White flour, white sugar and white rice are probably the first things off the list when you become proactively health conscious. It has taken extra time to change recipes from white rice to brown rice and I thought I had to give up something. The brown rice was gummy, even if you followed the directions on the package and left the lid on after it cooked and let is rest 10 minutes, then fluffed it with a fork. I accepted the gumminess as normal and got used to it and didn’t think about it anymore. And like all changes to something healthier, a strange thing happens and the healthier food taste better because you know it’s healthier. Then you eventually like it because you are used to it and the new flavor. But with a brown rice isn’t gummy if it’s baked in the oven or boiled in a pot of water then drained (like pasta) then covered and set aside to read for 5 – 10 minutes (See Easy Brown Rice recipe May/2013).
Besides the clinical trials that have reported that two or more servings a week of brown rice, with a slow release sugar, may lower the risk of type 2 diabetics and eating five or more servings of white rice increases the risk because the glycemic index is high, white rice has been stripped of iron, vitamins, zinc, proteins, calcium, thiamin, magnesium, potassium and other nutrients lost during the refining process. A diet of refined white sugar, white flour, white rice and processed foods leaves a film on your teeth and this film can cause discoloration and decay. It’s best to eat foods in their unrefined natural state and they will taste better and you won’t want to go pack to the processed version. This rice tastes and smells like authentic Spanish rice in a good mexican restaurant.
Spanish Brown Rice
- 1 cup long grain brown rice, rinsed using a sieve
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1/3 – 1/2 of a fresh jalapeño, diced*
- 3 green onions (scallions)
- 1 small garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- pinch of salt
- 2 2/3 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
Cut the white part only of the green onions and put with the chopped jalapeño and garlic. Chop green onion tops and set in a dish in the refrigerator. Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add the rice, white part of the green onions, jalapeño and garlic, stirring to coat all the rice. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika and salt and sauté 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth and tomato paste. Stir until blended. Bring to boil. Transfer to a casserole. Cover and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes . Remove from oven, stir and return to over for an addition 30 minutes or until broth is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork. Sprinkle with reserved green tops.
*This is a small but very hot pepper (some hotter than others). The older the pepper gets on its way to turning red, the hotter it will be. The hottest part of the pepper is the membrane. If you don’t want any heat, slice out as much of the light green part of the inside of the pepper as you can. If you have sensitive hands, you may want to wear kitchen gloves to clean and cut a hot pepper.
- 1 1/3 cup (half of a 16 pounce package) dry pinto beans, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped fine
- 1/4 cup anaheim pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 of a 4″ jalapena pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 8 once can tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup shredded jack cheese
Place soaked beans, water, milk, garlic and salt in a large heavy pot or small dutch oven. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until beans are soft. Add the remaining ingredients except the cheese and cook another 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. You can leave the beans whole or mash them with a potato masher. Transfer to a casserole and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake in a 350 oven until hot and cheese is melted.