Monday, 21 April 2014

Easy Mexican 'Green Rice' - Arroz Verde (with cauliflower rice substitution method)

Give your rice a bit of colour and flavour for a change! Also good the next day as a cold dish.

Rice cooked the Mexican way in chicken stock, flavoured with garlic, coriander, Jalapeno chilli and a squeeze of lime - the next day, add extra lime juice, fresh coriander and a slug of olive oil, and serve cold as a delicious rice salad.

Delicious served with my Chicken in Chipotle sauce and Frijoles di Olla (Mexican beans), or cold the next day with my Yucatecan-Spiced Chicken Skewers and salad.

Serves four to six as a side dish (I eat about an eighth of this quantity!), 191 calories per serving for six servings (scale up or down as appropriate, it's 144 calories for an eighth etc. ). [Calories in square brackets]

If making with cauliflower rice (see Variations below), 78 calories per serving between six; 117 calories per serving if served between four, .

280g easy cook (white) rice (you don't have to use easy cook, or white - but with easy cook there's much less chance of it sticking or becoming soggy, and if you would rather use brown rice, just increase the cooking time accordingly) [983]
800g cauliflower florets (see Variations at the bottom of the method) [304]

1/2 tbsp neutral oil to suit your diet (e.g. sunflower, or use lard if you want a little more authenticity) [68]
700ml chicken stock (I like Knorr Touch of Taste Chicken Bouillon, see below for cauliflower rice method) [28]
1 small onion (80g) [33]
1 garlic clove [6]
1 Jalapeno pepper (or large green chilli), deseeded [4]
Handful each of fresh parsley and coriander (10g each) [2]
100g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted (optional) [22]
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1/2 tbsp) [2]

Roughly chop the onion, garlic and chilli, and blitz to a paste with the herbs and spinach (if using) and 100ml water in a food processor.

Cook the rice until turning golden.
You need a large-ish pan with a tightly fitting lid to cook the rice in. Add the oil to the pan, and stir in the rice. Fry over a medium heat, until just starting to turn golden, then add the green paste and continue to cook for another couple of minutes until it's dried out a little.

Cook the paste until liquid evaporates.
 Add the stock, stir, bring to the boil and then cover, turning the heat right down to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Give it a good stir, check the rice is cooked through (if not cook a few minutes longer) and stir in the lime juice. Taste, and season if necessary then serve immediately.

If you're a real coriander-lover, and want to add vibrancy to the flavour, then stir through extra chopped fresh coriander at the end before serving.

To make a lower calorie, low carb version of this with cauliflower rice you could make up 100ml chicken stock with 1.5 tbsp Knorr Touch of Taste Chicken Bouillon (essentially use about 70-80% of the amount you'd use if you were making up 700ml), then cook the green paste in the oil until dried out a little, add the 100ml concentrated chicken stock, put the lid on and cook out over a low heat for ten minutes (add a splash of hot water if it's starting to look a bit dry at the end), and then add cauliflower rice (800-900g), stir thoroughly, then put the lid on and steam-cook for a few minutes until cooked to your preferred texture.

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