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What to do with leftover rice

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Do you always seem to have leftover rice on hand? If you've got some leftover rice that you'd rather not go to waste, here are some easy ways to turn your plain steamed leftover white or brown rice into a fabulous new meal or side dish! Read on for some uses for leftover rice.

1. Rice Salad

This is another great way to use up your rice if you've got lots and lots leftover, and is a low-fat and healthy way to include some veggies into your diet. Toss your leftover rice with your favorite vinaigrette or other salad dressing, some fresh herbs or spices and your favorite diced vegetables. Or, try one of the rice salad recipes below.
Rice salad recipes:

2. Vegetable Fried Rice

Use your leftover rice to make Chinese fried rice!
Toss some garlic, onions, soy sauce and sesame oil in your frying pan, add your leftover rice and whatever veggies you have on hand, and voila - you have a new meal: vegetable fried rice! For variation, try adding pineapples, cashews, scrambled eggs, tofu and different sauces and spices. I always add a dash of sea salt and fresh lime juice too. Fried rice can be served either as an entree or as a side dish.
Fried rice recipes:

3. Rice and Bean Burritos

Burrito photo courtesy of Kashia, stock.xchng
Heat up a can of beans, add some hot sauce and your leftover rice, and you've got yourself a quick bean and rice burrito! Add in whatever burrito toppings you happen to have on hand, such as salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or maybe even some leftover cooked veggies. If you prefer to follow a recipe, here are a few rice and bean burrito recipes to try:
Rice and bean burrito recipes:

4. Stuffed Tomatoes with Leftover Rice

Season your leftover rice and use it to make vegetarian stuffed tomatoes for a main dish or healthy side. Slice off the tops of your tomatoes, fill with a seasoned rice mixture, drizzle with olive oil and bake. It's that easy! This recipe would also work well for making stuffed bell peppers instead of stuffed tomatoes.
Rice stuffed tomatoes:

5. Rice Soup

Use your leftover rice to make a rice soup! Pop open a canned soup and heat it over the stove, stirring in your leftover rice and some extra spices for a quick home cooked meal suitable for the whole family.
Rice soup recipes:

6. Rice Quiche

Wild rice quiche recipe courtesy Linda, About.com Guide for Busy Cooks
You can use your leftover rice to make a gluten-free bottom "crust" for a breakfast quiche as with the wild rice quiche recipe below, or, you can just toss the leftover rice in with the eggs and other ingredients before baking. Use about one cup of pre-cooked rice in your quiche.
Rice quiche recipes:

7. Vegetarian lentil loaf

If you've got lots of leftover rice, one great way to completely transform it is with this vegetarian lentil loaf recipe - it calls for two full cups of leftover rice. Never tried a lentil loaf before? No need to worry, since you really can't go wrong, and this recipe has over a dozen positive reviews. Sure, a lentil loaf isn't exactly the same as meatloaf, but you may find that you actually like it much better. Give it a try! 

8. Leftover Rice Pudding

Photo by Michael Law
Rice pudding is a great way to use up lots of leftover rice all at once, and everyone loves rice pudding, kids and adults! You can add some cinnamon and nutmeg, or some raisins and dried fruit for a breakfast rice pudding. If you've got a large amount of leftover rice you need to use up, try turning it into rice pudding.
Rice pudding recipes:

9. Dolmas - Stuffed Grape Leaves

Vegetarian dolmas photo courtesy of Nancy, About.com Guide to Greek Food
If you've got just a bit of leftover rice on hand, try making dolmas - Middle Eastern stuffed grape leaves! Combine your pre-cooked rice with some fresh parsley or other herbs, and boil in some water with lemon juice and olive oil. For extra tangy dolmas, drizzle them with a bit of fresh lemon juice, just before serving.
Stuffed grape leaves recipes (dolmas):
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