Lately I've been trying to be more adept at avoiding gluten in my diet.  I haven't eliminated it altogether, but I am hoping it helps in lowering my high hemoglobin levels and, fortunately, there are lots of great, healthy carb alternatives that are natural and not processed like most gluten-filled breads and pastas.

One of my favorites, and most versatile, is rice. Of course we can all thank Uncle Ben and Minute Rice for the accessibility of good old Carolina white rice, but check out some of these other kinds on your next market run:

Basmati rice - Try cooking this up with a touch of saffron (an expensive but delicious spice that turns everything a vibrant yellow) for Indian or Middle Eastern fare.

Purple sticky rice - Use coconut milk to help flavor this pretty, colorful grain.  Add pistachios and golden raisins, and even a little lemon zest if you like it for a more complete dish.

Bamboo rice - This short grain is perfect for sticky rice and when making sushi at home.

Bhutanese red rice - I recently learned this is a source of potassium and magnesium plus it offers a mild yet nutty flavor.

Arborio rice - Risotto is easier to make than it might seem, and patience with this rice is the key.  Recipes can be adapted for vegans by switching out chicken stock for vegetable, and butter for a non-dairy alternative.  Try is with butternut squash ~ yum!

Veg and the City