- RightRice is a vegetable grain that tastes and feels just like traditional white rice.
- It’s made from lentils, chickpeas, and peas, so it contains more than two times the protein and five times the fiber of white rice. But because it does still contain a little rice flour, it maintains the satisfying, chewy texture you’re familiar with.
- I grew up on white rice, and I loved cooking with and eating RightRice. Though it’s a little more expensive than traditional rice and you can only cook it on a stove top (rather than in a rice cooker), it’s also more nutritious and just as tasty.
Rice is and always will be an important part of my diet. Every night growing up, I had a bowl of fluffy and sticky white rice with my meat and veggies, a dinnertime constant as reliable as the conversations grilling my progress in school.
This familiarity with rice made me somewhat skeptical of any alternatives for a long time. I have to admit though, the way my body processes and reacts to food has changed over the years, a reality that’s making me reconsider what I eat. White rice isn’t unhealthy, per se, but the emergence of alternatives made from ingredients like chickpeas shows it’s entirely possible to enjoy a healthier, more nutritious version of white rice.
I recently tried RightRice, a new grain made from a blend of more than 90% vegetables. As much as I didn’t want to betray my white rice-centric upbringing, I ended up loving RightRice’s taste, texture, and superior nutritional profile.
RightRice vs. traditional white rice
RightRice was created by Keith Belling, the founder of Popchips, a proven success in the business of better-for-you food. He loved rice, but didn’t love the empty calories and carbs, so he decided to create a plant-based protein that was simultaneously delicious and good for you.
For every 1/3 cup of RightRice, there’s 10 grams of protein, five grams of fiber, and 25 grams of net carbs. Compare this to the same amount of white rice, which has 4 grams of protein, zero grams of fiber, and 39 grams of net carbs.
RightRice isn’t actually made completely from vegetables. Though it’s primarily made from lentil, chickpea, and pea flour, which are what contribute the protein, fiber, iron, and other vitamins, it does still contain a little rice flour, which I think helps it maintain a more chewy and satisfying consistency. In this way, I don’t see RightRice as a rice substitute. Instead, it’s more of a rice enhancement.
It cooks in just 10 to 12 minutes in a sauce pan and is as easy to make as regular rice. Add it to a pot of boiling water, remove it from the heat, and let it stand covered for the designated time. After you fluff it with a fork, it’s ready to eat. Unfortunately, if you use a rice cooker or Instant Pot, you might have to deal with some experimentation – the company says it hasn’t yet found a great way to cook with these appliances yet. But in my experience, using the sauce-pan method was a perfectly easy way to cook RightRice.
RightRice is currently available online in four flavors: Original, Garlic Herb, Lemon Pepper, and Spanish. There’s also a new flavor, Thai Curry, available in stores at Kroger. The Original is a great “base” option that goes with anything and can easily be made your own, whether you want to add your own spices for flavoring, or you just want a plain side dish. I personally used it to make fried rice, and the result was much more filling and delicious than cauliflower fried rice. If you’ve ever made cauliflower fried rice, you know it’s really not the same as the original, but with RightRice, I could’ve been deceived by its texture and taste.
I really enjoyed the flavored options too, especially the Garlic Herb. None of them were too salty, which is usually my problem with pre-flavored grains.
You can use RightRice in any rice-based recipe you normally would – arancini, rice bowls, burritos, paella, and rice pudding, for example. It’s a versatile ingredient that can feature in the dishes of many cuisines and cultures, just like traditional rice.
The bottom line
The one drawback of RightRice is that it’s more expensive than traditional white rice. That’s to be expected, since white rice is incredibly cheap, but all things considered – taste, texture, nutritional value, versatility – the price difference is worth it. If you’re thinking about easy dietary switches to make in your life, the transition from white rice to RightRice is surprisingly seamless.