Home made rice-a-roni. Its just as easy to make, and significantly cheaper. You can find the short pieces of vermicelli in little bags by the Mexican food in most grocery stores, or you can bust up spaghetti noodles into 2 inch pieces. I buy the big cans of gravy mix, they last forever and are much cheaper than the little packets. I also keep frozen diced onions in my freezer for stuff like this.
- I make the noodle / rice blend up in a big batch ahead of time, and then measure out 3/4 cup when I want to use it. Simply mix equal amounts of noodles and rice. To make a single serving, I pour rice halfway to the 3/4 mark in my pyrex measuring cup, and then fill it the rest of the way with the pasta. Very easy.
- Heat the butter in a skillet. Add 3/4 cup of the rice/noodle mix, and brown, stirring frequently for a minute or two.
- Add the water, gravy mix, onion, and parsley. Heat to boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.