So, I’ve written before about how David’s not a huge fan of mexican food. I had always just accepted that and tried not to cook it too often. Well, I recently learned that it’s not that he dislikes it, he just doesn’t want to eat mexican food that tastes the same all the time. See what you learn when you communicate? Powerful stuff;)
I started looking for ways to add some variety to my mexican food repertoire, since I’m such a fan of mexican food. And you know, with a little effort I expanded the meals I make beyond the standard tacos, enchiladas and burritos. Tostadas are one of David’s favorite meals now, and I regularly make quesadillas with whatever meat, beans and vegetables I have on hand. By adding some variety I’ve been able to keep David happy at the table, and I still get to eat my mexican food a lot. *Happy sigh*
Meat is usually the most expensive part of a meal, and purchasing meat that’s actually healthy (no antibiotics or hormones, animals had lots of time outside eating fresh grass or bugs) is even more pricey. Buying clean animal products is an investment I’m very willing to make, but I still have to find ways to make that work within our budget. I’m sure not the first person to come up with eating smaller quantities of meat as a way to stretch our budget a little further.
With mexican food it’s fairly easy to stretch a little bit of meat by simply adding some beans to the ground beef, or by chopping the chicken into small pieces so it looks like you have more on your burrito. Adding a side dish of brown rice is another way I help our family eat less meat. Plain brown rice isn’t terribly interesting when it’s alongside a delicious, crunchy tostada. By adding just a few ingredients you can transform brown rice into a flavorful and color-filled dish that’s much more tempting.
Simple Mexican Rice
1 C. brown rice 2 C. water or broth 1/4 C. diced peppers (bell pepper or another sweet variety) 2 T. finely diced onion 1-2 T. taco seasoning 1-2 T. lime juice 1 T. olive oil or butter
1. In a medium saucepan combine rice and water (or broth). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for another 5 minutes.
2. When rice is almost done, heat oil or butter in a frying pan. Saute peppers and onion until soft, then add rice, taco seasoning and lime juice. Mix together and heat for another minute. Add more taco seasoning or lime juice as desired.
Notes: This is great as a side dish or spread in a burrito or quesadilla.
Yield: Approximately 4 C. rice.