Rice gets a bad rap sometimes as being unhealthy. And part of that talk is true, because anything in excess is bad for you. But a lot of the fear associated with rice is due to this food myth that carbs and therefore grains are bad for you. We've been told that eating carbohydrates makes you fat and that they should be limited in your daily intake. Well, newsflash for you all: carbohydrates are essential, being the largest food group our diet should be comprised of.

Grains provide our body's with its main source of energy production, that's why you're so grouchy and fatigued when you're on a carb-limiting diet! They are the basis of a healthy diet, providing an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

risotto, salt, cereal, rice
Spoon University

Rice is one of the biggest sources of grains available; in fact, it is one of the three leading food crops of the world. Compared to the other global staples of wheat and maize, rice is the staple food of more than half of the world’s population–that's more than 3.5 billion people depending on rice for more than 20% of their daily calories. 

However, in this day and age, it can be hard to meet our body's nutritional needs without overindulging; but that by no means that all dishes have to be unhealthy! Rice can be the main player in both the world's food production and your body's daily consumption; so here's a few recipes that are actually healthy for you, ranging from breakfast to dessert that place the limelight on this MVP of grains.

1. Healthy Fried Rice

pork, meat, chicken, risotto, vegetable, fried rice, rice
Abigail Wilkins

You don't need to live in constant fear about saturated fats and MSG associated with Chinese food. When those cravings become insatiable, try making this healthy version.

#SpoonTip: Add kimchi to your fried rice to provide a sour zing and a retake on the classic.

2. Tuna and Zucchini Rice Bowl

vegetable, salad
Susanna Mostaghim

The slight, bitter spiciness of the zucchini is counteracted by the semi-sweet fishiness of the tuna mixture, all while being mellowed out by the filling rice.

3. Tomato Rice and Zucchini Pancakes

fried rice, seafood, fish, vegetable, risotto, rice
Amanda Chong

Rice gets a punch of acidity with this unique take on vegetables that will make getting your daily servings of vegetables a breeze.

4. Easy One-Pot Moroccan Aubergine and Rice Bake

sauce, cheese, meat, pizza, tomato, vegetable
Imogen Marshall

This is comfort food at its finest: gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and vegetarian/vegan.

5. Wild Rice and Veggie-Stuffed Pepper

rice, salad, tomato, vegetable, pepper
Megan Prendergast

Stuffed red peppers sound pretty fancy, but these are far from it (but don't let your guests know that). These are a delicious, nutritious and affordable way to incorporate rice in fine dining at home.

6. Jambalaya

cappuccino, tea, kettle, espresso, coffee
Daniel Schuleman

This Cajun favorite is a perfect example of how Southern comfort food doesn't need to suffer in the flavor department in order to be considered healthy.

7. Curried Rice and Red Lentils

risotto, sauce, rice, meat, vegetable
Kelda Baljon

Your usual plain rice and lentils get a punch packed with heat and flavor that results in this satisfyingly, tasty meal. 

8. Vegetable Rice Soup

parsley, broth, carrot, vegetable, soup
Kelda Baljon

Sometimes it's true that "it ain't broken, don't fix it," especially when it comes to this soup that's filled with simple staples and complex comestibles.

9. Homemade Onigiri

caviar, fish, salmon, seafood, nori, rice, sushi
Katie Huang

These are great to use up any leftover meats or vegetables; and with a pre-portioned amount of carbohydrates, they'll make eating on the go way easier and way healthier.

10. Thai Rice with Garlic Green Beans and Fried Eggs

chicken, chili, egg, pepper, vegetable, rice
Bonnie Wu

This rice dish won't make you sacrifice your healthy choices when time is of the essence while you're staring down that towering workload you have ahead of you.

11. Caribbean Rice ‘N Beans

tea, cereal
Jessica Barefoot

As a side dish, rice and beans complements grilled or stewed meats and fish, but with these flavors, they can easily be turned into the star of the meal.

12. Gluten-Free Rice Flour Pancakes

chocolate, dairy product, jam, cream, butter, pancake, bread, pastry, cake, sweet
Nancy Chen

Although this recipe calls to make your own rice flour (don't worry, it's easy!), nothing could be as simpler as these healthy, gluten-free pancakes that can be spiced up and personalized with a variety of add-ins.

13. Vegetable Risotto

Aly Sebold

Risotto gets a bad rap for being the carb-y Italian version of rice that seems more like pasta, but this recipe derives the distinct richness of nutrient-filled vegetables.

14. Sushi

sushi, rice
Eva Chen

It’s healthy, it's quick and it requires no cooking, only assembly with your choice of healthy ingredients is needed.

#SpoonTip: Transform your simple roll to be more portable, more convenient, and more fun, as styled in burrito form.

14. Dessert Risotto

porridge, cereal, berry, oatmeal, milk, granola, sweet, muesli, strawberry
Clarisse Callahan

For a fast and simple recipe, this risotto can be personalized to your milk preferences. Whether it's regular or coconut or soy, as long as you have rice and milk this risotto recipe will satisfy your sweet tooth in a matter of minutes.  

15. Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango

rice, dairy product, vegetable, sweet
Kendra Valkema

This rice may be sticky and sweet, but that doesn't mean unhealthy!.The natural sugars from the coconut milk make the rice the delicious star of this healthy dessert.

16. Rice Pudding

milk, coffee, chocolate
Nicole Nguyen

Fairly similar to dessert risotto, but if you have the time and patience, try this slow-cooked recipe that allows for dessert breakfast, or a healthy treat. It allows none of the guilt and all of the flavors to develop without forfeiting taste. 

#SpoonTip: For an even healthier hack, use black rice that provides antioxidants, vitamin E and fiber to fight against diabetes, cancer and weight gain.