When I lived in Omaha I used to go to the South side all the time to a tiny little tienda that was well known for their beans, salsa, and their rice! Now that we've moved to Chicago I find myself missing home; tonight was one of those nights. So I decided to suck it up and make some Mexican rice! It tasted just like the one from the store and it just warmed my soul. I hope you enjoy!
1cupof long grain rice
2 1/2tablespoonslardor a neutral flavored oil
2cupschicken stockunsalted (water is okay too!)
1teaspoongarlic powderor to taste
1/2teaspooncuminor to taste
1/2a large white onionfinely chopped
150gfrozen mixed peas and carrotsI used pictsweet brand
salt to taste
In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, add your lard/oil and get it heating over medium-high heat. Rinse your rice under warm water VERY well until the water runs clear. Shake off all extra water.
When the oil is hot, but not smoking, carefully add in your rice and stir to coat with oil. Continue to stir the rice every so often until the rice goes from clear to milky in color. Do NOT let the rice burn it will be become very bitter.
Add in your onion and stir well. Cook until the rice just starts to brown. Add your carrots and peas, then add in your tomato paste. Thoroughly mix in the tomato paste so there are no clumps.
Once you remove the lumps add in your chicken stock (or water) in two portions to ensure your tomato paste mixes properly.
Add in your garlic powder, cumin, and salt. Put the top on and boil on medium-high for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes remove the cover, stir thoroughly, and replace the cover. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes minimum.DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. It's tempting to stir and oogle over your delicious rice, but you must resist temptation.
After 25 minutes test the rice, adjust the salt, and if need be continue to cook until the rice is done. This rice is more on the dry side, so don't be alarmed. Once finished turn off the heat, stir well, and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
To reheat rice add into preheated pan on medium-high and mix for 2 minutes. Then add a spoon or two of water and cover. Cook for 2 more minutes and mix. Rice should be soft like when it was fresh!
If making vegan/vegetarian I recommend refined coconut oil for best results.
Tortillas are one of those things most people never make homemade and that’s a shame, because nothing completes a taco better than a warm freshly made tortilla. This recipe takes the plain wheat tortilla to the next level by adding rye and spelt for extra nutritional benefit as well as great flavor. Combined with sesame oil and extra spices of seasoning, this recipe will win anyone over, vegan or otherwise. Most healthy tortillas (not fully of chemicals or preservatives) are about 40¢ ea which is what I calculated this out to be if divided into 12, so you don’t really save any money, however it’s worth it. Oh and if you’re saying that you can buy a package of tortillas for 2 dollars and you get 10 so that’s 20¢ each, I invite you to read the labels. Chances are the ingredients look like this:
This is the actual ingredients list of a well known brand of “wheat” tortillas. (click here to see the brand and where I’m talking about) I’ll stick to my simple ingredients. With the exception of the Mrs. Dash and the sesame oil, everything in my recipe was organicly purchased so take that into consideration when inspecting the price.
1/2 – 2 cups warm water
3 cups whole wheat flour, finely ground works best
1 cup spelt flour
1 cup rye flour3 tablespoons oil *see note*
1/4 teaspoon salt **see note**
3 tablespoons oil *see note*
seasonings (I used chipotle powder and Mrs. Dash)
1 teaspoon yeast (gives great flavor)
Also suggested for this recipe is a cast iron griddle, this gives it lots of extra flavor.
In a large sized bowl add your flours, yeast, salt, seasonings, and oil. Stir with a spoon until the oil starts to clump and you mix the flours well. Slowly mix in your hot water, you may need more or less depending on the types of flours you use. I used 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons. The trick is to get a nice dough consistency, without making it too moist. In this case, less water is better. When your dough just starts to come together and it still kind of crumbly, turn the dough out onto a flat surface. You can do the kneading in a bowl, however it makes it more difficult, in my opinion.
With dry hands, knead the dough. Push down the dough with the bottoms of your palms, then raise the dough back up and turn sideways 90 degrees. Repeat this process until your dough is your desired consistency. For chewy and soft pliable dough like what you’d buy in the store, I suggest kneading vigorously for at-least 10 minutes. You will know your dough is ready for rolling when you can press your finger into the dough and it partly holds it shape, but mostly bounces back at you. The dough will also be very smooth and soft looking. For me it took about 16 minutes of average speed kneading. Technically, you don’t have to knead at all, but the consistency won’t be the same and since these are multigrain they might be a bit tough.
Divide your dough into equal sized portions. I decided to make 12 pieces out of this recipe, and they yeilded 8 inch tortillas, you make divide them into smaller or larger pieces to suit your needs. Roll out each ball into the desired size.
Heat your cast iron griddle over medium high heat, until a drop of water will dance on the skillet for 2 seconds before evaporating. Turn down your heat to just below medium, and add your dough. Pay attention not to let the dough fold over the edges, so it cooks evenly. Cooking time is about 30-60 seconds per side, depending on if you use a cast iron skillet or not. Add your rolled dough sheet onto the griddle and do NOT move it until you start to see bubbles appear on-top of the dough. Flip and wait another 30 seconds, then check your dough. If the other side is browned slightly, then it is done. Repeat this until all your tortillas are cooked and Enjoy!
Heres a great tip: Take a skillet with a lid and place a towel or cloth into the bottom. Place your tortillas in this pot once cooked and replace the lid. The towel prevents the steam collecting and turning your tortillas soggy, while keeping the tortillas nice and soft.
To reheat these you can slightly warm in an unoiled skillet or place however many you need on a place, cover with a dampened paper towel and place into the microwave for 30-60 seconds or til heated through. (I do not endorse the use of microwaves, however I know some people use them)
*note: I like using 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 1 tablespoon neutral oil like grape-seed to give extra flavor to the tortillas, however you may use any kind you want, or you may omit it all together. However, oil helps keep the tortillas pliable.
**note: If you are using a seasoning mix that contains salt, do NOT add the additional salt.
Nutritional Information is based off 12 servings (as shown in video) and assumes you used the same ingredients I used. Yours may vary.
So for this weeks SMART meal we were given the topic of tacos. YAY! I love eating tacos, they’re a great way to full up on healthy carbs and tons of fresh vegetables. Although these aren’t my typical tacos, I found they were still super tasty and amazing.
Best of all, this WHOLE meal (including the leftovers) only cost me… you ready for it?…: $11.00! Sure that seems like a lot, but you must figure I’ll get probably 6 meals out of this for my husband and myself so that breaks down to only $1.83 per meal. Not bad at all.
A homemade multi-grain flour tortilla – click HERE for my recipe
homemade re-fried pinto beans
green bell pepper
medium spicy salsa
For two of these tacos I calculated 1220 calories. That may seem like alot however I skipped lunch, oops!
How could I have improved them? Well, nothing beats fresh tomatoes on a taco, unfortunately since its the end of the month I already ate most of my produce, and what was left (2 romas) went bad to the point I couldn’t trim the bad bits so we had to toss them. Never-fear, this is why I keep salsa in the fridge. I also really like olives on my tacos, I’m not sure why It was just something I was raised with. I know that’s not traditional, but I still like them. I think next time I have tacos I’ll get some from the olive bar at Whole Foods. All in all, this meal was freaking amazing. I was so full after two tacos and the cron-o-meter showed I received almost 100% of my vitamins and minerals. Oh yeah, talk about healthy and delicious!
Better yet, I had left-overs for my husband’s lunch. I packaged the vegetables and salsa in a seperate container than the tortilla shells and pinto beans. That way he can warm up the beans without cooking the veggies, and the shells stay fresh and not soggy.
Don’t know what smart is? Click HERE for my explanation of it.