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Inspired by the Sneaky Chef cookbook, I've found a way to add a bit more nutrition into my Spanish rice. My nearly 2 year old loves it - and asks for more! I usually make the rice itself in advance and then make the stovetop rice with cheese and "orange puree" whenever I want to serve it.
Rice Cooker Rice
- 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper celery and onion
- 1 (4 ounce) can green chilies
- 1⁄2 medium sweet onion
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups whole grain rice
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
Stove Top Dish
- 1 cup Spanish rice, from above recipe
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 ounces shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1⁄4 cup orange puree
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 medium yams or 1 medium sweet potato
- 5 -6 tablespoons water
- This is sort of 3 recipes in 1, but it's worth the effort if you have small kids and are fighting to get them to eat something other than mac and cheese!
- I put all of the Spanish Rice ingredients in my rice cooker and press the button - that's it. For anybody who hasn't discovered the absolute glory of rice cookers - you can do the same thing on a stovetop - and in either case you may need to add extra water - make sure to check after about 30 minutes. Keep in mind that whole grain rice can take nearly an hour to cook.
- The Orange Puree seems like a pain but is not hard. I do it about once a week - cut up the carrots into 1 or 1/2 inch pieces, and slice up the yam - then stick that in a steamer for 20 minutes or so. If you don't have any steamer, you can boil them for a similar amount of time - maybe less - but I haven't tried boiling.
- Make sure the carrots and yam are plenty softened, then put them in your food processor (better than a blender, although it can get the job done) - put at least 5 or 6 tablespoons of water - and puree until smooth. The Sneaky Chef lady says you only need 2 or 3 tablespoons - but I think it's better with a bit more.
- This gets you maybe 2 cups of puree - which I freeze in 1/2 cup containers. I take 1 out every few days or so, and it's good for 2 to 3 days once you put it in the fridge. One day I forgot to thaw some out - and my son wanted his rice - so I chipped away at the frozen stuff and put it in the stovetop rice mix, and it worked out fine.
- Then for the final product! Put around 1 cup of the Spanish Rice into a pan with 1 tablespoon of butter, and 2 or 3 tablespoons of the Orange Puree (tablespoons can be heaping or not depending on how much of that sweet/carrot flavor you want). Add the cheese - I put around 3 oz or so - and heat up on medium-low - until the butter, puree, and cheese are all nicely melted and mixed.
- Now serve to a hungry kid! With the above recipe you'll have plenty of Spanish Rice and Orange Puree left over - freeze the extra puree and refrigerate the rice, which will be good for 4 or 5 days.