Grains are essential to your pantry. Your pantry should include white and brown rice, rolled oats, and quinoa. Optional items are pasta, gluten- free pasta, or brown-rice noodles.
White and Brown Rice
Did you know All white rice starts out as brown rice? The milling process removes the rice’s husk, bran, and germ to increase white rice’s shelf life. It’s unfortunate that much of its nutrition, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals are also removed during the process. To counteract the milling process, white rice is artificially fortified with nutrients.
Both white and brown rice are high in carbohydrates. Brown rice is a whole grain. It contains more overall nutrition, which in turn may reduce cholesterol and lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. Brown rice contains more calories, more protein, more total fat, more carbs, more fiber, more sugar, less calcium, less iron, more sodium and more fatty acids than white rice. This is based on a serving on 1/3 cup of long grain brown rice.
How about some oatmeal on a cold morning? Rolled oats, that have been steamed and pressed with a roller to flatten them, take about five minutes to cook. Instant oats, which are thinly pressed rolled oats, are ready as soon as you mix in hot water. Instant oats are nutritionally not that much different from rolled oats.
Oats are not a high-fat food, not unless you put butter or cream in it. There are proteins and nutrients in oats. Oats are a good source of manganese, which is a component of antioxidants.
Quinoa is very popular these days. It’s grown in South America. There are parts of the U.S. including Colorado, California, and Oregon where production continues to flourish. There are several types of quinoa. Red Quinoa is said to hold its shape after cooking a bit better. Black Quinoa is a bit earthier and sweeter than white quinoa. Black quinoa keeps its striking black appearance.
If you are health conscious, it makes a light and energized meal. Quinoa has several health benefits. It keeps you away from fat consumption, especially unhealthy fats; its rich in fiber (almost 7g fiber per 100g ); it helps lower cholesterol levels and is cholesterol-free; it promotes weight loss as most people who are trying to lose weight keep the grains and wheat away; and it helps lower blood pressure.
Pasta is a staple food of Italian cuisine. Pasta is typically made from an unleavened dough. The dough consists of wheat flour mixed with water or eggs, and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked by boiling or baking.
Rice flour, or legumes, are sometimes used in place of wheat flour to create a different taste and texture. Pastas are divided into two broad categories: dried and fresh.
There are many types and shapes of pasta. I have researched and compiled a list of pastas that you might use in your dishes. This is what I found, from A to Z.
Acini di pepe, is an extremely small, round pasta shape( it resembles peppercorn, or seeds of pepper); Alphabet pasta is a traditional pasta that has been cut into letters of the alphabet( it includes letters from A to Z); Anelli pasta are thin dry ring shaped pasta, often used by Italians in soups, salads and oven baked pasta dishes; and Angel hair pasta is a long, thin noodle with a round shape( it resembles spaghetti).
Campanelle pasta resembles a small cone with a ruffled edge, it is also known as Gigli pasta and looks like a bell; Casarecce pasta is shaped like a narrow, twisted and rolled tube; Cavatappi is macaroni formed in a helical tube shape; Cavatappi is the Italian word for corkscrew; Cavatelli resembles a tiny hot dog bun; Jumbo Conchiglie and mini Conchiglie (commonly known as “shells” or “seashells); and Corbata has a baby butterfly shape.
(Category D – F)
Ditalini, is a very small tube shaped type of pasta; Farfalle is a short pasta known as bow tie pasta because of its shape; Farfalline is a small, rounded version of the bow tie or butterfly shaped pasta known as farfalle. Fettuccine is a long, flat pasta on the thicker side; Fideo is a type of short and thin pasta that are slightly curved; Fusilli is a short pasta shape with a twisted, spiralized form.
(Category E – G)
Elbow macaroni has a short, curved shape; Gemelli is a short, twisted pasta shape; Gigli is a delicate pasta, which is rolled into a cone or flower; and Gnocchi are thick, small, and oval. (resembles shapes of dough, made of potatoes, eggs, cheese and flour.
(Category L – M)
Lasagne are a wide, flat sheets of pasta; Linguine is shaped similar to fettuccine(although is much narrower); Mafalda, is a type of pasta that has a ribbon shape, similar to lasagna, but more narrow; Manicotti is a very large tube-shaped pasta, usually ridged, that is usually stuffed and baked; Mezze luna is a stuffed, half-moon shaped pasta with sealed, and curved edges.( very similar to a ravioli).
(Category O – P)
Orecchiette are small pasta shapes that are shaped like a small ear (which is where their name comes from); OrzoIt is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice; Pappardelle is a flat, long ribbon shaped pasta; Pastina is one of the smallest pasta shapes available; Penne is one of the most famous Italian pasta shapes and is loved across Italy and the world.
Radiatori are short, squat pasta shapes with ruffled edges that resemble radiators; Raviolis are square or round pillow shaped stuffed pastas, similar to dumplings. They have a filling that can consist of cheese, meat, and/or vegetables; Rigatoni are a form of tube-shaped pasta of varying lengths and diameters; Rotelle is a wheel shaped pasta( it is used to add a decorative touch to soups); Rotini are short, corkscrew-like shaped pasta( translates to “small wheels” and the shape originated in Southern Italy); and Ruote pasta is shaped to resemble wagon wheels.
(Category S – T)
Spaghetti is a long, thin piece of pasta; Tagliatelle is a long, ribbon shaped pasta that is similar to fettuccine; Tortellini is a ring shaped stuffed pasta that is typically filled with meat, cheese or vegetables; Tortelloni is a larger version of Tortellini; Tripoline pasta is a long pasta ribbon with ruffles on one side; Trofie is a short, thin twisted pasta shape, about an inch in length. It’a thick in the middle and has pointed ends; and Tubini is a medium size, narrow tube shaped pasta. It is not as wide as some other tube pastas like rigatoni and tortiglion.
(Category V – Z)
Vermicelli It is a traditional type of pasta that is slightly thinner than Spaghetti; Ziti has a medium-sized, tubular shape. It’s a type of penne pasta in the form of long smooth hollow tubes.
I will create many pasta dishes in the future and will try many versions of the pastas I have included in my list. For now, I hope you enjoy experimenting and sharing you experiences with one another!
Gluten Free Pasta
Gluten free pasta is the biggest benefit as it doesn’t contain gluten. If you have gluten intolerance, celiac disease or wheat allergy, then gluten should be avoided. If you ingest gluten, you may experience side effects, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, headache, fatigue or anemia.
Eating gluten, may damage your intestines and cause other health complications over time.
Gluten-free pasta allows you to enjoy a variety of food choices without sacrificing your health or eating good food.
Brown Rice Noodles
Health conscious people who want better options may opt for brown rice noodles. It may be especially beneficial for people with Celiac disease or those who are allergic to gluten. There are no more limitations, one can still enjoy scrumptious pasta dishes by using brown rice pasta as it is gluten free.