Pretend to be Nice

Teacher-Moms, on the edge…

Dressed-Up Rice

Arroz arreglado made in Costa Rica is a chop suey sort of dish. Easily made of left overs and whatever you have on hand. I think I love it so much because of what they call it here. Arreglado means many things but for this dish it means “dressed up”. Starting with the ubiquitous left over rice, I plan a head and make sure I have a plantain and green beans.

All dressed up and only one place to go. In your belly!

My girls had never been picky eaters but they are becoming pains in the neck with the lunch they take to school. Though Nicol will eat the occasional PB&J sandwich, Laura won’t touch anything that smacks of two pieces of bread with something in side. Once in a great while a ham and cheese roll up will be accepted. They love home cooked food. Isn’t that sweet? Not always. They only want the left-overs if it ranks high on some imaginary scale of cool lunches. If the kid across the table isn’t jealous, the food in their Laptop Lunch box isn’t worth eating.

In the cafeteria of their school they serve a nice combo meal – your choice of three salads, choice of three entrees (one is always vegetarian), your choice of a side starch, one of two desserts and a juice. A far cry from the American school lunch where ketchup is a vegetable. But kids are kids. I have sat with mine during lunch time and it kills me to see a first grader negotiate his tray with white ceramic plate and real cutlery through the crowd to his table full of friend and find that he has requested and received a splap of mashed potatoes, a mountain of spaghetti, and a timbale of white rice! Not a lick of sauce to break the sea of white on his plate. Carbs kill, people! Or what I really believe: Carbs kill people.

So, if I don’t believe in carbs why am showing you a rice dish to die for? I am lulling you into a false sense of security. My next recipe will be meat with a side of protein and a salad.  Look into my spoon. Follow the shiny spoon. You are getting sleepy, sleepy. You no longer crave carbs. This dish is gluten free. Gluten is not your friend. Sleepy…

I won’t go into a detailed recipe because you use however much of what you have.

Whole Kilo (2 pounds) of green beans. I will save half for later in the week.

Whole kilo (2 pounds) of green beans.

I didn’t have left over green beans so I bought them and cooked more than I need so I can use them for something else later in the week.

Plantain, green or yellow depending on how sweet you like them.

Plantain, green or yellow depending on how sweet you like them.

According to http://nutritiondata.self.com 1 cup (200grams) of plantain has 5 grams of protein, 36% of your recommended vitamin A and 36% of your vitamin C! And its so tasty, too! Ticos don’t normally put plantain in arroz arreglado but our house keeper does now that she saw me do it.

IMG_2139

This could be ham- as far as you know.

OK, with all the meat we have around here I didn’t have any cooked so I used S-P-A-M. Don’t judge me! They had it at Pricesmart. The nearest thing to Costco we have in Costa Rica. I wish I could have gotten one of those packets with the ham steaks, but we do the best we can with what we have. Ground beef or deli ham are traditional.

 

Cooking one ingredient at a time in same pan and dumping in same bowl as they are done.

Cooking one ingredient at a time in same pan and dumping in same bowl as they are done.

 

This is a one pan and one bowl meal. I put the paper towel down to drain the oil from the plantain to keep them crispy and chip like. The kids love it!

As soon as this hits the pan the kitchen smells happy!

As soon as this hits the pan the kitchen smells happy!

Add any amount of any kind of onion. Scallions are great too! Any color sweet pepper.

Achiote. sort of like saffron shoe polish when you look at it but it tastes wonderful.

Achiote. Sort of like saffron shoe polish when you look at it but it tastes wonderful.

Achiote is not hot sauce! It is like saffron suspended in oil or shortening. Goya sells something similar, if you can’t find it use turmeric. Add this to the onion and peppers before adding the cold left over rice. I used about 4 cups of brown rice. (Sometimes I mix in red or black quinoa to the rice).

IMG_2144

I think I skipped a photo of the adding of the rice and making sure the red paste spreads around and makes the rice sort of a sunny yellow. Then we add the bowl with everything else. Mix well.  Sprinkle a handful of chopped cilantro, if you like. If you don’t eat too much of it for dinner you might have enough for some kid lunches. I make this for the kids and have 8 lunch portions to use or freeze. Once a week, with a fruit and a veg can’t be worse than slice of pizza.

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One comment on “Dressed-Up Rice

  1. Kevil
    April 6, 2014

    I’m so excited to have this. But it will never taste the same as getting fresh S P A M from Costa Rica ;). ~KEVIL

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This entry was posted on April 5, 2014 by in This is SO Delicious and tagged , , , , , .
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TeacherPop

| A blog for new teachers, hosted by Teach For America.

DFW Writers Workshop

Writers helping writers since 1977

The Social Norma

"I don't cut the ribbon at the opening of markets. I don't stand next to the mayor. Hit your baseball into my yard, and you'll never see it again." - Tom Waits

autismthoughts

My experiences with autism, depression, and life

LisaListed

The best things in life aren't things at all

The Zero-Waste Chef

No packaging. Nothing processed. No waste.

Properly Ridiculous

Mostly Pleasant [Possibly Offensive] Perceptions

Officially Gluten Free

Have your cake and eat it too, without feeling sick.

Chaos Girl & the Real World

{A Slightly Disjointed Life}

Tales from the Mama Duck

Family-Life. Faith-Life. Mid-Life. Sharing-Life!

anntogether

AM Roselli's art & writing site

User Generated Education

Education as it should be - passion-based.

Sass & Balderdash

Always tongue in cheek, often egg on face.

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

coolcookstyle

Find it, cook it, make it your own.

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

NextDraft

The Day's Most Fascinating News

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