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Giada's Simple Pantry Recipes with Rice, Oats and Grains

Rice and grains are a pantry staple, and we've got tons of recipes to help you use them.


It's no wonder rice and grains are one of the first pantry staples people think to stock up on- rice and grains last for years on the shelf if they're stored properly, and you can make such a wide variety of dishes from them. While we could most certainly get by eating plain rice, why not jazz it up? We've gathered some of our favorite rice and grain recipes here, so you can still enjoy flavorful food during this time.

Long Grain White and Brown Rice



The Easiest Fried Rice


The beauty of fried rice is that you can use virtually anything you've got. Consider this recipe a guideline, but you can toss in any kind of cooked meat, fish, or vegetable, or even cubes of tofu, cooked squash, or salad greens. You can absolutely use regular vegetable oil, or any other cooking oil, in place of sesame!



Brown Rice Breakfast Bowl


This is an undeniably super-simple meal, but it's a great simple way to cook brown rice. Olive oil and flake salt make it feel more special than just a regular bowl of rice! The bay leaf is not essential- feel free to omit.



Dijon Maple Brown Rice Salad


We love this recipe as-is, but it serves as a great guideline for other dishes. You can use any root vegetable you have - even frozen ones - in place of parsnips and squash. Beets, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, and even onions make a good substitute. Lastly? You don't need the kale, or any fresh lettuce if you're out of it. Load up on the vegetables, and with brown rice and this tasty vinaigrette, it's a great flavorful meal no matter what. Toss in whatever nuts you have available- almonds, walnuts, even pistachio.


Easy Non-Recipe Ideas:


• Leftover cooked rice is great stuffed into vegetables! Squash boats, zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers - it's a great way to add a little more interest to a dish. Just mix rice with some cheese and some marinara sauce if you have any on hand, stuff and bake!


• Fried rice isn't just for dinner! Make it for breakfast with some of your favorite hot sauce and a fried egg on top.


• Use rice in place of pasta in a casserole! Think mac and cheese, but with rice and a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Why not?


• If you made too much rice and can't finish the leftovers in time, it freezes really well. Put it into freezer bags, label with the date, then dump it out into a bowl and microwave when you want to eat it!


•Add leftover rice at the last minute to any soup or stew to give it more body.



Arborio and Risotto Rice



Lemon and Chive Risotto


This lemon and chive risotto feels really decadent and special, but couldn't be easier. Don't worry about all of the parmesan rinds and herbs to make a broth - water is fine. Like previous recipes, don't worry about adding fresh herbs if you don't have any! And if you're rationing your wine for drinking instead of cooking, just omit it - adding a splash of white wine vinegar will give a similar flavor!



Vegan Mushroom Risotto


If you have dried mushrooms on hand, this is their time to shine! The onions add a lot of bulk here, so they're pretty essential - but if you don't have garlic, no problem. You can also replace the fresh mushrooms with brussels sprouts, broccoli, or any thawed frozen vegetable.


Easy Non-Recipe Ideas:


• Treat yourself and turn risotto into arancini the next day! Just bread it and fry it. Here's Giada's recipe, but note that you can essentially use any leftover risotto for it! And don't forget, if you have stale breads, you have breadcrumbs!


• Arborio rice is typically used for risotto, but the high starch content makes a fabulous rice pudding too. Just use milk instead of water or stock when you cook it, and add sugar to taste - and vanilla if you have it!


• Yes, you can make a simple steamed rice with arborio rice! We recommend rinsing it before cooking it this way - it will get rid of some of those surface starches, and that way you'll end up with fluffier rice as opposed to something potentially gummy.


Oats



Frozen Oatmeal Cups


These are great to meal-prep to make breakfast easier for kids while school is out! Don't worry about using two kinds of oats- just use what you have. Additionally, these are great thrown into a smoothie to give it more heft.



Overnight Oats


Overnight oats are one of our go-to healthy breakfasts! It's super customizable, too. Use any milk you have (or even water) and honey, agave or brown sugar if you don't have maple syrup. If you don't have chia seeds, just omit them and reduce the amount of milk by a tablespoon or two. It won't get that pudding-like texture without chia seeds, but it's still good! If you have frozen fruit, that's a great mix-in as well.



Maple Olive Oil Granola


Just do it. It's so good. Chocolate chips are highly recommended, but not necessary!



Peanut Butter Granola Bars


Because this is a baking recipe, it's hard to swap out too any ingredients- but you can definitely use any type of nut butter in place of peanut butter. This recipe is so simple and it's mostly pantry ingredients.


Easy Non-Recipe Ideas:


• Add raw oats to your smoothies and smoothie bowls!


• Your morning bowl of oatmeal doesn't have to be sweet. Top it with a poached or fried egg, some wilted greens, any type of cheese you have, olive oil and even hot sauce!


• One banana, half a cup of oats and 3 tablespoons of milk (almond, oat, dairy, whatever!) blended together can make a super simple pancake batter in a cinch.



Other Grains



Lentil and Carrot Salad


Don't worry about the zaatar, coriander or cumin if you don't have them!  Let this just be a reminder that lentils are fantastic in salad. Again if you don't have lemon, use a dash of vinegar.



Farro and Arugula Salad


Similar to lentils, farro is a great addition to salads. It has a chewy almost "aldente" type texture, and a great nutty flavor that works super well with dried cherries or cranberries and walnuts.

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