This rice, and black beans, are probably the dishes I make the most because of these three qualifying factors: it’s easy-to-make, delicious and packed with veggies. Well actually I take that back, the MAIN qualifying factor is that it is healthy and my three toddlers LOVE it! Whenever i can get “healthy” and “three toddlers love” in the same sentence, I’m smitten. I also cook a lot of Mexican and latin food, so this rice tends to mesh well in general with what I have going on in the kitchen.
One thing to note–I usually use two cups of rice, however for this recipe I only used one. It keeps well for up to a week so you could easily double this recipe. You can also play with the ingredients–I really never measure anything but the water! Cilantro adds great flavor to this rice so that is a must, but if you don’t have poblano chiles on hand (I didn’t in my YouTube video, below), that is totally fine. If you have kale instead of spinach, that is fine too! With kale, however, I’d suggest baby kale, or if using the regular stuff, leave out the stems and go a bit lighter than spinach as it can have a bitter taste. I’d also keep the parsley on the lighter side as it can also have a strong taste. That said, you can play with the other ingredients, like adding white onion if you don’t have green onion, etc.
Check out my YouTube video here, and below I’ve added the ingredients and step-by-step instructions as well:
- 1 Cup white rice*
- 1/2 bunch green onions (or 1/4 or so white/yellow onion)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 bunch parsley
- 2-3 handfuls spinach
- 1 poblano pepper, cut into large chunks
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp vegetable bouillon base (or 1/2 bouillon cube, or just use vegetable broth instead of water)
- 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to your taste)
- 1 1/4 cups water**
- Soak rice for at least one hour prior to cooking.***
- In food processor (or blender), chop the garlic. Then add in all the other ingredients, and process until smooth, about 20 seconds.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.
- Add soaked and thoroughly rinsed rice, and sauté for about five minutes, until golden brown.
- Add in green mixture from food processor, and mix together. Bring back to a boil, turn down heat to low, cover the pot, and let simmer for as long as rice package says, usually about 10-15 minutes.
- Fluff rice, and enjoy!
*I do not recommend using brown rice in this recipe. I’ve tried it before, and since the greens cook for quite a while longer, it doesn’t taste as “fresh”. With white rice more of the nutrients from the greens are retained as the cooking time is dramatically decreased.
**Soaking rice, along with thoroughly rinsing the rice after soaking, is recommended to help remove arsenic from the rice. White rice generally has less arsenic than brown rice in any case, and from my research, rice from Southeast Asia is found to generally have less arsenic than rice grown in the U.S.
***I usually put about 1/2 cup less water than what the package says. Soaking rice makes it retain water, plus there is water on the surface of the rice from the soaking, and the veggies also have some water. However if you end up adding too much water, it will still turn out great, it will just have more of a risotto-type texture.