Mexican food is a necessary staple in our house. We’re both equally obsessed with it. If it were up to Matt, he would probably eat Chipotle 5 times a week; our compromise is once per week max (but I have a feeling he might be sneaking in solo trips every now and again).
Chipotle is delicious, there is no denying it, but homemade Mexican food is so simple. It’s hard to justify going out to get a taco fix. In my early 20’s, I would frequently purchase a package of Mexican rice for taco night. You know, the one where you add water and oil, let it boil and voila, you have Mexican rice? I thought they were the best. I would throw them in the cart next to the Taco Bell taco seasoning (I know, I KNOW).
I’ve since graduated from packaged rice and packaged taco seasoning. Now I make this version. One Pot Mexican Rice is easy, I usually have all the ingredients on hand and it tastes much better than the packaged stuff. I know this with 100% certainty because I recently had the packaged stuff at a party and I was unimpressed. Every time I bring leftovers of this dish for lunch, my coworkers request that I bring it in for our next potluck. And that is based solely on the way it smells.
This recipe uses canned tomato sauce (feel free to substitute with fresh). I posted about my tomato sauce find at Costco and I’m super disappointed to report that Costco adds sugar to their tomato sauce. You can find canned tomato sauce without sugar; real labels and don’t make the same mistake I did. I did a little digging on why sugar is added and I found that this is done to cut down on the acidity of tomatoes.
Another important side note on canned tomatoes is that many people on the internet suggest not using them primarily because the acidity draws out chemicals in the can (mostly BPA). I strive to eat unprocessed foods, but tomato sauce in a can is a time saver and so I choose my battles with food accordingly. Making fresh tomato sauce is of course ideal, but when time doesn’t permit, I suggesting going with an organic, non sugar containing version for ease and sanity.
- 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1.5 cups basmati rice
- 1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1 can (15oz) yellow corn
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp powdered cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- Green onions or chives for garnish
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan; add onions and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes until the onions are soft.
- Add the rice and stir for 2-3 minutes until the rice is lightly toasted.
- Add tomato sauce and coat the rice; add the broth and bring the pot to boil.
- Reduce the heat and add cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Allow the rice to cook until the broth is absorbed. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking.
- Garnish with diced tomatoes and chives or green onions.
- Serve with black beans for a complete meal.
Your turn: Do you love Chipotle? What’s your best kitchen/cooking short cut?