How to turn those cold, leftover grains into a hot, healthful side

Are you bored of plain grains?  Are you wondering what to do with that cold, hard rice in your fridge? Are you looking for a fun, healthy carbohydrate to indulge in? Awesome!

Below I share a delicious alternative that is anything but plain. But first I’d like to share an important word with you. It’s possibly the most important word you’ll need if you’re wanting to make healthier food choices and you’re on a budget, and that word is…preparation. When we’re prepared we can successfully reach our goals. When we’re prepared we are less likely to turn to artificial, junk foods.

Which is why I’ll often have a batch of cooked quinoa or brown or wild rice in the fridge. However, cold, hard rice is not super exciting, so something had to be done and I created this fun dish..

Pumpkin Seeds add crunchy texture, and a dose of Iron & Zinc.

Pumpkin Seeds add crunchy texture, and a dose of Iron & Zinc.

Gourmet Grains
Serves 4 – as a side dish


  • 6 – 8 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
  • 1.5 tbs coconut oil
  • 2.5 cups of quinoa or brown or wild rice (or a mix)
  • 1/4 cup raisins*
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes – cut each one into half or quarter slices
  • 2 tbs  raw pumpkin seeds
  • 3 sprigs of green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme ( or a few sprigs fresh thyme, if available)
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

*Optional Gourmet Tip: if you really want to impress your partner or your guests – soak raisins in a hot brewed cup of rooibos tea for 5 – 10 minutes first. This allows the raisins to become succulent and juicy, with a slight infusion of rooibos flavor. Plus it’s easy to gloat when you present the dish as including ‘rooibos-infused raisins‘ 😉


Raisins are a great source of fiber, potassium and iron.


1. Heat coconut oil in pan and add minced or chopped garlic.
2. Cook on medium heat until garlic is light brown and crispy (2-3 minutes).
3. Add the grains and stir, until they soften (about 2 minutes).
4. Once the grains are soft and mostly warmed up, add smoked paprika, thyme, sea salt and black pepper.
5. Once spices are thoroughly mixed into grains, add raisins, pumpkin seeds, sliced green onion and sun-dried tomato. (*If you choose the above gourmet tip you simply remove raisins from rooibos tea before adding to dish)
6. Cook for another minute or two, making sure to stir until all ingredients are well-mixed.

Voila! You’ve just turned plain grains into gourmet grains, in less than fifteen minutes!


Up Close with the Final Product

These grains go wonderfully with steamed fish and a big green salad. Or even a colorful ginger, vegetable stir fry. And if you’re on a low carbohydrate eating plan you could adjust your serving size of grains accordingly.

If you’re wondering how much carbohydrate is right for your beautifully unique body, or if you’re needing support on knowing which carbohydrates are good or bad, and how to make the switch to healthier foods I’d love to guide you with this fun and exciting process. Please contact me at

None of the information provided herein is ever intended to take the place of medical advice – these tips are purely of informative and educational value.

Thanks for reading and have a happy and healthy week!

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