Heart of the Matter 21: Easy Mexican-Style Rice

Lately, I seem to be getting my entries in for Heart of the Matter (HotM) barely in time for the deadlines. I think I'm going to have to make a New Year's Resolution to get them in at the beginning of the month!! Last month, I didn't even get to participate because at the end of the month, I was in the middle of moving. This month, the house was in disarray again because my refrigerator was broken and everything was stuffed into one of those little dorm fridges - or didn't even make it that far and ended up in the trash. I held a quick funeral for all the organic veggies and condiments that didn't enjoy the warm "weather" in the fridge for the few days before the repairman could get there, but truly, there was nothing I could do but sit by and wait. It was torturous, really.

Having my fridge back as of last night (and thus, making it easier to cook because I could actually find things and have things that required refrigeration), I needed a quick grain-based dish that I could snap a few photos of to make the deadline for HotM this month over at Joanna's Food. I'd had visions of making my own, healthy version of this savory farro tart (and I still intend to do this), but alas, it didn't happen. Running to the grocery store at 5 PM last night, I realized that I didn't have the time, or the money, to grab all the necessary items. So, instead, I settled on creating something from the pantry items I already had available. As luck would have it, it ended up being one I've been whipping up for quite some time.

I've made it so many times, in fact, that I didn't even realize it would be HotM worthy, but it is! It's got very little fat, is made with brown rice (a whole grain), and can be whipped up in a short amount of time - paramount for busy people and those who are preparing for the big Thanksgiving feast that is to come tomorrow. It's also a perfect side dish for any Mexican-style meal you like to make - a perfect break from all the traditional American Thanksgiving foods that all of us in the USA will be sick of in a week or so too.

Thanks for hosting this month, Joanna! I can't wait to see the round-up in a few days and see what other people created for heart healthy grain dishes this month! If you've never participated in HotM before, go check out the HotM website and please consider joining us next month, when I'll be hosting. I'll post the announcement for the theme (as well as the basic rules) here and on the HotM site just a few days after the round-up. Sounds like it's time to start for me to start working on that New Year's Resolution...time passes quickly this time of year!

Easy Mexican-Style Rice, serves 4- 6 as a side dish

2 cups brown rice, rinsed
4.5 cups water or stock
2 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes (low sodium preferred)
1 small can of diced jalapenos or green chiles
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
cilantro, roughly chopped, for garnish

Cook the rice according to how you normally would. I cook mine is a rice cooker, so I can't tell you how to cook it in a pan - it's my crutch of sorts - so just add the water and the rice and push go! While your rice is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick pan and saute the onion until tender. The last 30 seconds, add the garlic, then remove the pan from the heat. When the rice is finished, stir in the can of diced tomatoes (the rice will actually warm it up) and your jalapenos or green chilies. Lastly, stir in your spices and salt and pepper (all of them to taste, really). Top with the chopped cilantro and serve. We like it as an accompaniment to spicy fish tacos and alongside Peter's Beer Beans.

6 comments from you:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Looks like this would fill the bill just about any day Michelle.
Happy Thanksgiving!

cookiecrumb said...

Cranky would Lurve this! I'm going to nudge him into the kitchen. Not that he doesn't cook practically everything around here... but he has never cooked that.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Debinhawaii said...

I love Mexican-style rice and this looks easy and delicious! The fact that it is heart=healthy is a bonus!

Michelle said...

Tanna, It's simple and makes a great side dish - we like it!

Cookie, Do. I'd love to see what Cranky comes up with!!

Deb, I know, I never realized how healthy it was until I needed it for HotM!

Christie @ fig & cherry said...

Love this combination Michelle! Especially the cilantro addition - I always mix flat leaf parsley into rice but cilantro with the jalepenos sounds heavenly. Thanks for the inspiration once again!

Michelle said...

Christie, mmm...parsley sounds great too! Now I'm inspired!