I am not really sure when Rice-A-Roni became a household name, but I know that my mom bought a lot of it (along with their kissable cousin, Pasta-Roni). However, when you are trying to eat healthier, less-processed foods, San Fran's treat rarely makes an appearance in your buggy. And I've been to the foggy city, they aren't exactly preaching the rice-a-roni dream. Thankfully, there are organizations out there developing recipes for healthier alternatives! I found this recipe for Multi-Grain Pilaf from Eating Well.
I first made this side dish with my previously talked about lamb and lebanese beans recipe. The pilaf was the perfect compliment to the meal and I knew then that I would be making this many times in the future. I finally made it again to go with my recent slow cooker meal. It also fit perfectly with that meal.
Now, it serves 6 - but I have cut the recipe both times with no problem. I've also used regular brown rice and regular white rice. I am trying to use up this bag of white rice I have, so eventually I'll be able to have brown rice again. Also, when I say regular - that means it's not the quick cooking variety. So... I usually have to double or tripple the cooking time, and usually add a little more broth. However, if you have quick rice - I don't see how this would take anymore time than cooking a box of rice pilaf. It's cheaper and tastier to make this.
Have you made homemade versions of mainstream conveience items? Please share by leaving a comment!
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil
1/2 cup broken whole-wheat spaghetti pieces
1/3 cup finely diced onion
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup instant brown rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pasta and onion; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add broth, rice, salt and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Fluff with a fork and stir in parsley.