Have I mentioned how much we love rice? My husband, Tony, and I could easily eat rice daily, for lunch and/or dinner. I’ve even been known to eat a hearty bowl of brown rice for breakfast on occasion. But that is where we begin to differ.
I love every type of rice, white, brown, red, wild … but Tony is definitely loyal to the polished white grain. He will on occasion eat whole grain rice without complaint, and even claims that he likes brown rice, “just not all the time.” His definition of “all the time” when it comes to brown rice is once a week, so I only get away with serving heartier whole grain rice to him once or twice a month. This is why some of the relatively new products from Lundberg Family Farms interested me.
Not long ago, Lundberg came out with a full line of Roasted Brown Rice Couscous. This isn’t like traditional couscous, but rather smaller couscous-shaped brown rice that cooks up much more quickly …
The cooking time was key for me. One of the main reasons I can’t get away with brown rice is that when it’s time to eat, it’s time to eat. White rice is done in 15 minutes or less, but brown rice? Typically 40 minutes. Granted, regular couscous only takes 5 minutes (love that!), but this brown rice couscous matches white rice, cooking up in just 15 minutes; a definite win in my house. Also, because of the smaller shape, the rice tasted less hearty in couscous format, and was devoured by my husband. Another plus.
I purchased their plain couscous previously (because I LOVE this eco-friendly company, and buy their products often), but Lundberg was kind enough to send me a box each of their four couscous varieties, all of which are dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and even soy-free:
Plain / Original – This is the one I purchased myself, and to be honest, it is still my favorite. I’m partial to blank canvases that can go with any meal and be seasoned to taste. Also, when you forgo the seasonings, you get nearly 50% more couscous for the same price. More whole grain bang for your buck. I will definitely buy this variety again.
Savory Herb – This variety came in a close second, and tops in our opinion for the flavored varieties. It had a nice flavor that paired with almost any meal. I would consider purchasing this one on sale for a quick short-cut meal.
Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil – Again, this one would go well with most meals, but it lacked the punch we were looking for. A little extra salt went a long ways with this one, but I was tempted to add some fresh herbs, too.
Mediterranean Curry – This was the one we were both most excited to trial, and it was good, but not as flavorful as we had hoped. The ingredient list is stellar, but as Tony pointed out, it tasted a bit more “peppery” and citrus than curry. Also, for some reason this one came out a bit wet and clumped more – it wasn’t as fluffy like the others. However, I do think this was the best variety for making a one-skillet meal. It has loads of potential …
Each box makes quite a bit (4 generous servings), so I decided to dress-up the leftovers of the Mediterranean Curry by making a curry fried couscous-rice for lunch. This helped to break it up and cook it more so that there wasn’t quite so much moisture. Interestingly enough, just a little salt went a long ways in bringing out some of the other flavors … but, if you want even more flavor, I recommend sprinkling on a few shakes of curry powder.
- 2 Teaspoons Coconut Oil (you can sub dairy-free margarine or the cooking oil of your choice)
- 2 Large Shallots or ½ Medium Onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- ½ Red Bell Pepper, about 1 cup diced
- 1-1/2 Cups Leftover Lundberg Mediterranean Curry Roasted Brown Rice Couscous
- 1 Cup Chopped Leftover Chicken or Chickpeas (for vegan / vegetarian)
- ⅛ – ¼ Teaspoon Salt, to taste
- ⅛ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions or shallots and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the diced bell pepper and sauté for another 3 minutes.
- Add the couscous and stir-fry the rice, breaking it up and stirring it as it cooks, for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until its fried to your liking.
- Add the chicken or chickpeas and seasonings to taste, and cook for another 2 minutes to warm everything.