Monday, June 14, 2010

Spanish Rice minus the box

We've all been there. You just got home from work, you're tired, the dog wants to go out, and all you want to do is veg out and eat potato chips. The thought of cooking anything is daunting, but you suppose you can whip up a box of Spanish Rice. But oh hold on.... Perhaps making Spanish Rice from scratch is almost as easy and tastes waaayyyy better than anything you can get in the supermarket.

Its true. I just made Spanish Rice and it was quick, easy, and if I may say so myself very tasty. I'll keep the instructions super short too so you can just get up and make some fancy rice right now.

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 cup rice
2 cups water (if I do this again - and I will! - I'll use chicken broth instead)
1 15oz can diced tomatoes with chopped jalapenos
1/2 t cumin
2 t chili powder

Put the onion, bell pepper and garlic in a pot with the olive oil on medium-high heat until onion becomes translucent. Add rice and cook until rice begins to brown. Add water (or chicken broth!), tomatoes and spices. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is cooked. If you're feeling super motivated, chop up some parsley and mix in to the rice.

Food pics below.

Notice how the garlic appears to be so important? Not accidental. Yummmm

The rice before it begins to brown oh-so-nicely

The ingredients just before they are covered

The finished product. Not afraid to admit I ate three bowls

Now you may not believe it, but this fine dish was my entire dinner. If I was cooking for both Tom and I, I feel pretty confident he would have insisted on a meat dish and a piece of bread to accompany this creation, but when its just me I prefer to rely exclusively on side dishes. If you are trying to lose weight, decrease your  grocery costs or save time, this strategy may also work for you. And if it wouldn't, I'm betting you could throw some chicken in this dish and make most of your family happy.

Are you partial to the meat/potato/side tradition of the good old U S of A, or do your 'side dishes' take center stage? Or, are you as fabulous as my Grandma was and eat your dessert first so that you'll never have to say "I'm too full for dessert?" 

If you have any cost- or time-saving cooking tips, please let the rest of us know!

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