May 3rd, 2009

Mexican Rice


Mexican food is one of the safer cuisines to eat on this diet, since so much of it is corn-based. But nonetheless, it turned out that our favorite pre-diet Mexican restaurant not only served tortilla chips made with wheat flour and whey, but even their rice was unsafe. The GFCFBoy absolutely loves to eat refried beans and Mexican rice, so I knew I had to find a workable recipe right away.


First, dice up 1/2 an onion. You can add other veggies if your kids will tolerate them, like some frozen peas or carrot bits. Unfortunately our old restaurant didn’t do that, and my kid has always been fixated on the look of his foods, rather than whether he actually likes the ingredients or not. So I can put carrots and peas in other dishes, no problem–but not his beloved Mexican rice.


Toss the veggies in a pan with some olive oil and 1 clove of minced garlic, and let everything sautee over low heat while you prepare the rice cooker. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you are really missing out, I’m telling you. This thing is the greatest kitchen appliance ever. We used it probably once a week even before we had to rely so much more on rice for our meals. If we had to start selling our personal possessions, this is the very last thing I’d get rid of. I’d be wearing a burlap sack and still happily cooking perfect rice with zero effort.


But if you insist on doing things the old-fashioned way, you can still use this recipe. It just won’t be as cool. Instead of cooking the rice in water, we’re going to boil it in the following concoction: first, 3 cups of Pacific Foods gluten-free beef broth (yes, I know the picture only shows two cups, I don’t have a measuring cup that will hold three cups all at once.)


1 tsp of McCormick chili powder (YES, I know that’s not the right measuring spoon, I use two scoops of the littler one because it fits inside my spice jar. I’m practicing my math skills while keeping my kitchen counters clean at the same time.)


1 1/2 tsp McCormick cumin…


And 6 Tablespoons of Contadina tomato sauce. Please note that the Contadina tomato sauce “with Italian Seasonings” is not gluten-free. But seriously, why would you want to put Italian seasonings in Mexican rice anyway? Ya weirdo. [As always, manufacturers can change formulas without notice. Always check your brands.]



Once all that is mixed up in your rice cooker, and the onions are translucent, add 1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice to the pan.


Sautee the rice lightly, stirring frequently. You probably want to use a larger pan than I did, I always try to get away with the pan that fits better in the dishwasher, and it doesn’t always work out. The point of cooking the rice like this is to sort of seal each grain before you boil it, which will result in that nice non-sticky texture that Mexican rice is famous for.


See how the grains are turning translucent, but there are still some that are mostly white? If all the oil in the pan has been absorbed, you can add another Tablespoon or so. You don’t have to get every grain translucent, but the more the better.


Now scrape the whole pan into the liquid in the rice cooker, and give it all a good stir. If you were doing this without a rice cooker, at this point you’d put it all in whatever pot you were going to use, bring it to a boil, cover with the lid, etc.


But all I have to do is push this button down and walk away. It will pop back up at the precise moment the rice is done, and not a moment sooner or later. No burned rice on the bottom, no accidentally checking your pan too early and letting all the steam out.


Ta daa! Just like at the restaurant. Except gluten-free, cheaper, and available even in the middle of the night if you get some sort of weird craving for it. Which you just might, you never know.

Happy Eating!

Mexican Rice

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
1/2 chopped onion
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp oil
3 cups Pacific Foods beef broth
1 tsp McCormick chili powder
1 1/2 tsp McCormick cumin
6 TBS Contadina tomato sauce


6 comments to Mexican Rice

  • xoxoxoBruce

    I’m drooling on my keyboard, I can almost smell it.

  • stephanietodd

    This is a stupid question, but are you using just plain white rice in your recipes? I havent learned which rice is ok yet!

  • TheGFCFLady

    Yes, all rice is gluten-free – even “glutinous rice” is actually gluten-free, how annoying is that?

    The major grains that gluten-free families generally use are rice, corn, millet, amaranth, sorghum, tapioca, potato, various bean flours (like garbanzo and fava) and various nut flours (like almond and pecan.) That’s not a totally exhaustive list, but it’s a good variety to get you started.

  • Hi there! I’m about to try this awesome looking recipe with brown rice. With the husk, I wasn’t sure about the searing technique you used. Suggestions?

  • TheGFCFLady

    I’m not sure. I would think the brown rice would still absorb oil the same way as white rice, but I’ve never tried it. Please come back and let us know how it turned out!

  • Greenleaf

    I feel the same way about my rice cooker. I never heard of such a thing until I taught a group of students from Japan. Haven’t looked back.

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