Tools: Saucepan with lid, rice cooker, or instant pot
Preparation time: approximately 20 minutes
1 cup rice
1 cup vermicelli pasta or pasta of choice (optional)
2 cups broth of choice (can be made with bouillon according to package directions)
2 tbsp. saute spread of choice (butter/ Earth Balance)
2 tbsp. Roasted Ranch ‘Rito spice mix or favorite spice blend of choice
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional)
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tsp. salt
Stove top: On medium high heat, saute onion until translucent. Add rice, pasta and spice blend, toast until rice has a nutty fragrance. Add broth of choice, bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Cover. Cook mixture according to rice package directions. Uncover, fluff with rice and serve
Instant pot: On saute function, cook onion until translucent. Add rice, pasta and spice blend, toast until rice has a nutty fragrance. Add broth of choice, bring to boil, cook on rice setting. Allow to release, fluff with fork and serve.
Rice Cooker: Toast rice and pasta with spread/butter in a pan separately. Combine all ingredients in rice cooker bowl, set cooker on rice function (white or brown rice), fluff with fork and serve.
Beef: Use beef broth
Chicken: Use chicken broth
Garlic and herb: Use vegetable broth, double the amount of spread/butter in recipe to 4 tbs. Add 1 tsp minced garlic or garlic powder and 1 tablespoon dried parsley to the spice mix of choice.
Wild Rice or Brown Rice: Simply substitute wild rice or brown rice and cook according to package directions.
Protein: Make this a one pot meal by adding ground beef when you toast the onion or adding diced chicken. If using Vegan beef or chicken protein crumbles, add at the last 5 minutes of cooking as it does not need a longer cooking time.
Vegetables: Add any you like! Add frozen mixed vegetables or broccoli when sauteing onion.
Indian: Use your favorite Indian spice mix or Add 1 tablespoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and turmeric, 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted coconut, and 2 tablespoons golden raisins before adding vegetable or chicken broth to cover.
Cheesy Broccoli: Add 1 cup frozen or fresh broccoli florets before adding broth. Before serving fold in 1 cup cheddar style cheese (I’m using Daiya Cheddar shreds.)
Asian Style Rice: Substitute favorite Asian spice blend or 1 tbsp. garlic powder, soy sauce and 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger or 1 tsp. ground ginger. Prepare as directed. You may also add a whisked in egg near the end of cooking time, stirring until completely cooked.
Paleo: Substitute cauliflower rice and prepare as directed.
My procrastination in going to the grocery store has become a clean out the pantry challenge.
When I do go to the grocery store, it’s going to be a massive trip. I haven’t figured out how to do this while transporting baby. Wait, I just realized I could wear him in a wrap. Nonetheless, my next shopping trip will be when my parents are in town for additional baby towing power.
I’ve been enjoying using what we have, it feels like a challenge. It’s time for lunch and I open my pantry. Why do I have twelve cans of chickpeas left? I also have about fifteen bags of different kinds of rice. My friend gave me some of her high quality bouillon from Puerto Rico and this recipe is born! I highly recommend you try some of this Goya Ham bullion. It’s the best I’ve ever had.
We don’t need to buy a box of rice, pasta and a salt lick in a packet at an outrageous markup. We can make our own! We can control our ingredients! We can use whole grains so it has more fiber. We can avoid unnecessary gluten and MSG. And we save money.
When I was a child I took the motto on the box to heart. I imagined San Francisco had chandeliers made of boxed rice mix. I fantasized it was on every trolley. I was a little surprised when I visited the first time and discovered it was only at the grocery store like everywhere else.” The San Francisco treat, my foot!” Fortunately I also visited Chinatown and Ghiradelli and my food related expectations of this beautiful city were salvaged. Once you have crispy duck you tend to forget about packaged side dishes. (Yes, I was still a child when I visited.)
I call this Base-A-Roni because it really is a base for any flavors you would like. Please try it or let me know if you come up with any variations!
See my recipes on Pinterest!