Do you love Mexican food? I do. Well to me it’s just food. I grew up eating rice and beans and a tortilla with practically every meal. It was very much discouraged to skip these sides. Even today, it just isn’t a meal without rice or beans!
Unfortunately all of these options are super starchy and so often made with unhealthy ingredients that when people start diets they are quickly thrown out of their recipe lists.
No worries, there is a way to have one of these great sides without the guilt and the result is just as tasty and packed with the necessary nutrients to keep you full and satisfied!
This is how I make Healthy Mexican Rice:::
Chicken Stock or chicken bouillon (depending on your sodium needs)
Tomato Sauce (Homemade or Canned with no salt added)
Take 8oz of rice and put it in a big cup with hot water to soak for 15 minutes before cooking. This will soften the rice so it doesn’t take as long to cook!
Chop about a quarter of a cup of onion to the size that you like. I personally cut onion as small as I can because my husband hates it but it is so necessary for flavor.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add onions and let them sweat.
Drain the rice at the end of the 15 minutes and pour them into a separate dry pan and stir them on medium heat until they are dry and no longer releasing vapor.
Once the onions are clear add the dry rice and sautee until the rice is a golden color. Be very careful here, walk away for a second and the rice will be burnt!
Once the rice is golden, add the chicken bouillon. I like to use regular bouillon because it gives the best flavor but most brands have a ton of added salt and msg. You can get better brands at health stores. I also use chicken flavor over tomato because the tomato flavor makes the rice too sweet and not savory enough. Make sure to stir.
Now add the tomato sauce. I use tomato sauce not puree or paste because it is less sweet and less sticky. You can make your own as well! This would give you more control over salt and added preservatives. Stir some more!
Almost done… Turn the heat to high and add about 3 cups of water. From here on DO NOT STIR. Stirring will break the rice and make it mushy. The high heat will cook it quickly. Keep your eyes on the pan during this process and add water if the is still too hard. It should have a solid consistency but not be chewy. It may take another 2 cups but its best to add as you go so you don’t add too much and end up with a giant bowl of mush.
When it is at the chewy stage you can add a can or corn kernels. They cook much faster and they give a sweet crunch. You can also add peas, bell peppers, or even cooked cauliflower (if you are trying to sneak vegetables past your family). Make sure to add them toward the end so they retain some of their own flavor but pick up just a hint of the seasoning. You can also add salt to taste and I have had aunts who add white cheese on top once the rice is cooked. These are great additives but be careful to measure out how much you are adding if you are following a meal plan so that you know exactly how much you can have!
Once the consistency is good and there’s only a bit of liquid left in the pan turn off the heat and let it sit. It will absorb the last bit of moisture without burning at the bottom of the pan.
You are now ready to serve! This meal makes about 3-4 cups worth of rice so depending on your meal plan, the servings vary!
Keep on the lookout for the next recipes I will be sharing, like Chile Colorado and Pork Green Chile, by subscribing!