, which is what inspired my first purchase of a rice cooker. I've since bought one with a timer, that you can set ahead of time to be ready when you get home from work. No fuss, and probably uses less energy than stove-top.

Jess Boscarini says …

Another great use for brown rice - Homemade Smoked Salmon Sushi Rolls. They are to die for! Check out the recipe here: http://www.ocfoodandfitness.org/#!food/vstc21=smoked-salmon-sushi