Like many American families, my family is used to the protein/vegetable/starch meal structure, and rice is the most common contender in the starch slot.
However, somewhere down the road, we contracted the bad habit of using Uncle Ben's or other "ready rice" packets where all you have to do is squeeze out the pre-cooked rice into a pan and heat it up. Although we use the brown rice and other whole grains versions, they aren't nearly as good as real home-cooked rice, and I'm not a big fan...
Nevertheless, we always improved upon the packets by adding onions or mushrooms or tomatoes; whatever veggies and spices we have on hand. This is quick and easy, and with some add-ins can be called "good"... but do yourself a favor and make some real rice and then jazz it up!
- Packet(s) Ready Rice
- Onions, Garlic (whatever you got!)
- 1/4 c Vegetable Broth
Basically just saute Onion and Garlic and whatever other veggies you are using together in a pan. Break up the rice and then squeeze into the pan, adding the vegetable broth, and stirring. Season with spices and continue to stir until hot and all moisture is absorbed.
Creole : Onion, Garlic, Diced Tomato (Onion+Garlic Powder, Cajun Seasoning, dash Cayenne)
French: Shallots+Garlic+Fennel sauteed in Brandy (Onion+Garlic Powder, Thyme, Tarragon)
Country: Onion, Sweet Peas, Corn (Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Black Pepper)
Snip-snappy: Onion, Parsnips (Onion Powder, Ginger, Thyme, Dill, Black Pepper)
Ala Shrooms: Shallots/Onions and Mushrooms sauteed in Sherry (Onion+Garlic Powder, Thyme)
Country "Risotto": Onions, Sweet Peas, Corn, Parmesan Cheese (Garlic Powder, Black Pepper)
Spanish: Yellow Onion, Carrots, Tomato, White Wine (Garlic Powder, Cumin, Crushed Red Pepper)
Latin: Onions, Black Beans, Mango, Fresh Cilantro (Ground Chipotle)
Anything works; be creative and comment/send me any new flavor combo ideas you have.