Feeling in the mood for a one-dish meal? Don’t wanna go to the grocery store or out to a restaurant? If you have some rice in the house, here’s an easy way to toss together a tasty, satisfying dinner.
It takes about a half-hour, all told, depending on how fast you can chop an onion. 😉
Here’s what you need for one person w/ some leftovers, or for two not excessively hearty eaters:
• A cup of converted rice (sometimes branded “Uncle Ben’s original”); other types will work
• 2½ cups liquid (can be chicken or beef broth, consomme, water, or a combination of the above; you can add sherry or white wine if desired.
half a yellow or white onion
• A carrot or two (or whatever you have around: celery? bell pepper? other?)
one or two cloves of garlic
• Some frozen veggies, such as peas, corn, cut-up broccoli or asparagus, mixed vegetables, whatever… I used some frozen broccoli rabi, the baby broccoli that tastes really good. You could use frozen mushrooms, too. Or spinach. Or all of the above. This is a kitchen-sink dish, so use what you have on hand and be imaginative.
• Vegetable or olive oil
• A little sesame oil, if you have it on hand (optional, probably)
• Some leftover cooked meat, cut up in small dice — anything will work
To feed more than a couple of people, just increase the amount of the ingredients proportionately to the expected appetites: multiply by 1.5 or 2 or whatever amount you need.
Peel and coarsely chop half of an onion. Cut the carrot into fairly small dice. Same if you’re using celery. Pour a little oil in the bottom of a deep frying pan with a cover. Turn the heat to medium or medium high and add the onion plus carrot or whatever. Stir gently now and again while these cook to a soft stage and the onion is just beginning to caramelize a little. Add a cup of converted or white rice.When the rice is beginning to brown, add the liquid (I happened to have some duck broth from last Thanksgiving — don’t be shy about using what you have on hand). Place the lid on the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low, and set the time for about 15 minutes (if you’re using brown rice, figure more like a half-hour or so).
When the rice is almost cooked but a little liquid remains in the pan, add the leftover meat. Don’t stir it in (stirring rice while it cooks can make it mushy). Just let it sit on the top to warm with as the rice finishes steaming.
Set the timer for another five or ten minutes. Next time it chimes, dinner will be ready!
While our diet/cookbook, 30 Pounds in 4 Months, doesn’t recommend piling rice on your plate every day, the whole idea behind it is that healthy food should be easy to fix, be good to eat, and never break the bank.
Large images: Shutterstock. © 2016 vm2002
Small images: Victoria Hay