When you live with picky eaters – whether they are your children, your spouse, or maybe even yourself – you have to get creative with how you introduce different foods into your meals. Eating a variety of foods can be fun when you turn it into a game. We decided to try a new food from A to Z, and created this list of foods to have options to choose from. Here is our list of foods that start with R, including fruits, vegetables, and other fun things to eat!
Why eat foods from every letter of the alphabet?
When you step outside of your food comfort zone, you have the opportunity to discover a new food that you never knew you could enjoy. There are so many foods that we haven’t tried, for various reasons – because our parents never cooked them, they weren’t available in our area, they are popular foods in different cultures, or just because we didn’t know they existed!
Trying different foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can provide our bodies with a variety of nutrients that we wouldn’t normally have. It can also get us out of the “what’s for dinner” rut when we get bored of eating the same old things over and over again.
These food lists are also great when teaching the alphabet, or when looking for a fun food for show and tell day at school!
If you’re looking for a little flavor in the kitchen, or a way to spice up your life, try one – or all! – of these foods that start with the letter R.
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Vegetables that start with R
Radicchio is similar to the red cabbage in both its appearance and spicy taste. This vegetable, however, is not a cabbage, but a chicory. Radicchio is full of micronutrients, making it a great selection to chop and add to any soup, salad or pasta.
We love to eat radishes at my house. It is one of my husband’s favorite snacks. I prefer to chop them up and add them into my salad for a bit of crunch and spice (they taste a little peppery to me). He, on the other hand, just eats them like a tiny apple.
These little red skin roots are full of antioxidants and minerals, so I definitely don’t mind keeping these handy.
Also known as broccoli rabe, similar in appearance to broccoli, but stretched out and contains larger leafs. It’s slightly bitter taste resembles closer to turnip greens. Rapini is best served cooked. It can be used in salads or pastas. A popular Italian dish is made up of cooked rapini, garlic, sausage and olive oil. Pair it with a nice, warm Italian bread and enjoy.
I get excited about red beans! I mean, I do enjoy most varieties of beans, not only for their health benefits, such as being a great source or iron and potassium, but you can use beans for so many different recipes. Red beans are similar to kidney and pinto beans, but they are smaller and have a sweeter flavor.
My favorite recipe for this particular bean is simple and delicious, and one my mom learned to make when she lived in New Orleans – red beans and rice. You can add sausage or beef to the beans, even add some other veggies in for more texture and flavor and serve over a bed of rice. Don’t forget to serve with cornbread, you will definitely want every last morsel.
This cabbage has a slightly bitter taste when eaten raw, however, when it’s cooked it produces a sweeter flavor. This cabbage is common in many German dishes, where it is sautéed and served as a side dish. It is a great choice to add into any salad or slaw for the extra texture and beautiful color.
Red Leaf Lettuce
Red leaf lettuce is a great source of antioxidants, Vitamin K and Vitamin A. This lettuce is used in the same ways that you would typically use regular green lettuce. Use it in your salads or on a sandwich.
Another vegetable that I enjoy are onions. They are packed with vitamins and minerals and provide the best flavor to anything they are added to. Most of the time I cook my onions and flavor my dishes that way. With red onions, they lose a lot of their flavor when they are cooked. The best ways to incorporate this sweet and flavorful gem is to use it in a salad, or on a sandwich.
I absolutely love peppers. I use them in so many dishes. The red pepper, or red bell pepper, is a sweeter pepper that is perfect to add in almost any dish. It is delicious when it is sautéed and added into any sauce or soup with a tomato base. Of course, red bell peppers are delicious eaten raw, or combined into a fresh salad. They provide a beautiful color and a nice sweet crunch, along with the added vitamins to make it that much better.
One of my favorite foods is potatoes. The possibilities are endless. Raw, baked, fried, mashed, roasted… you can’t go wrong with adding potatoes to your grocery list. There are so many different kinds of potatoes, however I enjoy cooking with red potatoes. They are actually a bit sweeter in comparison to white potatoes. They are also smaller than white potatoes, which makes them a better choice for cooking.
Rhubarb is an edible stalk, like celery, and is cooked and used in a number of dishes. Despite it being a vegetable, many use it in desert dishes. It has a sweet and tart flavor which makes it great for baking. Common treats are strawberry rhubarb pie and rhubarb crisp.
Yum yum yum! Roma tomatoes are small plum tomatoes. I prefer to snack on these right out of the fridge. They are delicious, tangy-sweet, and a great source of vitamin C. These are perfect for adding into a salad, or cooking them and making them into a tomato sauce.
Romaine lettuce, also known as cos lettuce, has long, sturdy, dark green leaves. Of course, like other lettuce, it is a popular addition to sandwiches and salads, or even in soups.
The sturdiness on its leaves even give you a healthier option for a meal. Try using the leaves as a wrap instead of a tortilla shell. No extra calories, all nutrition. Guilt free and delicious.
Also known as butter beans. I can’t get enough of these beans. When you cook butter beans, they have a rich and creamy texture. The liquid from the pot thickens with the starch from the beans and is great for pouring over a bed of rice or pairing with a nice roll or even dipping your meat in the juice. These beans absorb flavors of what they are cooked with. A common recipe is to add a ham bone or bacon in the pot of beans while cooking to add that nice pork flavor.
These large potatoes are fantastic for larger sides. They hold together well, so they are typically used for french fries or baked potatoes. They can also be used for any dish that calls for potatoes, these just need to be cooked longer to achieve the same results.
This vegetable tastes like across between a turnip and a cabbage, being that it is quite bitter. It pairs well with other root type vegetables when combined in a soup. It is a great source of Vitamin C.
Fruits that start with R
Raisins are grapes that have been dehydrated. My kids love snacking on raisins. Their favorites are the chocolate or yogurt covered raisins. Aside from eating them as a snack, raisins are commonly used in baking or added into salads. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Raspberries are one of my favorite snacks. This type of fruit is very low in sugar and is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. I just grab a handful from the fridge and go. I also like to add them to my yogurt or cereal. I use raspberries for a lot of different recipes, mainly in baking. They are semi sweet, and have a slight tang. Also a great ingredient to add to a smoothie.
Red Delicious Apple
The red delicious apple is a bit different in comparison to most apples. These apples have a softer pulp which causes these apples to fall apart when cooked. That makes it a perfect apple for making apple sauce. These apples are also commonly used for making apple juice. The kids do enjoy when we slice these apples up and add some caramel or Nutella to dip them in.
Redcurrant, also known as red currant are tiny, sweet and sour berries that have a delicious flavor that seems to resemble raspberries mixed with sweet cranberries. Also, with the similarity of these berries, redcurrant is packed with antioxidants making them a delightful ingredient for any dish that would call for berries.
Rome apples are cultivated mainly for cooking. These apples have a sweet and tangy flavor and hold their shape when cooked. They are a perfect choice when baking pies or making a hard apple cider. This fruit is rich in vitamin C and fiber.
Other foods that start with R
Rabbit is a popular dish in China, but is also found on tables across the world. Rabbit meat is very similar to chicken, when it comes to flavor, however it does have gamier taste. It is a very lean meat and rich in high-quality proteins. When preparing the meat, you would prepare it similar to chicken. Popular dishes are Southern Fried Rabbit and Rabbit stew.
Rainbow trout is one of the most healthy fishes that you can find, mainly due to low levels of mercury and very high levels of omega-3s. This large fish tastes similar to salmon by not having an overly fishy taste. It doesn’t take much seasoning to have the perfect flavor. Add salt, pepper, garlic and lemon and choose how you would like to cook it. Baked, fried, pan seared, grilled or cooked in foil.
Raisin bread is a type of bread seasoned with cinnamon and typically made with white flour, but can be made with almost any flour. Some recipes add in fruit and nuts, which are the versions that I prefer. My favorite has small chunks of apple and walnuts. This bread can be enjoyed plain, or toasted with butter or jam. It is also a great option to use for french toast.
Ok, I’ve got to say a big thank you to the creator of instant ramen noodles, Mr. Momofuku Ando. My kids would eat ramen every night if I let them. There are so many different broths and flavors.
Aside from the instant style ramen, the homemade version of this type of pasta can be made into a delectable meal, consisting of not only noodles with their delicious broth, but paired with strips of fresh meat, boiled eggs, and fresh veggies to add all your needed nutrition.
Ratatouille, not the popular movie, but the French dish that is made of eggplant, squash, zucchini and tomatoes. This dish is healthy and beautiful to look at with the bright colors from the fresh vegetables. It pairs perfectly with a nice bed of rice.
Red Velvet Cake
Red velvet cake is, honestly, one of my most favorite desserts! What’s not to love? It’s a well-known dessert in the United States, and is particularly popular in the South.
This cake is neither classified as a vanilla or chocolate cake, but is a unique blend. The reddish brown color comes from the cocoa. Combine the sweet taste with a creamy, rich, cream cheese frosting. I prefer the Southern version that adds crushed pecans over the frosting, giving it the added texture and the delicious flavor.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar is known for it’s delicious and tangy flavor. It is commonly used in Mediterranean dishes, but is used across the globe. It is used in many marinades and in making reductions. It is the perfect ingredient for homemade salad dressing
The Reuben sandwich is a North American sandwich that combines ingredients from multiple countries.The salty Corned beef, originating in Germany, sauerkraut, a Chinese invention of sour cabbage, Swiss cheese , from Switzerland, semi-spicy Russian dressing, all stacked between two pieces of Rye bread, also originating from Germany. This odd mixture makes for the perfect deli style sandwich.
Rice is a common ingredient in many main dishes in Southeast Asia, but is also very popular in American cuisine. Rice is honestly my go-to staple food when I’ve run out of ideas, and is a great way to turn your favorite recipes into a meal.
You can add so many meats and veggies and sauces to rice to make it more delicious than eating it plain. Add that to the varieties of rice, and the possibilities are endless.
White rice, brown rice, yellow rice, fried rice, instant rice, and so much more! Add rice to soup, add rice to a burrito, drizzle with soy sauce, present the perfect fish filet steaming over a bed of rice.
It can even be made into desserts like rice pudding and rice cakes. I just love rice!
Rice noodles are a great gluten free alternative for yellow egg noodles. They are commonly used in Asian cuisine. Great for stir fry or soups.
A classic old-fashioned recipe is rice pudding. Rice is mixed with milk or water and flavored with cinnamon or nutmeg and vanilla and a bit of sugar and throw in some raisins. Easy and delicious.
I love cooking with ricotta cheese. It is very similar to cottage cheese as far as taste goes, but cottage cheese it a bit more on the lumpy side, caused by the cheese curds. This cheese is used in dishes that range from plain and simple to complex and savory, to delicious, mouth watering desserts. I try to keep ricotta on hand at all times. It is perfect for making any saucy dish creamier
Rigatoni is an Italian dish named after the wide, tube like noodles that make the dish. Combined with beef, sausage, garlic, tomato sauce and mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake this dish and serve with garlic bread and you will not be disappointed.
Rocky Mountain Oysters
This dish is fried and packed with vitamins, minerals and protein, but is one I haven’t yet been adventurous enough to try. Simply put, this dish is made from bull testicles. It has a texture similar to calamari and taste like a mix of chicken and deer meat.
Rocky Mountain Oysters are typically served as an appetizer with a side of cocktail sauce. Some people actually enjoy it, but I just can’t get past the main ingredient myself.
Rocky Road Ice Cream
Yummy, Yummy in my tummy! This is chocolate ice cream mixed with yummy rocks and boulders. By rocks and boulders, I mean walnuts and marshmallows. Chocolate ice cream is fantastic by its self, but when you combine the crunch and saltiness of the walnuts, and the airy chewy sweetness of the marshmallow, it just brings it to life!
A very traditional holiday cake, that does, in fact, contain rum. Fruit is actually soaked in the rum for an extended period and mixed in with the dough when time to bake. This cake serves as a reminder of the sugar trade and is enjoyed by many across the Earth.
Rye bread doesn’t taste anything like white or wheat bread. It has a slight tart taste, similar to sourdough, some even have sourdough bases. This bread can be used for sandwiches or toasts. Do you eat Chex mix? Do you love those brown crispy round disks? Those are rye chips. My favorite recipe for rye bread, is to make it into the perfect croutons for my salad. It really does have a great taste and texture when baked to perfection.
Which “R” food is your favorite?
Do you have a favorite food that starts with R that isn’t on our list? Or even a favorite recipe? We’d love to hear about it, so leave us a comment below!