Thursday, August 9, 2012

Salsa Rice: Versatile Dish Extraordinaire!

Once upon a time (i.e. 2009), there was a recession.  Wait, what?  Are we still in it?  I can’t tell—plenty busy here…

ANYWAY…in this Once-Upon-A-Time land, there were two friends:

(I promise she’s not naked.)

…who worked for a consulting company that catered to oil-drilling clients.  And crude oil prices had bottomed out to $40/barrel.  And you know what happens when the price of oil drops below $60/barrel, my friends?  Oil-Drilling Companies don’t drill.  It’s not cost-effective.  So our phones weren’t ringing, and we weren’t working overtime, and we were even FORCED to take one-hour lunches and leave when we hit 40 hours at the end of the week.  Tough times, I tell you.

(Clean desk = not enough work.)

So what to do, when you’re not working, but you still have to BE at work?  Well, these two friends invented a game called “Google Dat”.  Which basically involved spending a lot of time on Google.  Don’t know the answer to a question?  Just Google dat.  What was the name of the guy in that one movie?  Google dat.  How long does it take to fly to Hawaii?  Google dat.  What’s the lunch special at Chung King today?  You should Google dat.  What’s on the Green Dragon Roll at Osaka?  Google dat.

So when one of these friends (aka: me) decided to test out Dr. Ian’s “Detox Diet” for two weeks, I needed a plethora of recipes that involved brown rice and beans, and no meat.  What’s a girl to do? 

You got it:  YOU GOOGLE DAT.

You know…because Pinterest didn’t exist yet.  Also, there were dinosaurs.

I still have a stockpile of recipes that we downloaded during this period of time, but this one is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. 


I still make it all the time because it’s quick, easy, super-flavorful & just really fresh-tasting.  And it goes with anything—or, is totally awesome on its own, because garbanzo beans are a nice protein source (1 cup gives you 29% of your daily requirement).

And normally, I make this with Minute brown rice for a quicker cooking time, however, we were out of that so instead, I finally used up the last of my Louisiana “popcorn rice”.


IMG_1540 IMG_1546

This rice was a gift from my friends the Trahans (pronounced “Trah-hahns”, not “Tray-hands”) and it comes from one of my favorite lil’ towns in Louisiana: Gueydan.

Which is, of course, pronounced “Gey-don”, not “Gooey-dan”.  Just FYI. It’s a fun word to say.  Particularly if you have or can mimic a Cajun accent.

ANYWAY…it’s a long grain rice that supposedly smells like popcorn while cooking…thus the name.  And it’s an authentic Louisiana product.  And it’s delicious and fluffy & cooks perfectly. If you’ve got the cash & the means, I highly recommend picking some up.


Ingredients (makes eight 1-cup servings):

2 cups uncooked rice

1 can beans (we used garbanzo this time, but black beans are equally awesome)

1 cup your favorite salsa (can add more to taste)

1 cup corn kernels (sweet Missouri corn preferred!)

1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp black pepper

Juice of 1/2 lime



Bring 4 cups of water to boil, add your rice, then drop the heat to simmer, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes. 

Then remove the lid, check for doneness, fluff with a fork, and remove from heat.

Add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Taste for flavor—add more salsa or seasonings as needed.

Then NOM down!


NutriFacts: (per 1 cup serving)

Calories 233.3

  Total Fat 1.2 g

  Saturated Fat 0.2 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g

  Cholesterol 0.0 mg

  Sodium 323.2 mg

  Potassium 269.1 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 49.6 g

  Dietary Fiber 3.9 g

  Sugars 0.7 g

  Protein 6.5 g

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