When I was offered the opportunity to try Uncle Ben’s whole grain rice, the first thing I thought of was finally finishing the post I’ve had in the works for a month or two—oops. While we use a lot of rice products to substitute for our gluten allergies, I also use it to stretch out a recipe—especially ground beef. The cool thing about rice is it absorbs the flavor of whatever you are cooking so it’s easy to add rice to tacos, sloppy joes, meatloaf and more—without affecting the taste of your meal.
I almost always add rice to taco meat, just to keep the meal on a low budget. As our family has grown, we’ve moved from needing only a pound of taco meat to feed us (with leftovers) to finishing off 2 pounds of meat just for dinner. This can get quite expensive, but adding a cup of cooked rice to the meat allows me to cut the ground beef down a bit. I can get by with 1.5 pounds, while the kids have yet to notice any difference! With Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown rice you are not just increasing calories & texture, but you’ll be adding a natural source of fiber & B vitamins. They’ve made it easy to add whole grains to your diet—add rice to soups, casseroles and ground meat dishes.
Uncle Ben’s has also created several recipes with whole grain brown rice in mind. We tried the Chicken & Rice Sloppy Joes earlier this week. Yum! The dish is simple to make & stretches really far with the rice ingredients. Of course, with our food allergies, we had to skip the hamburger buns, but it was still a fantastic skillet dish! Now, my mind is swirling with other ideas for including brown rice in our diet. We’re big fans of quick skillet meals in the heat of summer.
I also added brown rice to our meatloaf the other night, in place of the usual binding ingredients. It worked decently, but our 2nd meatloaf is falling apart on reheating (gotta plan lunch too, you know!). I imagine it would be an excellent addition to an already existing recipe, though. I’ll make some adjustments next time, but that’s probably a few months away. I don’t plan to turn the oven on for the summer!
In the meantime, the 3 varieties of Uncle Ben’s will be great options. In addition to the traditional rice, their whole grain brown rice also comes in boil-in-bag (that was kinda fun!) & quick cook versions. There are also microwave instructions, which helps keep the kitchen cool when I want to serve rice with our grilled dinners. I appreciate having a nutritious way to add filler to our meals—it keeps the kids full without adding empty calories & helps stretch the grocery budget just a little bit. Rice is definitely less expensive than meat. Now, your rice & beans, beans & rice meals can have a little extra value!
There are numerous products and tools designed to help you live your life. Some will work, while others won’t. Each Tuesday, we’ll share something we’ve tried so you won’t have to spend money until you know it’s worth it! Our selections usually include items that will also save your family money while others will save you time or just make your inexpensive life easier to manage. I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Uncle Ben’s and received samples to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.