extra guacamole??: build a meal around it with whole grain Mexican pilaf

Didn't know it was possible, but I had too much guacamole for the tailgate on Saturday.  Sunday afternoon found me watching a lot of football and pondering Sunday dinner (and truthfully pondering why the Colts don't work out more of those kinks in preseason).  Guacamole has a pretty short shelf life, so it had to be part of the plan.  Chicken breasts from Whole Foods in the freezer?  Check.  Sweet Mesquite barbecue rub from Costco in the pantry?  Check.  Beans?  Nope, off to the store.  We are best termed a "minimally processed" household, some organic, lots of local, mainly fresh but occasionally something from a box, bottle or can just makes life easier and tastier.  My family loves the "Bush's Grillin' Beans" and the Texas Ranchero pinto beans got the nod for this dinner.  Where I got creative was adding a rice or grain dish to the plate with a new purchase, Rice Select's Royal Blend (whole grain Texmati brown and red rice with barley and rye).  Sold in a 2 pound plastic jar, I found it at Marsh, but Meijer and Target also carry the brand.  Obviously this was going to need a little help to go with the theme, so I had some boxed organic chicken broth (Costco) that needed to be used along with a nice 15 ounce can of Muir Glen Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes (I know I've mentioned them before, just love them) and the rest, they say is history.  I grilled the chicken breasts rubbed with olive oil and the mesquite rub, heated the beans, chopped some lettuce and served it all with the guacamole, sour cream and lime wedges.

So here's the  recipe for a grain dish to fill up your plate and your tummy with something healthy and delicious.

Whole Grain Mexican Pilaf

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion (white, yellow or sweet), chopped
1 serrano chile, cored, seeded (important, very hot seeds) and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 C uncooked Texmati Royal Blend Brown & Red Rice
1 15-ounce can Muir Glen Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes (do not drain)
1 C chicken broth

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy medium saucepan.  Saute onion until soft (3-5 minutes).  Stir in serrano, garlic and cumin and saute another 1-2 minutes until fragrant (do not burn the garlic or you'll have to chuck it all and start over-not hard, just stir and pay attention, no multi-tasking).  Add the rice blend and stir to coat.  Raise heat to medium high and add tomatoes and broth (make sure the tomatoes and broth give you a generous 2 1/2 C of cooking liquid).  Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to low and cover pan with a lid that you will not lift for the entire 45 minutes of simmering.  After half and hour, you can check it and make sure you don't need to add a little bit of broth but if you truly simmer on low you should be fine.  Sometimes I think, what's simmering on 1 or 2 going to do and then I always find out that it's going to evaporate your cooking liquid too fast and you will have toothy rice if not burnt rice.  Learn from my mistakes.
If you are feeling flush, sprinkle a little cheddar/jack/queso fresco on top of the finished dish to serve.

delicious dish!


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