Friday, February 3, 2012

Say No! to Processed Foods (but Yes! to a Spanish Rice Recipe)

A few posts ago I mentioned that I grew up on Hamburger Helper and boxed foods the like.  I am proud to say that since I have moved away from home there has not been a single box of Hamburger Helper in my household.

I do, however, have a confession to make...  I'm horrible at making rice.  My "from scratch" recipes always ended up too sticky, undercooked, or just bland.  So I always resulted in purchasing Rice-A-Roni... /sigh, such a disappointment, I know...

Well, have you ever looked at the nutrition label for things like Rice-A-Roni???

Let's have a look, shall we??

That's right... When prepared with 2 Tbsp of margarine or butter, the sodium of ONE SERVING is 930mg or 43% of your daily intake... And that's just a single side for your dinner.  Looking at this makes you want to make your own rice, doesn't it?

"According to Mayo Clinic, Americans get up to 75 percent of their total sodium intake from processed foods. Most people get far more than the 1,500 mg of salt or less per day recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Canned foods, processed meats and baked goods are examples of processed foods that are high in sodium."  Source:

Now, I'm not saying that you should cut out every single processed food in your cupboard, but simple things such as this can easily hit the dust!  To prove my point... Me... Horrible rice cooker, replaced my Rice-A-Roni box with a homemade Spanish Rice recipe.  And guess what??  It tasted amazing, and the entire thing only had 1/2 tsp of salt in it.  That's what I call improvement.

The recipe I used was from and it worked like a dream.  I made is sans bell pepper because I already had a ton of green and red bell pepper in the taco mix for tacos that night... didn't want to overkill with bell pepper!  I also halved the recipe and it made enough for 4 people.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Saute rice, onion, and bell pepper until rice is browned and onions are tender.
  2. Stir in water and tomatoes. Season with chili powder and salt. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked and liquid is absorbed. 

Deliciously Easy!

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