I came up with this recipe while following the Weight Watcher Diet. They promote adding vegetables to everything. So in an effort to make a rice side dish that wasn’t too naughty, I decided to add fresh spinach to the rice. Now, I rarely make rice without adding some sort of greens.
1 cup Jasmine Rice
1 1/2 cups water
1 bag fresh spinach (10 ounces) – or substitute one 10 ounce box frozen chopped spinach
salt and pepper to taste
Cook rice according to package directions. Or do it like I do: Put rice and water in small sauce pan with tight fitting lid. Add a pinch of salt if desired. Bring to boil. Stir, cover and lower temperature to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Do not lift lid. Turn burner off and let sit for another 15 minutes. Now you can lift the lid. Fluff with fork.
Using a food processor, chop all the spinach, in batches if necessary. Hold the chopped spinach in a bowl until the rice is finished cooking. Stir the raw, chopped spinach into the rice. The warmth from the rice will cook the spinach perfectly. If the rice has cooled for a while, simply reheat the combined rice and spinach.
If you are using frozen spinach, thaw it, drain it and chop it. Even if the package says it is already chopped, chop it some more. I find the frozen chopped spinach to be stringy and in need of further chopping.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a bit of olive oil or a pat of butter if you like.
I play with this basic recipe and add all sorts of other things, such as:
Greek Spinach Rice:
Add fresh squeezed lemon juice, chopped dill and chopped mint. For extra fun, add a bit of fat free feta cheese – YUMMY – this is my favorite variation. Delizioso! OPA!
Mexican Spinach Rice:
Add sauteed onion, garlic, poblano or jalapeno peppers, ground cumin and fresh cilantro. Delicious – OLE! Bueno!
Italian Spinach Rice:
Add sauteed onion, garlic, roasted red peppers (the kind in the jar) and dried oregano. You could add chopped fresh basil too. Delicioso! Bella!
Indian Spinach Rice:
Add sauteed onion, garlic, roasted red peppers and curry powder. Also add a jalapeno pepper if you like a little heat. Delizioso! Buono!
Moroccan Spinach Rice:
Add Sauteed onion, garlic, dried red pepper flakes, fresh minced ginger (or dried ground ginger), ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.
Jamaican Spinach Rice:
Add Sauteed onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, allspice and dried thyme. Delicious! Ya Mon!
Thai Spinach Rice:
Add Sauteed onion, garlic, ginger, serrano or thai bird chili, fish sauce, a splash of rice vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Don’t even ask me how to say YUMMY in Thai!!