Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recipe: Easy Peas-y Brown Rice

You can throw this fancy side dish together in less time that it would take you to prepare a traditional pot of rice.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 pouch (10 oz.) Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice (in the frozen foods section)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Smart Balance buttery spread
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

You'll Also Need:
a microwave, a medium-sized pot

Step-by-Step:
1. Thaw the peas according to the package instructions using the microwave method.

2. Prepare the rice according to the package instructions (cut a small slit in the top, then microwave for 3 minutes).
3. Melt the Smart Balance in a pot. Add the cinnamon stick, garlic powder, ground ginger, and ground cardamom.

4. Add the peas. Stir to coat.
5. Add the rice. Stir to coat.

Serves 2.

The AHH Factor: I came up with this super simple version of the Indian classic Peas Pulao when I was trying to use up a bag of peas that had been sitting in my freezer for a while. It's amazing what a few simple ingredients will do to liven up a pot of rice! It's become my new go-to side dish for Indian entrees. I feel like the addition of even just the peas elevates the dish to almost restaurant quality. It's certainly a great dish for company.

Have I mentioned how much I love Trader Joe's pre-cooked frozen brown rice? That has been such a time-saver. It's sadly not basmati rice, but other than that it's the perfect dinner shortcut. Especially because Nick prefers white rice while I prefer brown rice, so this way I don't have to cook two separate pots of rice (though I'm still hoping he'll convert to brown rice--hi babe!).

What's your favorite rice-based dish? Have you tried Trader Joe's precooked rice--did you love it?

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