Easy Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice 5

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I never need a special reason to eat or make Mexican food.  Once you see how easy this rice is to make, you will be volunteering to bring the Mexican rice to your family gatherings or potlucks.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked long grain white rice
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • chopped cilantro or green onions for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add 3 tablespoons oil in a deep skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the rice and stir constantly until the rice turns golden brown.Mexican Rice 1
  2. Next add the chicken or vegetable stock. The mixture will bubble up and should be followed by the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and salt.Mexican Rice 3
  3. Bring to a boil and and stir to dissolve the tomato paste into the stock mixture and rice.
  4. Cover with skillet with a lid and turn down the heat to low and set timer for 20 minutes.
  5. When the rice is done, fluff with a fork.
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro or green onions.Mexican Rice 4

 

Creamy Chicken with Mushrooms and Orzo

Creamy Chicken with Mushrooms and OrzoI’m all about quick, easy and one pot dinners. Here’s a recipe for all you busy people out there that want a home cooked meal but don’t have the time or energy to spend more than 30 minutes making it. This is a fun take on chicken and rice. Except we are using orzo pasta instead of rice. For my vegetarian friends out there, feel free to omit the chicken, substitute vegetable stock and add more veggies to this recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder to season chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella or cremini mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Parmesan or Romano grated cheese for garnish
  • Italian parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Sprinkle liberally both sides of chicken breasts with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Heat large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add olive oil and butter. Heat until bubbly.
  4. Sear chicken for 2-3 minutes per side until a nice crust forms. (chicken will not be cooked through but will continue cooking with the orzo.)
  5. Remove seared chicken to a plate.
  6. Add mushrooms to hot skillet and saute until cooked about 2 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to medium.
  8. Add garlic and orzo to pan and saute for 2 minutes.
  9. Add chicken stock, cream and spinach.
  10. Place chicken into orzo mixture.
  11. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 F degrees.
  12. Top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and Italian parsley leaves.

Makes 4 servings.

Chocolate Banana Pudding Poke Cake

Sorry I’ve been missing lately. I haven’t had the heart to post new recipes. My father became ill and recently passed away. This was his favorite dessert. So, in his memory, I am reblogging it. I will be back to blogging soon. img_4320

Joann's Food For Thought

Chocolate Banana Pudding Poke  CakeWith my family, there doesn’t have to be a holiday or celebration to have dessert. If we get together for a family dinner, you can bet there will be dessert. Homemade or store-bought. It doesn’t matter. But there must be dessert. This was originally an “experiment recipe” and of course I tested it on my family. But now it’s my go to dessert when I want to make an effort to actually make dessert, but don’t necessarily have the time or energy to be a Master Chef.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box Devil Foods cake mix. (You can make your own from scratch. But why? Take the help when you can get it.)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 package instant banana pudding mix 5.1 ounce size
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 4 medium bananas
  • 1 carton Cool Whip topping 8 ounce size
  • Optional: sprinkles or…

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