Easy Spanish Rice (52 New Foods, Week 33) August 24 2012, 1 Comment

easy spanish rice

Easy Spanish Rice: Transform a few simple ingredients found at a convenience store into a tasty side dish.

Last week we took our healthy eating challenge to the convenience store. Our goal was to prove that with a little effort (and creative thinking) you can eat healthy on the road even when healthy choices are few and far between. Along with black beans we served up a side of easy Spanish rice and mixed veggies.

Easy Spanish Rice

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes about 6 to 8 servings

Since we were limited to the ingredients found in a convenience store, and the only fresh produce we could find was a lonely banana, we had to work in a few extra spices to infuse flavor into our Spanish rice recipe. The convenience store only offered canned tomato paste, but if you can find them it’s always better to use fresh tomatoes and onions when making this dish.

2 cups medium grain rice
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat a saucepan over medium high heat, then add the olive oil and heat for a minute or two. Add the rice and cook until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes.

easy spanish rice step one: sautee the rice

2) In a separate saucepan, whisk together the tomato paste, chicken broth and garlic powder, then add the rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

easy spanish rice step two: add broth

3) Serve with a side of black beans and colorful veggies.

easy spanish rice

What we Liked: We could certainly make this meal healthier by eliminating the BPA-laden cans and using farm fresh tomatoes from a roadside stand. Better than a corn dog and a soda? You bet! It was encouraging to show my kids that even when fast food choices seem like the only option, there is always a way to eat healthy if you try.

*What are your favorite, easy ways to serve Spanish rice?

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: How to cook black beans.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color -- the award-winning nutrition games that make healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods! Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun, easy and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.