Land of Leftovers

Rice is considered a pantry staple in my household and millions of others throughout the world. With such a wide variety of offerings on your grocer's shelves, it's a wonder that we can ever make a final decision about what to buy! However, if you're like most of us, among all those boxes and bags in your pantry is good old fashioned white rice.

White rice acts as an accompaniment to many meals and as a base for many more. But, if you're like me, you often make just a bit too much for just one meal. Well, with this month's set of recipes, you just might start making extra just to fit them into your weekly routine!

The recipes offered in this month's column include a wide variety of ingredients and can act as everything from appetizers to first courses to side dishes to a meal on the run to dessert! It's all covered. Because they vary so much, it is easy to serve rice more than once or twice a week without causing monotony.

And now, the part you've been waiting for -- the recipes:

So the next time you enjoy a great dinner and notice extra rice in the bowl, remember -- rice is nice!

Simmering Rice Soup

The surprise in this soup is that it isn't complete until it gets served to your guests. Make sure the rice is very hot so that it sings when you add the broth to it!
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. green peas
  • 1 T. wok oil
  • 2 c. cooked white rice

Combine the chicken broth and peas in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until steaming.

Meanwhile, heat the wok oil in a medium-sized wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the rice and stir-fry until sizzling and crispy.

Immediately spoon 1/2 c. of the rice into each serving bowl and pour about 1 c. of the chicken broth over the rice. If you've kept your rice hot enough, it will sizzle when you add the chicken broth!

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Fruity Confetti Rice Salad

The rice in this recipe makes for a wonderful texture. If you don't see your favorite variety of fruit here, feel free to add it!
  • 1 1/2 c. cooked rice
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 c. chopped apple
  • 1/2 c. red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 c. plain yogurt
  • 1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • sugar to taste

Combine the rice and fruit. Toss well to mix.

In a small bowl, combine yogurt, cinnamon and lemon juice. Mix well. Add sugar to taste.

Pour dressing over rice and fruit mixture. Toss well to coat. Serve chilled.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Shrimp and Rice Wraps

These wraps make for terrific lunches on the go. You can also serve them as appetizers if you slice them into three or more sections.
  • 2 T. honey mustard
  • 2 T. plain yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. basil
  • 1 c. cooked rice
  • 1/2 lb. cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp (no tails)
  • 4 large tortilla wraps

For dressing, combine the first three ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well blended.

In a large bowl, combine rice and shrimp. Pour dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Chill for at least two hours. To serve, spoon 1/2 c. mixture into a tortilla and wrap. If desired, add diced tomatoes and lettuce.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time