Weekly Dish: Green Rice

A few of the new recipes I have made recently and that have been on my Weekly Menus have turned out to be duds. Or at least less than blog-worthy. Some will be okay with a little tweaking. But I obviously can’t post until it’s perfect. SO, here’s one from the recipe book archives:

This is a “real food” adaptation of my Nana’s recipe and a family favorite. She’s gone now, but would be proud to have one of her recipes on the Internet! ┬áIt is actually a Rice Pilaf recipe, but when I was little, I am told that I re-named it Green Rice and it stuck.

Green Rice

1 C long-grain brown rice
2 T butter
2 C homemade chicken stock
1 Bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground thyme
2 Tablespoons butter
1 10-oz package chopped spinach
salt & pepper, to taste
Melt butter, add onion and rice and cook until onions are limp. Add chicken stock and heat.
Put in casserole dish and add salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme on top and drop in bay leaf.
Cover and bake in oven 400 degrees for 30 minutes-1 hour or until liquid is absorbed.
Melt butter, add defrosted spinach and toss in skillet just until heated well.
Remove bay leaf and lightly toss spinach and rice together.
Do not stir as rice will get gummy.

Florentine Rice & Lentils

I’m always on the lookout for a good slow-cooker meal. Here is a great one. It is also highly versatile so really it doesn’t have to be italian. Make it mexican, make it Cajun, make it Irish, make it Asian!

Florentine Rice & Lentils

3/4 cup dry lentils
1/2 c brown rice
3 1/2 C homemade chicken stock
1 cup tomato sauce
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green or red pepper
1 grated or finely chopped carrot
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1-2 handfuls of spinach
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or oregano)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper

Marinara sauce (homemade: 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
sprinkle parmesan cheese
Combine rice and lentils and cover with water. Soak overnight in slow cooker with the machine turned off. In the morning, drain the water, then add all other ingredients except marinara sauce and cheese. Mix and cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 10 minutes before serving, add marinara sauce to top, then cheese and allow it to melt.

Variations:

For Mexican version use Taco seasoning instead of Italian seasoning. Add salsa instead of marinara. Use Jack cheese instead of mozzarella.

For Cajun version use Cajun seasoning, add celery and kidney beans. Omit marinara and mozzarella.

For Irish version, add lager beer in place of the liquid. Add thinly sliced green cabbage. Top with Irish Cheddar.

For Asian version: Use ginger and soy sauce, pineapple chunks, green onions and serve in lettuce cups.