Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Versatile and Inexpensive - RICE

We eat a lot of rice at our house.  There are so many ways it can be used, so many types of rice available, and it is reasonably inexpensive!

I add rice to a lot of soups and casseroles.  It really stretches the meal, allowing for more servings and it is so filling.
G loves plain rice for breakfast.  He like to add butter and maybe something sweet (sugar or syrup) on top.
Rice pudding is an easy recipe to make - although it is not something we have here.
Homemade fried rice is ever so easy to make.
We love it with stir fry meals.
We are huge fans of seasoned and flavored rice.
We love using it in homemade gumbo.  It is also great to use in a nice bowl of chili (a dollop of rice under or on top of chili = YUM).
There just isn't any limit to the ways to use rice.

Here are some of our favorites:

We love dirty rice (rather spicy flavored rice) - I do have a recipe I got years ago from a friend who owned a bar.  He served it there.  It makes a huge amount - so I tend to buy the dirty rice mix at the store.  Zatterain's brand is very good - but we LOVE Aldi's brand and it is .99/box!  This is one of our favorite meals (we add sausage or ground beef to it).

SEASONED RICE MIX (like Rice-A-Roni)
2 C uncooked rice
1 C broken (small pieces) spaghetti (a plastic bag and a hammer works!)
1/4 C parley flakes
6 Tbsp. instant  chicken or beef bouillon powder
2 Tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried thyme

Mix it all together and store in an airtight container.
Mix 1 cup of mix with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until rice is tender.  This is equivalent to one box.
**You can omit spaghetti pieces and just use all rice (3 cups) if you just want a seasoned rice mix. 
ADD veggies or meat if desired!
(Make the mix and store in the pantry - you are always ready for an easy and inexpensive side dish)

3 cans red beans    (approx. 6 cups of home cooked beans)
1/4 tsp. liquid smoke
1/4 c water
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 garlic salt
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. bacon grease or lard
1/4 tsp. pepper
Cooked long grain rice for serving

Drain 2 cans of beans (or 4 C), add water, spices, smoke and grease and place in a food processor and pulse for about 4 seconds.  You want it chopped yet the liquid thick.  Drain and add the other can of beans and pulse for about 2 seconds.  Some beans will be practically whole.
Heat and stir frequently while heating.
Serve over cooked rice.   YUM
(we love this)

1 C white rice

1 small onion, chopped
2 (15 ounce) cans dark red beans or 4 C cooked kidney beans
2 (15 ounce) cans dice tomatoes
garlic salt to taste
oregano and basil to taste
Prepare rice.  In a skillet with a cover sauté onion until translucent.  Add remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally.  Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve over rice.  Top with grated cheese if desired.

This is definitely an item that should be kept in all pantries.  I store mine in gallon glass jars and it lasts and lasts.  Rice and pasta are probably the 2 most versatile ingredients that you can keep on hand, to add to or stretch a meal.

Do you have any special rice recipes that you would like to share?  We'd love to have them!
RICE - it's what's for dinner!


  1. Thank you for the recipes Cheryl. I have been looking for a good one for Red Beans and Rice. :)

    1. You are more than welcome. I have had a couple people interested.

  2. Dear Cheryl,
    I love to make rice pudding. I freeze any left over cooked rice just for that. My usual rice dish is fried rice as you can use up so many things in that and its yum. The secret is to lay the rice out for a while and dry it out a bit.
    In summer I make a rice salad that keeps very well. Rice is so versatile as you say.
    I should be adding more to my stores! With love Annabel.xxx

    1. Annabel I love fried rice. I made that last week.
      Hmmmmm - never thought about rice salad. That sounds like something I might want to try.
      Have a great day!

  3. Hi Cheryl, we like rice too. I make a Mexican rice recipe that I learned from another wife years ago. I also make fried rice with either bacon or leftover roast beef and it is one of our favorite entrees.
    I make sure to keep plenty of rice in our pantry, just in case of an emergency.

    1. Mmmmm - Mexican rice. Sounds wonderful. Everything is better with bacon!!!!

      Have a great day!

  4. Thank you for the recipes! Making me hungry.

  5. This is just in time as I did a pantry re-org on Friday and noticed we have pounds and pounds and pounds of rice, thanks Cheryl!