Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Birthday Rice

Our family has a long-standing birthday tradition: The birthday person provides their ideal dinner menu to my mom--who joyfully prepares it--and we all enjoy the feast packed around my parents' dining room table.

This tradition has been around for as long as I can remember--as a kid, I picked French Toast as my birthday meal every year. The mere thought of dinner involving buttery fried bread buried under powdered sugar was absolutely exhilarating for a 9 year old Kylie.

My older sister, on the other hand, always had much more sensible choices: salmon cakes, lasagna, and the like. Older sisters are so much more reasonable, aren't they?

In celebration of the Hungry Spoon Sis's 32nd year, we enjoyed a family birthday feast this past weekend. On the menu? Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas, salad, and Spanish Rice.

My mom tried a new Spanish Rice recipe that was apparently designed to feed a high school football team. Fortunately, that meant there were plenty of leftovers for me to sneak into Tupperware and pack away in my purse.

Let's be honest, folks: They don't call me the Hungry Spoon for nothing.

Bonus: This recipe is totally vegan.

Happy Birthday, Sis :)

Spanish Rice
(recipe from Hungry Spoon Mama)

This recipe pairs nicely with quesadillas, burritos, or enchiladas (of course!). Or, as pictured above, it makes a great dinner all on its own.

  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 - 1/2 cups veggie broth
  • a dash of olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
1) Place rice and veggie broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer (covered) until all of the liquid is absorbed--about 20 - 30 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, heat a dash of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and onion and saute for 3 - 4 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and chili powder and saute for about 1 - 2 more minutes.

3) In a large bowl, combine rice, pepper and onion mixture, diced tomatoes, and salsa. Season with salt and black pepper as needed.


  1. Kylie, this sounds really good. I only cook on weekends as Kevin cooks during the weekend. I definately will make this rice over the weekend.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Great flavors to add into the plain but healthy brown rice. Nice!

  3. I think this would taste good with black beans mixed in, all rolled up in a tortilla.

  4. Happy Birthday to your sister! :) I've only made Spanish rice a few times, and each time was via a packet. Packet no more...this looks so simple! And that dinner sounds amazing.

  5. Sounds great! Happy birthday sis!

    I always requested pizza, and my sis always requested tacos.

  6. I've got to make this! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  7. i love spanish rice thanks for the recipe!

  8. Smile. I love hearing about sisters (as you know) and like your older sister, I always chose the more practical birthday meals too! Thank you for sharing your words and recipe tonight. I'm drooling. I hope you have a beautiful day tomorrow. Happy Hump Day!

  9. Oh my gosh.. we did the same thing growing up... that and an ice cream cake from Carvels (sp)? This is such a fantastic tradition...and very family oriented.

  10. Happy Birthday to your sister!
    the Spanish rice sounds like a great dinner meal. thanks for sharing Kylie

  11. Happy birthday to your sis! And Mexican is definitely a great choice for a b-day dinner :)

  12. My family had the same tradition and it was always one of my favorites! This is an awesome birthday choice by your sister! Happy birthday to her :)

  13. That is so cute that you requested French toast every year! Totally something I would do :)

  14. we have that tradition too. this recipe looks great!

  15. I always let my kids do the same thing. :) They often chose pizza. This rice though, sounds like something I'd love with "fixins" on a tortilla. Yum! :)