Sometimes you just need to stretch a meal. You’ve got a meat, a sauce, some veggies and rice? Great. Let’s make Spanish Rice Dinner. Now, this is a make-what-you’ve-got kind of recipe so bare with me.
I have to have a base of core ingredients to make this, in particular:
2 cups brown rice uncooked
4 cups water or broth (any kind, maybe try my veggie broth recipe here)
1 bell pepper chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1/2 onion chopped
2 cups sauce (spaghetti, pizza, marinara, even white sauce)
1 lb of meat (I used meatballs tonight but tend to use leftover sausage or ground beef. I’ve even made it without meat and just tossed in a can of black beans rinsed and drained.) Yum.
salt/pepper/garlic powder to taste
Always get the rice started first. I use about 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil in a pan (that has a good fitting lid). Add the rice (uncooked and without water). Cook about two minutes on medium high heat, stirring constantly. Then add water or broth. Return to a boil, cap the pan, reduce heat to medium and set timer for 15 minutes.
While the rice cooks, prepare your veggies. Those listed are my staples, I like to have them as a base to make this dish. I also add in others depending on my mood and my meat. If I have cherry tomatoes I’ll take a cup or so, wash, slice in half and toss in with the cooking rice. If I have sun dried tomatoes, even a small amount it really ramps up the dish. I add these to the veggie/meat mixture in the next step.
In a separate pan, I use a wok, I add some veggie oil, cook my veggies for a few minutes and then toss in whatever meat I have left over. If you aren’t using a leftover meat, do this step in the reverse. Cook the meat thoroughly then toss in the veggies to cook. I like to make a moat in the middle of whatever I started with so the second item(s) added cook on the hottest part of the pan (the middle).
Soon as the rice is ready (no more visible water) I add my sauce. Give it a good stir and reduce the heat to medium low (that’s a 3 to 4 on my stove top).
Add the veggies/meat mixture to the rice and sauce once the veggies are cooked through.
My family loves sprinkle cheese on this dinner.
Hope you enjoy. Let me know what veggie/sauce/meat combos you come up with that makes your family smile.