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If you’re anything like us, there’s always rice leftover from your last meal. But wait, don’t throw it out! There’s plenty you can do with it besides toss it in the bin. Not only are these three recipes super simple to throw together, they’re hearty enough to keep your belly nice and happy, too.

The-Loop_Spiced-lentils

What you need

  • 2 cups rice, cooked
  • 3 cups canned lentils, rinsed and strained
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 large white onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 sprigs scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter

What you do

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter, oil and onions. Cook until caramelized, approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add lentils and rice, increasing the heat to high and cooking for 4 minutes.
  4. Add a tablespoon of water, scallions and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from heat, then add lemon juice and zest.
  6. Stir together well and serve.

The-Loop_Rice-pudding

What you need

  • 3 cups white rice, cooked
  • 3 cups milk (preferably homogenized)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 egg, yolk only

What you do

  1. Combine cooked rice, cinnamon stick, milk, sugar, raisins and vanilla into a medium saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a bowl, whist together yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk and 1 tablespoon of hot rice (this is to temper it so it doesn’t curdle), then add mixture to the pot of hot rice pudding and stir well.
  4. Add cold butter and continue to stir until blended.
  5. Spoon pudding into a serving dish and dust with cinnamon. Server either chilled or at room temperature.

The-Loop_Breakfast-fried-rice

What you need

  • 3 cups white rice, cooked
  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • 4 breakfast sausages, casings removed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, diced
  • 4 eggs

What you do

  1. In a large flying pan or wok, cook the bacon and sausage together. Once the bacon is crisp and the sausage is golden, remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  2. Remove half the bacon fat from the pan and discard. With the remaining fat in the pan, sauté the onions and peppers for five minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the rice, bacon and sausage back to the pan and continue to cook together on high for 3 minutes.
  4. In a separate non-stick pan, fry the eggs sunny side up.
  5. Once the eggs are cooked, plate your rice mixture on a place, season to taste, and place the fried eggs over top.

Recipes developed by Chef Andrea Nicholson of Killer Condiments