I love to cook and I’m a stay at home mom. These two facts can lead to some serious kitchen messes. Often, my husband will come home from work and see the kitchen…it’ll look like a tornado just flew through. (Cupboards open, dishwasher full, dishes in the sink…but usually the house smells great!). In our house, I cook – Kaben does the dishes…you can see why the state of our kitchen often gives him heart palpitations! Despite my love of making a big mess, I am trying to find more recipes that still taste amazing but don’t make such a mess and don’t take so much time!
Here is an easy rice pilaf that took me 5 minutes of prep and 20 minutes of cooking. I actually made it at lunchtime and it reheated very nicely. This is something that can be prepared in a pinch. Serve it with a store bought rotisserie chicken or if you have time, try roasting your own chicken. (Click here for a roast chicken recipe.) It would also pair nicely with steak, fish or shrimp. I served it up with a side of veggies and the kids go double duty vegetables. Give it a try!
Easy “Pea”sy Rice Pilaf
1/2 cup finely diced white onion (use a sweeter one of they are available – the kids shouldn’t detect them!)
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup fresh peas or frozen peas (do not defrost)
1 cup white rice, (do not use minute rice)
2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1. Chop the onion, carrots and celery into small pieces. Some stores sell a mix called mirepoix – it is finely diced carrots, onion and celery. It’s a great starter for soups, stews and this rice, too. This would make the prep time very minimal! I usually find it at Trader Joe’s but I have seen it at other grocery stores as well.
2. Heat the butter and oil in a pot or a pan that has a tight fitting lid. When the butter is just starting to bubble, but not brown, add the onions, carrots and celery. Add a pinch of salt. Cook the veggie mix until it is coated with the oil and butter mixture and softened slightly, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the rice to the mix, stir until coated and the rice is starting to lightly brown, about 2 minutes.
4. Add the bay leaf and 2 cups of broth. Stir the vegetables and rice until they are mixed into the broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Once the broth reaches a boil, cover the pot and turn the heat to low. Simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked through and there is not any liquid left.
5. When the rice is complete, add the peas and stir until the peas are defrosted but not soggy. If you don’t have pea lovers in your house – you can omit the peas. Adjust the salt and pepper and serve warm. I added a few almonds on top of mine for some extra crunch. I didn’t add this to the kids – but you never know, they just might like it!