We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant a couple of nights ago, and Matt was eyeballing my delicious side dish of black beans and green rice. He said that the next time we eat there, he’s going to order the beans and rice along with some tortillas and just have that for his dinner. What a great idea! Guess what we had for dinner the next night?

Instead of the traditional white rice this recipe usually calls for, I used long-grain brown rice, but either choice is fine. I have to admit that I was surprised long-grain brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook from scratch. Where am I, Little House on the Prairie? I guess I’m accustomed to instant rice and the already-cooked-all-you-have-to-do-is-microwave-it rice. The good new is that for the 45 minutes this rice is cooking, you can pretty much leave it alone. No stirring needed. Just make sure that you keep an eye on it for the last 15 minutes of cooking. If you undercook it, you’ll end up with crunchy rice, and over-cooking it will produce a mushy rice. When I checked my rice at 35 minutes all the liquid had been absorbed so I had to add some more water for the last 10 minutes of cooking. If you want to use a more convenient rice, you’ll need to have about four cups, cooked, for this recipe.

As I mentioned in my stuffed poblano peppers post (say that 3 times fast), poblano peppers are not very spicy, but they add a really nice flavor to any recipe. Also, the two cups of spinach really boosts the green color and the nutritional value as well. Throw on a can of black beans, some avocado and chopped tomato, and you have a wonderful meal.

Mexican Green Rice
 

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups long grain brown rice
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, (or water) plus more if needed
  • 2 poblano peppers, roasted and seeded
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions
  1. Bring 3 cups vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan (one that has a lid). Add rice, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 45 minutes, but start checking it at 30 minutes. If all the liquid is absorbed, taste the rice and see if it’s tender. If not, add more broth or water and cook for another 5-10 minutes. The rice shouldn’t be crunchy. When done, empty into large mixing bowl.
  2. While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the 2 poblano peppers on a oiled roasting pan and roast for about 15-20 minutes, turning once, until the skin starts to blacken. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. Slice the peppers open and remove the seeds and the top stem.
  3. While rice and peppers are cooking, sauté onion and garlic in a tbsp olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  4. Put everything except the rice (peppers, spinach, onion, garlic, lime juice and spices) in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  5. Add green mixture to the rice and stir until blended.