editors taste-test the latest in healthy eats

Dressed-up brown rice takes any meal up a notch, but sometimes time runs short to slow-cook grains and chop fresh herbs and seasonings. These nutritious sides are ready in minutes and packed with flavor.

The product: Seeds of Change Microwaveable Rice and Grains ($3.99 for an 8.5-ounce pouch; available at natural, organic, and select grocers nationwide)

The taste factor: Zesty peppers and garlic give the Arroz Hispaniola Caribbean Red Beans & Brown Rice a kick of flavor. Add some chopped veggies (like zucchini, onion, and peppers) and a drizzle of olive oil for a light lunch. Or, for bold Indian flavors, try the Dharamsala Aromatic Indian Rice Blend, with lentils and beans.

The health factor: Short ingredient lists and whole grains make these packs smart picks—all are preservative free and low in sodium. Opt for the brown rice and quinoa blends to get an extra serving of whole grains.

Editor's pick: The Uyuni Quinoa & Whole Grain Brown Rice blend had just enough garlic to be the perfect side with grilled shrimp and fresh veggies, and had a satisfying, chewy texture.

Why we love it: Whole-grain sides ready in seconds! Add your own seasonings or try one of the flavor-packed varieties to complete any meal.