Spanish Rice

Welcome to the grain unit! Yesterday we made this Spanish rice, and today we did our grain notes. To start out the grain notes we go over the Food pyramid in general and discuss calories. It’s amazing, but these kids have NO idea how many calories they need in a day and REALLY no idea how many calories are in the foods they eat. It’s always an enlightening discussion.

Here is something I always read them. It’s from “Hungry Girl”. If you don’t know her, look her up. Anyways, I love the way it is written and it’s the total truth!

“All successful diets do EXACTLY the same thing..

Sounds crazy, but it’s 100% correct. Whether you’re counting carbs, loading up on protein, cutting fat, ordering meal delivery service, eating six cookies a day, or even eating every single meal out, if you’re losing weight it’s because of one reason — you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning. A recent study demonstrated this by comparing several popular diets in action — each of which reduced caloric intake by the same amount. The study found that every diet yielded practically the same exact weight-loss results. So why are there so many different diets out there, and why do some work for certain people but not for others? It’s all about finding a method of eating you can stick with — one that allows you to eat fewer calories than you burn while still feeling satisfied. So if carby starches make you want to eat more, a low-carb diet might be the way to go to keep calorie counts down. If tracking POINTS® helps you keep calories in check, go for it. This does NOT mean all diets are good for you — if you consume 1,200 calories’ worth of donuts or fried chicken daily, you probably won’t feel great or be doing your body any favors! The key is to find a balanced approach that you can live with comfortably. “

As for our Spanish Rice. This stuff kind of tastes like Chili. It’s spicy, comforting, and could easily be your whole meal if you stirred in some black beans or meat for protein. You could also use brown rice just as easily (maybe simmer longer, as it takes a bit longer to cook). It’s also a great complement to any and all Spanish/Mexican food. Sometimes people like to serve enchiladas or burritos but don’t know what else could go on the plate. This would be perfect!

Spanish Rice- Serves 4

½ c. medium onion, finely chopped

½ sm. Green pepper, finely chopped

1 tbsp oil

12 oz. chunky crushed tomatoes *

1/2 c. water

¼ c. + 2 tbsp. long grain rice

½ tbsp. brown sugar

½ tbsp. Worcestershire sauce *

½ tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. salt

Pinch black pepper

Dash hot sauce

3 slices bacon

1/3 c. grated cheddar cheese

*Make sure your crushed tomatoes don’t come with basil or other Italian herbs. Just crushed tomatoes!

*Did you know that there are anchovies AND high fructose corn syrup in Worchestershire sauce? BOTH are on the ingredients list. SICK.

1.       Put oil in skillet. Cook chopped onion and pepper until tender (3 to 4 minutes, medium heat).

2.       Stir in undrained tomatoes, water, rice, sugar, Worcestershire, chili powder, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Yes, that’s EVERYthing. Such an easy recipe! One skillet!

3.       Cover; simmer gently about 30 minutes or until the rice is done and most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally. Basically here you want to BTB, RTS. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer (stole this from that crazy blond chef on food network!). Turn your heat up till it is heated through and sputtering, then reduce your heat to about a 1 or 2 (pretty low) and put the lid on. This will allow the rice to slowly absorb the liquid.

Getting there…

(See? If you push it aside and no liquid streams out, you’re good to go)

4.       Meanwhile, cook bacon in microwave (1 minute per slice, on a plate, paper towels above and below bacon).

5.       When rice is done, sprinkle with crumbled bacon and grated cheese. Serve.

Tomorrow, more grain! Quinoa, bulgar wheat, arborio Rice, wild rice, and couscous!

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