Garden Rice Pilaf

August 2, 2016

Ten minutes + seven ingredients = one flavorful side dish that’s delicious enough for entertaining, yet easy enough for a busy weeknight.

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I don’t know about you, but on the nights when I’m scrambling to get dinner on the table by 7:00, a nice side dish is the first item to go. I’m either too hungry to wait, or I don’t have the ingredients on hand. Instead, I’ll just throw together a salad and call it a day.

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Recently, however, I discovered these “microwave in 90 seconds” rice pouches in the grocery aisle (yes, I know they’ve been around forever) and they got me thinking. Even when I’m nearing the “hangry” stage I can usually wait another 90 seconds. Deciding to give it a go, I picked up a pouch and headed home. When dinner rolled around, I searched  through my refrigerator for mix-ins and found tomatoes and spinach, two ingredients I always have on hand. Then I went to work. Well…work is a generous word. I mixed stuff together and was pleased with the tasty results. Rice, vegetables, olive oil, lemon juice. Simple and delicious.

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What is also great about this dish, aside from it’s quick turn around time, is that it offers a lot of flexibility. You can even turn it into a main entree by throwing in some protein: beans, leftover chicken, etc. For those of you who actually prep ahead and make your grains at the beginning of the week – first of all, props to you – second of all, you can certainly use 2 cups of rice, quinoa, lentils etc. that you’ve prepared yourself. Otherwise, grab a pouch of brown rice, a few handfuls of spinach and some ripe baby tomatoes; your on your way to a flavorful side dish in minutes. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite quick side dish? Let me know or link up below!

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Garden Rice Pilaf

Serves: 4

Time: 7-10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 “ready-made” pouch of brown rice (or two homemade cups of your favorite grain)
  • 1 tbls. olive oil – you may need a bit more oil for serving if you use homemade rice.
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup halved baby tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tbls. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion and cook about 3 minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile, microwave rice according to package directions.
  3. Add spinach to skillet and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients – tomatoes, herbs, lemon juice, rice, salt, pepper, and stir to combine. Cook an additional minute, or until heated through.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy cookbook.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Anne August 3, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Oh wow this looks really great!

  • Reply Grilled Chicken and Grape Skewers | Paula's Plate August 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    […] Enjoy with your favorite side. […]

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