Rice was always an ingredient that I struggled to get right. It either was way too mushy or crunchy. I grew up having the 10 minute rice in a bag and never really attempted to make anything on my own. It wasn’t until I became an adult and got a rice cooker for a wedding present that I started making it on my own. And by making it on my own I mean using the rice cooker, lol! For years I wanted to make a great Spanish rice, like the type you get in the restaurants but could never find anything that really worked. The packaged “Spanish Rice” in the stores that only required you to microwave it was just so nasty to me! Finally one day I stumbled across a recipe online that was very simple straight forward and seemed easy enough. It has been so long I have no idea where I found it but over the years have tweaked it to my liking. Hope you enjoy!
– 1 cup of uncooked long grain rice
– 1/4 onion finely chopped
I usually use 1 whole onion for my entire meal – chopped up and divided, if you want more you can add as much as you would like.
– 2 Tbsp cooking oil
This can be anything from olive oil to vegetable oil. I usually eyeball the amount, just need enough to coat the pan
– 2 Tbsp (or more if you want) favorite salsa (I use mild)
This is a new discovery. I use to make this recipe with tomato sauce. It gave the rice a nice color but lacked on flavor. What I usually would do is buy a small can of tomato sauce use half of it and put the other half in a small bag to freeze, that way I had it on hand. Well one night I decided to make this I totally forgot the tomato sauce. I had to scramble what to do. I had some salsa in my fridge and thought “Hey, why not.” I say 2 tbsp but again you can decide on much you would like. I usually do two really big spoonfuls (see picture below). It not only gives it great color but also the chucks of tomato and green pepper give it a little more spice and flavor. Now like I said above I use mild salsa. If you prefer spicy rice then go ahead with what you like but it will give it a different flavor and maybe a little too spicy, I am not sure.
– 1 tsp garlic salt
With the spices, I do not do exact measurements. I take the 1/2 tsp spoon and do 2 big scoops for garlic salt, and 1 each for cumin and oregano. This just gives it a little more flavor and this isn’t baking so you do not have to be exact.
– 1/2 tsp cumin
– 1/2 tsp oregano
– 2 cups water
– Good flat pan with lid
I use the same pan overtime I make this dish so I’ve got it down to a science. It needs to be big enough to accommodate 2 cups of cooked rice.
Directions with pictures:
1. Set out all your ingredients to be ready to cook, this is important because of timing.
2. Turn on stove to heat pan to medium heat.
3. Add oil, rice, then onions. Mix together and cook (stirring frequently) for a few minutes until rice is golden brown without burning it.
4. Next, add your salsa and stir quickly. It will sizzle and continue cooking.
5. Add your garlic salt, cumin, and oregano mixing it together.
6. Add the water slowly until completely mixed. This will also sizzle until completely incorporated together.
7. Allow the mixture to come to a good boil, turn stove down to low and place the lid on top.
8. Set timer and cook for 15 minutes. DO NOT lift up the lid no matter how tempted you feel. This is very important. If you want to take the entire pot and shake it (holding the lid) that’s a great way to stir the contents inside without lifting the lid. I tend to do this towards the end when so the bottom doesn’t burn, but if you really have it on low then it shouldn’t.
9. Once the 15 minutes are up, take pot off the burner and set aside for an additional 5 minutes (again not taking the lid off your pot). During cooking and sitting time is a great time to make your other dishes.
10. When ready to serve, take lid off the pot and stir the contents. ENJOY!!!
Printable Version Below:
Easy Homemade Spanish Rice
A easy take on a great rice that can be served with a variety of meals
- 1 cup of uncooked long grain rice
- 1/4 onion finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 2 Tbsp (or more if you want) favorite salsa
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 cups water
- Good flat pan with lid
- Set out all your ingredients to be ready to cook, this is important because of timing.
- Turn on stove to heat pan to medium heat.
- Add oil, then rice, then onions. Mix together and cook (stirring frequently) for a few minutes until rice is golden brown without burning it.
- Next, add your salsa and stir quickly. It will sizzle and continue cooking.
- Add your garlic salt, cumin, and oregano mixing it together.
- Add the water slowly until completely mixed. This will also sizzle until completely incorporated together.
- Allow the mixture to come to a good boil, turn stove down to low and place the lid on top.
- Set timer and cook for 15 minutes. DO NOT lift up the lid no matter how tempted you feel. This is very important. If you want to take the entire pot and shake it (holding the lid) that’s a great way to stir the contents inside without lifting the lid. I tend to do this towards the end when so the bottom doesn’t burn, but if you really have it on low then it shouldn’t.
- Once the 15 minutes are up, take pot off the burner and set aside for an additional 5 minutes (again not taking the lid off your pot). During cooking and sitting time is a great time to make your other dishes.
- When ready to serve, take lid off the pot and stir the contents. ENJOY!!!
This is a great meal to make any night of the week! You could change up the protein or eat it without. The pasta is also a great freezer meal!
Fried Chicken Cutlet with a Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce
Fried Chicken Cutlets
- 1 package of thinly sliced chicken cutlets (I then cut in half for more even cooking and breading)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 egg
- A couple splashes of milk
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (more if needed)
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- Garlic salt (I LOVE Lawrys!)
- Garlic powder
- Herbs of Provence (or any other Italian seasoning)
- Oil for frying
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves of garlic finely minced (or how ever much you like, I LOVE garlic lol)
- 1/4 tablespoon dried basil
- 4 ounces of cream cheese (basically half a regular box)
- 4 ounces of roasted red pepper (half a jar or however much you like)
- 1 cup milk
- 4 ounces of Parmesan cheese, grated (just half a shake container)
- salt & pepper to your taste (remember the cheese has a good amount of salt already. i just do a couple shakes of garlic salt and crack some pepper on top)
- 1/2 box of bowtie pasta
- Add your oil to your pan or skillet and heat over medium heat until ready to use. Take 3 separate bowls: 1 for Flour, 1 for egg/milk mixture, 1 for breadcrumbs. For egg/milk mixture: whisk them together until incorporated. For breadcrumbs: combine panko & plain breadcrumbs together. Go ahead and fill up your pot of water for your bowtie pasta. Be sure to have you water boiling on the opposite side of your oil incase the water splashes in the oil. You do NOT want that to happen.
- Separate your chicken pieces evenly on a work surface. Lightly season with your spices on each side.
- Take 1 piece of your seasoned chicken, coat it with flour, then the egg mixture (both sides), then coat in the breadcrumbs. Put it back on your plate (or work surface) until ready to fry. Repeat this until all chicken is done. Take note: this process takes a while and your hands will get dirty. You can always do this process before dinner and store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to fry.
- Test your oil (I usually pinch a little panko breadcrumb in the oil and see how fast it burns) you don’t want your oil too hot because it needs to cook the chicken and not burn your breadcrumbs.
- Add about 3 pieces at a time to your oil turning when it’s golden brown. Once done place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. I usually keep my chicken in the microwave to keep warm.
Pasta & Sauce Directions:
- Salt your boiling water and add your bowtie pasta. It takes about 10 minutes to cook or however long you like your pasta.
- In a medium skillet, melt your butter over medium heat.
- Add your garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the whole time. You do not want your garlic to burn.
- Stir in your dried basil.
- Add the cream cheese, I cut into pieces so that it has a more even cooking time. Stir with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. This will take a few minutes to achieve, first looking like lumps of curd, but as it warms and melts it will turn into a nice creamy paste.
- Stir in your roasted red peppers, I chopped them up right before to have smaller pieces.
- Next, add your milk and whisk quickly and constantly until it becomes a sauce.
- Stir in your parmesan cheese and add your salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is the desired consistency.
- Drain your pasta, add to sauce, and mix until combined. Turn off heat and keep on the stove.
- Add your favorite veggie or a nice salad to complete meal.
In my household, nachos are a weekly staple. I like to mix things up, some nights make tacos, some nights nachos or burritos, Mexican rice, black beans, possibilities are endless! We like our Mexican food in this house! This meal that is by far the easiest to whip up quick is nachos. Only thing required is to make the meat, heat up the black beans, chop up the onions and whip up some guacamole. Everything else is made for you! I’ve blogged about making nachos before but this variety is completely vegetarian! I have found that digesting beef is difficult for me and I try to have meat less nights at least a few times a week. I still make it for my guys because they love it! Here’s some recipes:
A fresh, light, homemade guacamole that is easy to make.
This can be made ahead, covered, and stored in the refrigerator up to a day. I recommend making just a few hours before needing in case of browning.
- 1 or 2 Hass Avocados
- 1/2 of diced Onions
- 1/2 of Lemon (fresh squeezed is best, but if you have refrigerated lemon juice, a few squirts works great)
- Garlic Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
- Tortilla Chips or on top of your meal
- Cut the avocado in half, remove the big seed. Take a paring knife and cut in the inside in pieces. Take a spoon and scoop out avocado, discard any brown pieces, and make sure the little brown stem is discarded – do not want to bite into that! Ask me how I know, lol.
- Take fork and mash-up the avocado until it is super creamy. If your find the avocado is a little tough, put a tiny bit of water in the mixture to make smooth. Make not to do too much before of the lemon juice.
- Once creamy, squeeze lemon juice, discard the seeds if they fall inside.
- Add onions and mix together.
- Use you preference on the spices, I combine the salt, pepper, and garlic until it makes a good flavor. Remember if you are eating chips with it, the chips are really salty to begin with. So a tip would be to try it with a chip and see if you need anymore salt. I use Lawry’s Garlic Salt because it is SO good and not adding as much salt.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat!
Easy Black Beans
An easy Black Beans Recipe.
Now this is not really a recipe, more like making canned black beans taste way better! I do reduced sodium black beans for the salt content (I add garlic salt) and plus they are easier to make on a busy home night. You can always get dried black beans and cook them yourself, but trust me that takes a lot longer!
- 1 can of Reduced Sodium Black Beans
- 1/2 cup of diced Onions
- Whatever spices you have on hand – I use:Garlic Salt, Freshly ground Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin, & Chili Powder
- Open and dump entire can into a small cooking pot. I like to add a little water to make the mixture thinner because when they start to cook it tends to thicken up really quickly.
- Add onions and stir.
- Then add your spices, I just eye-ball the spices until it makes a nice flavor. I find it is hard to be exact with spices because everyone has their own preference. You could also add a little cayenne for a little heat.
- Heat until it starting bubbling and it’s ready to serve. Super easy and much better than just a regular can of black beans!
The picture of my vegetarian nachos consists of:
Salsa (LOVE Kroger’s mild traditional salsa – sooooo good, cheap, real ingredients, and low-calorie!)
Taco Bell Mild Taco Sauce (The fact you can buy this in the store is AMAZING!!)
I seriously think I could eat this every single day of the week! It is so filling I do not miss the beef or chicken at all! Of course you can add meat if you choose, just make regular ground beef with taco seasonings, or grilled chicken made the same way is awesome as well. This also makes an amazing lunch the next day!