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Boxed-to-Basics: Soaked Homemade Rice-a-Roni

Boxed-to-Basics: Soaked Homemade Rice-a-Roni

Some things about growing up and eating dinner are just etched into my memory. The smells of Rice-a-Roni is one of those dishes. You would think we ate it once a week, which I know we did not, but the smell is something so grounding … so gives me the feeling of Fall and eating around the table.

I can remember on Fall nights, that we would be playing outside while my mom was busy getting dinner ready! We would hear “Come wash your hands for dinner” and as we ran through the door … Bam! That smell … For me, I loved Chicken and Beef the best, but I know Rice Pilaf came next.

rice-a-roni-boxes-at-grocery-store

The texture was a big thing and when it was served with chicken and steamed green beans … dinner was PERFECT!

Perfect … was the feeling! … not so perfect was the list of ingredients … Yikes! Even though I LOVED it as a kid, I knew I could make it better and use much better ingredients!

What is the Basic Homemade Rice-a-Roni Recipe?

Basic Homemade Rice-a-Roni Recipe: Chicken Flavor

I keep a fairly well stocked pantry, so I knew that I should have everything I needed … at least for Chicken or Beef flavor … but I decided to start with Chicken! What kid wouldn’t like that … right?!

Every recipe needs to start with the basics, right? You know onions and garlic … yes?

chopped-onion-and-garlic

I cooked them until clear and fragrant … my kitchen smells so good!

Then I added the previously soaked organic white rice.

homemade-rice-a-roni-rice-added

I cooked it until the outside of rice was VERY golden-brown-ish!

homemade-rice-a-roni-rice-cooked

Next I added: the pasta and chicken stock.

I really LOVE the Jovial Gluten Free Spaghetti for this !

jovial-gf-spaghetti-box

Dinner is smelling GREAT!

homemade-rice-a-roni-pasta-added

Next go in the spices … and I LOVE Real Salt!

rice-a-roni-spices

The minerals you get from using Sea Salt … are so beneficial for the body!

homemade-rice-a-roni-rice-cooking

Then, I brought it to a boil, covered it and reduced to simmer.

After 18 minutes … my kitchen smells amazing and it’s done! It’s that easy!

homemade-rice-a-roni-rice-chicken-done-cooking

Basic Homemade Rice-a-Roni Recipe: Chicken Flavor

Ingredients

1/2 cup angel hair pasta, broken into pieces “about” the same size as the rice … no stress, right! “About” … keep saying it!

1 cup rice

2 TBSP butter

2 TBSP olive oil

1 small yellow onion

1-2 cloves of chopped garlic (or 3 to 4 … might have jumped into my rice!)

3 cups of chicken stock or broth

3/4 tsp Salt (or we like 1-1/2 tsp of Garlic Salt)

1 TBSP Parsley

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Basil

1/4 tsp Pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Break up Angel Hair Pasta into small pieces “about” the size of the rice grains and set aside.
  2. Put butter and olive oil into a pan, along with the onion and garlic. Saute until onion in translucent and garlic is fragrant.
  3. Now add in the rice and saute until very brown.
  4. Now add in: the pasta, chicken stock, salt, parsley, oregano, basic and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 18 minutes covered until all stock is absorbed.
  6. Fluff with a fork and serve! (Note: It you don’t have any left after dinner, you know everyone liked it!)

How do you go from Boxed Rice-a-Roni to making Basic Soaked Homemade Rice-a-Roni?

If we’re talking about Baby Steps … then the first step is the make your own!

I don’t mean soaking rice or making your own chicken stock in the beginning … I mean go from ‘opening a box’ to buying ingredients and making it yourself!

Don’t get scared! I know for me, cooking feels pressure packed when the ingredients are not pre-chopped and pre-measured, right? I find it challenging enough to follow the recipe … so for me, having everything ready is the KEY! I really like spending about an hour, the night before or even the hour before dinner getting everything ready … Yes, it makes a few more dishes BUT I’m calmer and dinnertime is so much better!

So for Step #1: Get all the ingredients to make Homemade Rice-a-Roni … Rice, Angel Hair Pasta, Chicken Stock, Garlic & Spices! Now you can just follow the Homemade Rice-a-Roni recipe above.

homemade-rice-a-roni-step-1

Then Step #2: Make Better Ingredient Choices … Organic White Rice, Organic Angel Hair Pasta, Organic Chicken Stock, Garlic & Organic Spices … see, it’s about the Baby Steps!

homemade-rice-a-roni-step-2

Then Step #3: Soak the Organic White Rice, use Homemade Chicken Stock, find Pastured Butter, …

homemade-rice-a-roni-step-3

Being that I want our bodies to get all the nutrition possible from our meals, I decided to soak the rice first.

Here is the white rice I started with that I bought at one of the warehouse clubs, where I also found Pastured Butter! So Yummy!

How do you soak rice?

It’s really easy.

soaking-rice-a-roni-ingredients

I added: 1 cup of white rice plus 2 cups of water plus 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to a glass bowl (or you can use stainless or ceramic).

homemade-rice-a-roni-soaking-acv

I stirred it well and covered with a plate the night before I planned on using it.

homemade-rice-a-roni-covering-with-plate

Then before dinner, the night I wanted to cook it, I rinsed it really well and set it aside. Soaking done!

The rice is ready for our bodies to absorb all the nutrition possible.

What is the Basic Soaked Homemade Rice-a-Roni Recipe?

The only difference is the amount of liquid needed, as the soaking process allows the rice to soak up a little liquid prior to cooking!

No worries … We can do this! Just reduce the stock by about 1/2 cup. All other ingredients stay the same.

Basic Soaked Homemade Rice-a-Roni Recipe: Chicken Flavor

Ingredients

1/2 cup angel hair pasta, broken into pieces “about” the same size as the rice … no stress, right! “About” … keep saying it!

1 cup rice

2 TBSP butter

2 TBSP olive oil

1 small yellow onion

1-2 cloves of chopped garlic (or 3 to 4 … might have jumped into my rice!)

2-1/2 cups of chicken stock or broth

3/4 tsp Salt (or we like 1-1/2 tsp of Garlic Salt)

1 TBSP Parsley

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Basil

1/4 tsp Pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Break up Angel Hair Pasta into small pieces “about” the size of the rice grains and set aside.
  2. Put butter and olive oil into a pan, along with the onion and garlic. Saute until onion in translucent and garlic is fragrant.
  3. Now add in the rice and saute until very brown.
  4. Now add in: the pasta, chicken stock, salt, parsley, oregano, basic and pepper.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 18 minutes covered until all stock is absorbed.
  6. Fluff with a fork and serve! (Note: It you don’t have any left after dinner, you know everyone liked it!)

How can you prepare and have a Homemade Rice-a-Roni mix ready to cook?

This is the best part!

Every time I make this, I quadruple the batch of rice and pasta. I use a wide mouth Ball canning pint jar. I use the snack size baggie and put 1/2 cup of broken angel hair pasta inside the baggie. You don’t want to mix the rice and pasta, as you need to cook the rice first.

premade-homemade-rice-a-roni-mix

I then pre-mix all the spices and put them in an EasyLunchBoxes.com container.

spices-in-easy-lunch-box-container

The spices fit perfect in this container and it fits perfect in the jar. It would be super easy to have four different Homemade Rice-a-Roni mixes sitting in my pantry, at the ready, for nights when I need a quick no hassle side dish!

I love using this on nights when I need dinner … FAST!

I can take frozen chicken breasts and frozen veggies and BAM! … Dinner is served with almost zero effort!

 

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