The other night I wanted to make a fun Mexican-themed dinner. Instead of doing my usual brown rice on the side, I decided to try and make some Spanish rice. This recipe is easy, delicious and tastes super authentic. I put it on the stovetop the same time I made my fajita chicken (recipe to come) and it was a delicious meal.
A few hints: this makes a LOT of rice (like 4 cups), which you can easily portion out and freeze or make for a small crowd. Also, I used brown basmati rice because that’s what I had. Feel free to play around with what type of rice you want to use, just be mindful of liquid to rice ratio and cooking time.
Easy Stovetop Spanish Rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 cups of medium or long-grain rice (I used brown basmati, see note above)
- 3 cups chicken stock*
- 1 can Rotel or diced tomatoes, strained
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Pinch of oregano
- Pinch of cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
*Pay attention to the liquid to rice ratio on the rice package. For my basmati brown rice, the ratio is 2 cups liquid to 1 cup rice, so I used 3 cups chicken broth for 1.5 cups rice.
- Heat olive oil in skillet or cast iron pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the rice, constantly stirring so most of the rice is lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add the onion, stirring frequently until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic, stirring in with the onions and rice for another minute. Remove from heat
- In a medium pot, combine the broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, cumin, salt and bring to a simmer. Add in the rice and onions. Bring everything to a simmer, cover and cook for 35-40 minutes, depending on the type of rice and instructions on the rice package. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
This is one of those OMG-this-is-the-best-weeknight-dinner-ever sort of meals. These peppers and the stuffing were SO delicious and tasty that I ate one every day for lunch and dinner for the three days after making them. And if you aren’t a fan of peppers, make the stuffing alone and eat it with some fried eggs (like I did). Trust me, it is GOOD.
If you don’t feel like making your own semi-homeamde pasta sauce, feel free to skip step 2 (where you blend fresh basil and garlic with tomato sauce and instead use whatever pasta sauce you have on hand). I made 7 peppers (whatever fit in the baking dish), and still had the filling left over (which is great). There is no real science to filling them or how many you can fit, just use up as much as you can (keep it as easy as possible for you!).
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 1/2 cups chunky tomato sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 pound lean ground turkey breast
- 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup cooked brown (or white/wild/any type) rice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 -8 medium to large green bell peppers
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a blender or food processor, add 1 1/4 cups tomato sauce, garlic cloves and basil. Blend on high 1-2 minutes until smooth. Set aside. (This step is optional, use pasta sauce if need be!)
- Heat olive oil in a large 10 inch skillet or frying pan over medium high heat. Add diced onions, cook until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add turkey, breaking up the meat as you stir. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until turkey is cooked and no longer pink. Stir in tomato sauce from the blender, along with oregano, Italian seasoning and spinach. Simmer uncovered on medium low heat for 10-15 minutes; stirring every few minutes. After it is done cooking, stir in beans and rice. Taste, add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- While the turkey and sauce is cooking you can prepare the peppers: Cut off the tops of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds. Rinse out extra seeds and place each pepper next to each other in a greased 2 quart baking dish.
- Fill each pepper with turkey mixture to the top. Add an extra spoonful of remaining tomato sauce on top each pepper with a little mozzarella cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until peppers are tender. Makes 6-8 peppers!
- (Peppers can be frozen and baked at a later date. Same thing with the filling: prep ahead and freeze if necessary!).
Q and I eat rice 3-4 times a week (must be the Japanese in me). We always just pop it in the rice cooker and hit start. That is until now. One of my favorite cooking blogs, The Kitchn, posted a recipe for Edamame Ginger Rice a few weeks ago and on a whim I gave it a try. Result: this rice is mind blowing.
It takes 15-20 minutes, minimal work and the taste is buttery, Asian-y (made that one up) and a little crispy like Persian rice. YUM. I like my rice a little browned and crispy, but if you would rather it not be, add about 1/4 cup more of water and stir often to make sure the rice doesn’t stick at all.
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped or minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot (or heat in the microwave until boiling). Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat until sizzling. Add the rice, shallot, ginger, and kosher salt and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and aromatic, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the edamame, then pour the boiling water over the rice. Stir to combine.
- Cover and reduce heat to medium-low to low and cook for exactly 20 minutes (add an extra 5 minutes if cooking brown rice). (I stirred every 5 minutes, making sure to scrape up the rice that is stuck to the bottom). Remove the pot from the heat, scrape up rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. If there is too much rice stuck to the bottom, add a few tablespoons of water and use a wooden spoon or spatula to loosen it up. Keep rice covered for an additional 10 minutes to allow rice to rest. Uncover, fluff gently with a fork, and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Let’s be honest here – most weeknights I am all about the easy dinner. This cheesy polenta is the easiest side dish EVER. Seriously. You mix all the ingredients in a baking dish, pop it in the oven and voila!
I love serving polenta with earthy veggies especially mushrooms or topped with some warm marinara sauce. It’s also a great side to chicken or pork. This is a great weeknight side dish that isn’t brown rice or pasta!
For my mushrooms, I top them with some olive oil, salt and pepper and use my toaster oven. Bake them for 350 degrees for about 15 minutes and top with a little truffle salt to be truly sinful!
Easy Cheesy Oven Baked Polenta
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
- 1 cup polenta (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
- 3 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, halved
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8″ square baking dish with Pam.
- Place all ingredients in baking dish (only half the Parmesan) and give it a stir. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes, take out of oven. Add remaining Parmesan to top and return to oven for 5 minutes so cheese crisps and browns. Remove from oven. The sides should be crunchy and the center moist. Top with veggies or your favorite marinara sauce.