Here’s one from my childhood, and maybe yours, too: Spanish rice with a savory tomato sauce. I know there are a lot of variations of Spanish rice in the US, and I’m not sure if the tomato sauce is a regional thing (I’m from the northeast) or it pops up everywhere. If you’ve had it you know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t, give it a try. There’s a reason this stuff has a reputation as a beloved comfort food.
The bad thing about Spanish rice is it’s usually made with super high sodium ingredients, so my version kicks the sodium to the curb. Using salt free tomatoes/tomato paste pretty much takes care of it, and I use a lot more seasonings and less salt than any Spanish rice recipe I’ve ever heard of to give it a good flavor. I also add a ton of black beans to mine to kind of balance all the carbs in the rice with a good load of fiber. Of at least equal importance: the black beans taste awesome in there.
If you think of Spanish rice only as a side dish, I’m going to urge you to reconsider your position. With the plentiful addition of beans, I think it’s well hearty enough to make a great main course. If you feel like going wild, cook up some Soyrizo and toss in there.
Easy Spanish Rice
makes about 10 cups
a 14.5 oz can diced salt free tomatoes
a 6 oz. can salt free tomato paste
4 Tbs olive oil
1 – 2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy or red pepper flakes
2 cups uncooked white rice
2 – 3 tsp Mrs. Dash, any variety (I used Original)
5 cups water
about 2 cups cooked black beans
about 1 cup frozen corn
another 14.5 oz can diced salt free tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt (optional, and for sure skip this if you’re using canned black beans)
anything else you feel like throwing in there
2. Combine the next group of ingredients in a large, lidded nonstick cooking pot. Turn the heat to medium and cook the raw rice and spices together for about 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat down if the spices start to burn.
3. Stir in the Mrs. Dash, water and tomato blend. Turn the heat to high and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
4. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and let everything heat through for about 10 minutes. Keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
Unless you’re serving your bobsled team, you’re probably going to have leftovers. Good news – put it in a tightly lidded container and it’ll keep in the fridge for 4 days.
Per serving, about 301g: 240 calories (55 calories from fat); 6.1g fat (9%)(0.9g sat, 0g trans); 0mg cholesterol (0%); 153mg sodium (6%); 41.7g carbohydrates (14%); 3.1g fiber (13%); 5.4g protein; Vitamin A 24%; Calcium 5%; Vitamin C 24%; Iron 19%, Potassium 5%