Meal Prepping,  Side Dishes

Basic Baked Brown Rice (That’s Anything But Basic)

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I know what you’re probably thinking. “Why is this woman trying to show us how to cook brown rice? The directions are clearly on the box.”  Trust me, once you try cooking rice my way, you won’t go back.  That may not be completely accurate but it’s pretty close.  There is so much flavor infused into this rice and it’s ridiculously easy to make.  The flavor key is the beef bouillon.  Depending on what is available at your store, you can used powder, granules, or even crushed cubes. You don’t have to worry about the rice still being a bit tough like it sometimes can be when cooked on the stove.  It seriously comes out perfect every time.  I have been making it for years and it has never failed me.

Brown rice is a staple for me when it comes time to watch what I eat (and I don’t mean just watching it go into my mouth).  To make it easier on myself since brown rice, even instant brown rice, can take a bit of time to cook, I make up a batch and store it in the fridge.  This allows for some really speedy meals.  In addition to serving it as is for a side, I also add ingredients to jazz it up or make it a meal in itself.  A few of my favorite methods are adding salsa or a can of tomatoes and green chilies for a Mexican flavored rice, making chicken fried rice, or even just sautéing it with red onions.  It’s all delicious and very versatile.  I will warn you that this is not a dish for those who are sodium conscious unless, by sodium conscious, you mean you want all the sodium.  Because it’s all there.

The ingredients are super simple.  The amounts are by no means a hard and fast rule.  Season it to your tastes.  You may find you want more beef flavor or something other than salt and pepper.  Feel free to swap out the beef bouillon and broth for chicken or vegetable.  Make it yours.  I’ve found that the rice will last up to a week in the fridge so you have plenty of opportunities to use it up.

Start by spraying a 13×9 baking dish or pan lightly with oil.  It helps with clean up later.  Next, put the rice, broth, and seasonings in the dish.

Stir it all up!

Put it in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  This is what it looks like when it comes out.  I usually take a bite or five at this point.  You know, for quality assurance.

Fluff the rice with a fork then use it immediately or let it cool and store in the fridge.

If you are concerned about the amount it makes, you can easily alter the recipe.   The amount of rice to the amount of liquid follows as 1 to 1 ½ ratio.  So, for every cup of dry instant rice you add, you’ll need 1 ½ cups of liquid.  You can swap out broth for water or do a mix of broth and water.  Whatever combination you use, just make sure you follow the ratio.  You can fit 4 cups of rice/6 cups of liquid in a 13×9 dish but it gets a little sketchy when trying to move the dish to the oven.

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