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Vermicelli and Rice

By • Jun 15th, 2007 • Category: Potatoes, Grains, and Beans Print Print

vermicelli450.jpg
Vermicelli and Rice

Ingredients:
3 T. vegan margarine
1 ½ c. broken vermicelli (half inch pieces)
1 ½ C. white rice
2 T. vegetarian “chicken style” seasoning boullion powder
3 c. hot water
3 T. minced parsley (optional)

To Prepare:
Heat a heavy skillet and melt the margarine in it. When the fat is bubbling, add the vermicelli and stir fry the pieces until nicely browned. Add the rice and stir until the rice becomes glassy and toasted. Add bouillion powder, mix well into the rice-pasta mixture, then add the hot water and bring everything to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the rice is tender but firm, about 20-25 minutes.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired and serve.

You can substitute orzo for the vermicelli. The leftovers make a wonderful yet simple vegetarian fried rice when you add it to sautéed onion, carrot, celery, and scallions. If you’re inclined, you can add scrambled egg along with chopped peanuts for an authentic fried rice experience.

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is Toni Fiore was raised by an Italian-American father and a German mother who instilled in her a sociable nature and the love of travel and of good food. She has lived in Italy and Germany and now resides in southern Maine. She is the author of: Totally Vegetarian: Easy, Fast, Comforting Cooking for Every Kind of Vegetarian
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14 comments
Cher
Cher

I made this and I needed more liquid then what was stated. It was really good and even better when I used the leftovers in my meatless meatballs.

Chef
Chef

Thanks for your letter. With so many varieties available it can be a confusing issue. Here's my take on white/converted rice. A whole grain of rice has several layers. Only the outermost layer, the hull, is removed to produce what we call brown rice. This process is the least damaging to the nutritional value of the rice and avoids the unnecessary loss of nutrients that occurs with further processing. If brown rice is further milled to remove the bran and most of the germ layer, the result is a whiter rice, but also a rice that has lost many more nutrients. At this point, however, the rice is still unpolished, and it takes polishing to produce the white rice we are used to seeing. Polishing removes the aleurone layer of the grain. That's the layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats. Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process, they're highly susceptible to oxidation so in producing white rice this layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the product. The resulting white rice is simply a refined starch that is largely bereft of its original nutrients. Now comes the processing technique called conversion that results in what we know as "converted rice". This is produced by steaming the whole grain before milling, forcing some of the B vitamins to migrate from the outside layers into the starchy center of the rice (called the endosperm). This process leaves some B vitamins inside the converted rice even though the manufacturers remove the outside layers, but this version is still not your best choice. The most nutritious rice is always whole grain, minimally milled and unpolished (or semi-polished) with its outer layers intact. You want the rice bran and the rice germ when you consume rice. Parboiled and converted rice is slightly yellowish or beige in color and cooks more slowly than white rice. Many people prefer its fluffy, separated texture once cooked. Converted Rice is simply parboiled rice that has been further pre-cooked so that it doesn't take as long to prepare. So while you are correct that converted rice is not completely devoid of nutrients, it is a processed product. Most food ranking systems qualify brown rice as an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. By law in the United States, fully milled and polished white rice must be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3, and iron. But the form of these nutrients when added back into the processed rice is not the same as in the original unprocessed version, and at least 11 lost nutrients are not replaced in any form even with rice enrichment.

Gene
Gene

I was watching a rerun of this show when you made a statement that you do not use converted rice because it is parboiled and has zero nutritional value. You should check your nutrition facts before you make such a statement. In reality, converted rice is pressure cooked in its husk, and has more minerals and vitamins than the same rice which has been husked and polished. The pressure boiling pushes nutrients such as thiamine from the bran layer into the rice, and the cooking process seals the nutrients inside the cooked-starch outer layer of the rice. So, from a nutrional standpoint, white converted rice is equivalent to brown rice.

sandra
sandra

This is great simple pilaf recipe. I added a couple of hands of golden raisins, turned out yummy.

Chef
Chef

Hi Trina, I haven't done it but I imagine you can. The idea is to add more flavor, and that should work. If you have veggie cubes, just crush them into a powder, it's really basically all the powder is. Let me know how whatever you decided to do works for you. These tips and try outs are always helpful!

Chef
Chef

Thank you Dee for your kind comments! We hope you continue to enjoy the rest of the season.

Trina
Trina

Hi, I was wondering, if I do not have any boullion powder, can i substitute vegetable broth for the water?

Dee
Dee

Hi Toni, Great recipe, as usual! I became a vegetarian almost 4 years ago, and it was tough going at first, but with quite a bit of help from you, I am eating healthier and tastier than ever before! Dee

Francine Garton
Francine Garton

Just ran across you show 2 weeks ago. Will pass the information on your program to many of my friends. My comment on soy is that I don't eat it except tofu salad dressing or something like that. Many of my friends are alergic to soy. I always use rice or almond milk not soy. Soy used for imitation meat is way too processed. Some of the reasons I quit eating a lot of meat is the same for the highly processed soy products. I think we should all be careful about the meat, dairy, soy, gm products is they have such powerful lobbiests like the Pharmaceutical people - we need to see who is back of that (Board Certified Internist) newsletters (free) usually have articles such as now about that eating all the veggies and fruits don't make a difference in Breast Cancer rates. He always researches these articles, statistics and points out where the studies went wrong (too much fat or whatever) (He is a vegan and has been helping patients get off some of their medication now for 30 years - He shows them how they can get enough protein with their diet and they can get plenty from their diet and he doesn't recommend fake foods i.e.fake sausage, etc. He states that he started that way with all the fake meat until he started studying how some of the soy products were not any better than meat. Dr. McDougall uses miso, tofu and some of those products but not the over processed soy products)

Rae
Rae

And you, too, Toni. Love hearing your take on these things. Forgot to ask: What about Silk brand soy milk, unsweetened, over cereal? I hope I don't have to give that up, too. Long ago I made a conscious choice to be vegetarian. I didn't know then that the food tastes better! All I knew was that I couldn't bear to be involved in the killing of another vibrant living creature. They have eyes. They have feelings. It just seems patently wrong to do when we have an alternative that is just as healthy or healthier. But I have not been able to convince even my own children, possibly because I don't believe in forcing my views down anyone's throat, but would rather show by example. Maybe some day...but when doctors and dieticians don't know anything, and still charge crazy high fees for a consultation, and flaunt their credentials, that's sad. Very upsetting when they tell you the only thing you can eat to your heart's content is lean meat because you have just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. No cheese, either, for the cholesterol. Oh, and if you must, skip the meat but don't substitute nuts!!! I really think we need a book on a diabetic vegetarian diet, and maybe healthy soy products, too. Meanwhile, I've found that spicy Chili Beans from Joan of Arc are a fast easy protein source, even straight from the can, and I'm getting some right now. Cheers!

Chef
Chef

Hi Rae, Thanks for writing back. There's so much information out there it's hard to determine what's fact and what's fiction! I do use TVP and some processed soy products especially when preparing food for meat eaters, however it's not very often. I think like so many things, moderation is the key. We do tend to go overboard in this country. It calls to mind the protein, calcium and vitamin C craze. I was just watching a program about dental care for kids and how necessary it is to fill children with milk, yogurt,cheese (always ask for extra cheese on your pizza!) and other animal sources of protein and calcium. Immediately following that was a report on childhood obesity and diabetes. If this wasn't so sad it would be funny. This is what we're up against. That, and some clueless celebrity with a milk moustache asking if we 'got milk'...No, but I'm sure they got their endorsement check because they certainly don't 'got' the truth about drinking milk, especially well into adulthood...this is, unfortunately, how most people get their information about nutrition and sadly, they believe it without question. It's alway a pleasure to hear from you Rae. Let's see what we can find out on safe sources of soy. Take care, Toni

Rae
Rae

Thanks, Toni. I read the article, and maybe I'll stop buying veggie burgers and TVP, even though they are convenient. Have not found tempeh or miso here, but maybe it's time to look again. The doctors and other health care providers around here are no help because they eat meat, and do not bother to educate themselves on a vegetarian diet. I've been told a healthy vegetarian diet is easy -- "eat the same diet [as a meat eater] but leave out the meat!" Sure. A no-protein diet is so healthy. So I've stopped asking. But it would be helpful to have a listing of good safe sources of soy in the US. I'm a writer and if you ever want to collaborate on a book on this subject, let me know.

Chef
Chef

Hi Rae, I read both articles, which are strikingly and disturbingly similar. I have a link below that I hope will help you and others sort out most of the skewed 'scientific' data that has been erroneously presented. I believe this is part of a growing movement to push us back into the animal based protein zone as the only tried and true method of eating. Aside from the information in this article, I would add that one only has to look at the consistent decline in American health over the past three decades to see that the dietary formulas dictated by special interests such as the government subsidized beef and dairy councils along with pharmaceutical companies have been largely responsible for contributing to our current deplorable state of 'health'. No matter what one chooses to eat, common sense must prevail. Monocropping is as hazardous to the planet as 'monoeating' is to the body. Choose carefully when buying any food. Keep quality, moderation and variety in your diet since this will help maintain the necessary healthy balance your body needs to function efficiently. Just as what goes up must come down, what goes in will eventually come out and when we are talking about pesticides, chemicals, over processed food and toxins the ramifications are frightening. I imagine I would be considered to be one of the many ‘soy apologists’ referred to in these articles. I do believe we need to keep a clear head and not allow the current air of fear mongering push us into making stupid decisions. Given the plethora of information I have been wading through for years, I stand by the benefits of soy and a well- balanced vegetarian or vegan diet, hands down. Thank you for writing and bringing an interesting and important subject to the table. Please let me know if you found this article helpful. Be well. Toni http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Hull10.html

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