Brown rice is a nutritious, high-fiber grain choice that makes a healthy side dish for your favorite entrees. However, with a little creative spicing up, a bowl of plain brown rice becomes a meal in itself. Your options for adding flavor to brown rice extend far beyond the usual salt and pepper. Nuts, flavored oils and Asian spices give brown rice a burst of flavor, while fruits and vegetables provide added nutrition and round out the meal.

Turn brown rice into a spicy Indian-inspired dish by sprinkling on curry powder, turmeric, cardamom and ginger. Toss in a handful of golden raisins and a handful of cashews. Serve with a side of plain yogurt and peeled, chopped cucumbers.

Sprinkle brown rice with red pepper flakes and freshly-ground black pepper. Add a dash of hot sauce for extra spice.

Boil brown rice with chopped garlic cloves to add a spicy bite. After cooking, drizzle the rice with fresh-squeezed lime juice. Add a handful of sunflower kernels and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, which provides B-vitamins and a cheesy, nutty flavor.

Sautee 1 cup of cooked brown rice with 1 tsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. chili pepper oil, 1 tbsp. sesame seeds and 1 tsp. fresh ginger for a healthy twist on Chinese food.

Sautee spicy mustard greens in olive oil. Add a pinch of coarse salt, freshly-ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and hot sauce. Stir the greens into brown rice to create a nutritional powerhouse in a bowl.

About the Author

Ann Jones

Ann Jones has been writing since 1998. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her journalistic work can be found in major magazines and newspapers. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.