Friday, April 29, 2011

Rice-A-Roni: Only Waaayyyy Better and 1000 Island Dressing

When I was thinking about what I was going to do this week, these recipes didn't come to mind, but as I was getting lunch ready today, I knew I had to share.  Food this yummy is too good not to share with friends.

Let's start with the rice.  It is a seasoned rice that tastes much like chicken flavored Rice-A-Roni. It has a very similar taste without all of the yucky preservatives.  I made it with brown rice, but I'm sure that white rice could be used too, if desired.  The original recipe came from Taste of Home as a prepared mix where you just pull out what you need.  I don't eat it often enough to need to have the mix prepared ahead of time, so I just pare down the orginial recipe to make what I'm needing for that meal.  I used 2 cups of rice today and it made enough for the daycare kids' lunch, my lunch and I'll have plenty to repurpose into Spanish rice tonight to have with our nachos.

Here is my version of Chicken Rice-A-Roni
  • 2 cups brown rice

  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • dash of dried thyme

  • 4 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • Mix all ingredients in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 45 minutes, remove from heat, keep covered until serving.  Fluff with fork and serve.

    1000 Island Dressing
    I worked on this a bit duing Salad Week (Baby Step 2), but wasn't super thrilled with the results so it went on the back burner.  I've been skipping salads lately because I was out of dressing and I finally got annoyed with that so I cranked out a batch of Caesar dressing and tried this 1000 Island recipe.  I'm not sure where the original version came from.  It was cut and pasted and tucked in my recipe book.  I can't even tell you how old it is.  But I made a few changes to it and have come up with a dressing that I like very much.

    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    2 T. Ketchup (I used a store brand organic, but I will experiment with tomato paste at a later time.)
    2 tsp. sweet pickle relish (I had some I canned last summer.)
    1/8 tsp. salt (I just used a pinch.)
    1-2 shakes of pepper
    1 finely chopped hard boiled egg

    Mix all ingredients together.  Keep refrigerated as this contains eggs.  The dressing in the photo does not have egg in it.  I ran out of time to boil and egg before lunch.  The dressing is ok without the egg, but I like it better with egg.

    You'll notice that with the rice and salad are 2 wedges of a cheese quesadilla.  Yeah, they're made with white flour tortillas.  I keep trying different wheat tortilla recipes and while they all taste good, I can't get them rolled thin enough.  Mine end up looking like tortillas on steriods-too much bulk for the amount of cheese.  They do not make good quesadillas.  So, I'm  back to square one with those. :(

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