Near East Spanish Rice
A controversial decision, no doubt, but three factors influenced us:
taste, convenience, and preparation method. Barbara Ruhs, MS, RN, LDN, a
nutrition therapist at Harvard University, founder of Neighborhood
Nutrition in Somerville, Massachusetts, and now a retail supermarket
dietician in Phoenix, points out that when you're making your own, you
have to prepare the rice and also buy, chop and cook the peppers,
onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs and spices. It's a challenging and
time-consuming dish to make. And it will likely not satisfy your family
as much as what comes out of the box. The key to making it more
healthful is using no more than half the contents of the seasoning
packet. "That significantly reduces sodium, and it'll still taste
wonderful," says Ruhs.
Another advantage is that Near East uses parboiled long-grain rice.
Parboiling is a method of production that drives vitamins and minerals
from the bran or husk (before it's removed) into the grain. "So even
though it's white rice, it still has more nutrients than the plain old
white rice you'd probably use to make your own dish," says Morgan.
(Parboiled rice can actually contain up to 80 percent of the nutrients
of brown rice.) So in the grand scheme of dinnertime, it's better to go
with the factory food here and devote your cooking energy elsewhere,
where it can make more of a difference.