Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

A zesty recipe for cold rice salad packed with Southwestern flavors like green chiles, avocado, corn, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro lightly dressed with lemon and olive oil. The bright and fresh flavors make it the perfect accompaniment to anything grilled and it is perfect for a pot-luck, picnic or barbecue.

Rice salad may sound a little strange to you if you’ve never eaten it before. As it did to me. But I loved it and I’m certain you will too. The rice was soft and tender and completely delicious cold. An ideal dish for lunch or dinner on a sweltering summer day. To elevate it from a side dish to a main dish simply add protein like cooked shrimp or chicken. The leftovers make a great lunch-time treat the next day. 

Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

Southwest Rice Salad
(loosely adapted from Bon Appetit)
(Makes 8 side dish servings)

1 cup long-grain Rice (I use Brown Basmati)
1 Avocado, diced
1/3 cup Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, quartered
1 cup Corn, fresh or frozen, thawed
4.5 ounces diced Green Chilies
1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup Lemon Juice
3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea or Kosher Salt and Fresh Black Pepper

1. Rinse the rice thoroughly in a colander with cold water in a colander. Cook according to package directions. Rinse rice again after cooking to cool it down. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile make dressing by whisking lemon and oil in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. In a large mixing bowl toss rice with the rest of the ingredients. Pour dressing over top and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

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Southwest Rice Salad with Lemon Dressing

This is going to my July Side Dish Showdown. Keep those side dishes coming for  – add your links here and be sure to look over the guidelines as I’ve made some small changes.

And don’t forget to send me your favorite burger (beef, turkey, chicken, bean, veggie or fish) recipes for the Burger Free For All!

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Smoky Chorizo and Beans with Brown Rice

Chorizo, Beans and Rice

This hearty Chorizo, Beans and Rice recipe was a request from my Dad. I call it man-food. Rice and beans are a classic combo and the chorizo really makes this one special by taking on a starring role to infuse the entire dish with its spicy flavor.

Sliced chorizo sausage and ground beef are sauteed in a skillet with onion, green pepper and garlic and then pink beans are mixed in. Fifteen minutes later this spicy, smoky delicious mess of food will be gracing your table. Serve it over rice as is or with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Filling, nourishing and completely satisfying…the man in your life will love it!

Chorizo, Beans and Rice

Chorizo, Beans and Rice
(by Reeni)

1 cup Brown Rice, uncooked
1/2 cup Onion, diced
1/3 cup Green Bell Pepper, diced
Canola oil, for sauteing
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
2 cloves Garlic, minced
5-6 ounces Ground Beef*
12 ounces Fresh Chorizo Sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds**
1 – 14 ounce can Pink Beans with juices (double the beans if you like a lot!)
1/3 cup Water
Optional toppings:
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Green Onion

1. Cook rice according to package directions.

2. About 25 minutes before rice is done saute onion and pepper in a large skillet over medium low heat in a tablespoon of oil, push them to the center of the pan and cook the chorizo and ground beef around the edges. Crumble the ground beef as it cooks and turn the chorizo slices to sear on all sides. Season with oregano. Add garlic to the onion and pepper mixture near the end and saute until fragrant.

3. When the chorizo is seared on all side and beef is cooked through add the beans and water and mix well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until chorizo is cooked through in the middle.

4. Serve over rice as is or with toppings.

*The beef can be omitted: use 16 ounces of Chorizo.

**Sausage is easier to slice when it’s semi-frozen. Pop in freezer two hours beforehand.

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Chorizo, Beans and Rice

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Baked Brown Rice with Smoked Gouda Cheese and Spinach

Baked Brown Rice w/ Smoked Gouda Cheese & Spinach

This is a truly comforting side dish recipe for Baked Brown Rice with Smoked Gouda Cheese & Spinach. There’s serious creaminess going on and a ton of deep, smoky flavor from the Gouda that makes it unforgettably delicious.

The sauce is started with a roux and made with chicken broth, milk, Smoked Gouda cheese, lightly caramelized onions, garlic and spinach. I used a combination of broth with just a little bit of milk to give it a light feel and add extra flavor.

I always have bagged, chopped spinach on hand. It’s my go-to when I want to add a little something extra to casseroles, pastas or soups. And one bag goes a long way. I love the way it speckles into tiny pieces throughout the rice.

The rice has to be cooked first – which can make this time consuming; unless you have leftovers or make it ahead of time. Don’t be mistaken though, the extra time is worth it. And you might be lucky enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day.

I am thrilled with the way this turned out for a recipe that started off on a questionable note as an experiment of sorts. It’s rich and woodsy with a luxurious creaminess that I almost feel comfortable with comparing to risotto. It’s really lovely.

Baked Brown Rice w/ Smoked Gouda Cheese & Spinach

Baked Rice with Smoked Gouda Cheese & Spinach
(by Reeni)(Makes 10 side dish servings)
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
3 tablespoons Olive oil
Sea or Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Milk
14 ounces of Chicken or Vegetable Broth (1 + 3/4 cup)
2 cups Smoked Gouda, shredded
1 + 1/2 cups frozen Spinach, partially thawed
3 cups long-grain Brown Rice, cooked
Fresh Parsley, chopped, for garnish
Parmesan Cheese, grated, for serving
1. Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium-low heat, add onion, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Saute 15-20 minutes, adding more oil if it begins to stick to the pan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
3. In the same pan the onions were sauteed in melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook for two to three minutes, whisking. Slowly whisk in milk and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, whisking often. Stir in Gouda. Add spinach and onion mixture. Turn off heat. Whisk well and break apart any clumps of spinach.
3. Stir in cooked rice. Pour into greased 9×13 casserole/baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Let set for ten minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve with Parmesan if desired.

Baked Brown Rice w/ Smoked Gouda Cheese & Spinach

This is for my April Side Dish Showdown.  
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Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans

Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans

This is a recipe re-creation of the Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans frozen dinners. My favorite brand is the Smart Ones. Not that I make a habit of eating frozen dinners. Once every year or so I am tempted to eat one. Not a random one. Only this one. The best TV dinner ever known to man. Ever. Their insanely good! But don’t go out and buy one now. Make this.

Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans

It is made of spicy rice and red beans in a creamy sour cream sauce with green chiles and cheese melted over the top. So simple, but indescribably delicious. This is a very close rendition, if not a better one. It’s super creamy, with a nice, subtle bite from the green chiles and spices. I loaded it with just the perfect ratio of crispy, sweet, white corn niblets, diced, vine-ripened tomatoes, and soft, earthy red beans. It did its intended job of satisfying my craving. And the best part is the leftovers. Something you don’t get with frozen meals.

Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans

Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans
(by Reeni)

3 cups cooked long-grain brown or white rice
1 and 1/2 cups canned small red beans, drained and rinsed
1 can(4 oz.) of chopped green chiles with juices
3/4 cup corn
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced onion
1 and 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon Chile powder
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1 and 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl mix together the rice, beans, chiles, corn, tomatoes and onion.

3. In a separate medium-size bowl whisk together the sour cream, milk,
Chile powder, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper.

4. Spray or butter an 8×8 baking/casserole dish. Add the rice mixture. Pour the sourcream sauce over the top. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.

5. Bake for 30 minutes until top is lightly browned and middle is bubbly.

6. Let sit for five minutes before serving.

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Santa Fe Style Rice & Beans