Maria’s Spinach Rice
I love ‘discovering’ other families quick ‘dinner in ten minutes’ meals that meet acceptance in mine. This one definitely qualifies for a permanent place in our list of quick family favourites. Maria is one of the mums at our school who always has a great smile on her face whenever I see her (how does she do that?!!). After coffee with Julia (another school mum) the other day we were enthusiastically looking around the local vegie shop hoping for some inspiration to strike, or an instant kind of meal to fall into our hands. Julia suggested Maria’s spinach rice and told me that it was simple and delicious. So between us we bought out the shop’s stock of spinach and green onions. And then on the way out of the shop we bumped into Maria. Julia insisted that she tell me the recipe herself…which she did…with a big smile. She says she makes it often and either eats it on its own with lots of fetta and olive oil (she is of Greek background so it is probably mandatory!) or as a side with some grilled meat. It sounded suspiciously too simple to be delicious, but I decided to give it a try. Ofocurse I had to tinker with it and make it more complicated than it needed to be. Next time I will go simple….because I am sure that the ‘original’ version will also be delicious. It was so good that we all ate every scrap in our bowls (even the die hard meat lovers did not comment on it being vegetarian). It was soo good I think I could eat it once or twice every week! Although it does have rice in it, it is so very little that it qualifies as a low carb meal…in my book anyway!
Here is the recipe (I have indicated in brackets the bits that were my additions to the original recipe), try it and see if it makes it to your family’s hall of quick meals fame.
Maria’s Spinach Rice
1 bunch of english spinach – silverbeet would be good too I am sure
1/2 bunch of green onions – about 4-5
1 can of tomatoes
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
(fresh green peas, frozen would be ok too)
1/4 cup of arborio or other risotto type of rice
(2 cloves of garlic)
(one finely sliced red chilli or a few dried chilli flakes)(two sprigs of fresh dill)
(a few leaves of fresh mint and a handful of parsley)
Wash the spinach well and chop roughly. Slice the green onions, including the green stalks. Finely mince the garlic. Heat a little olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic and chilli for a minute or two. Add the green onions and then the spinach. Stir for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes which you could roughly chop in the tin itself (my lazy approach – just swish a knife around the open tin). Now add the rice and stir to ensure it is all coated. The liquid from the spinach and tomatoes should be enough to cook the rice, but keep an eye on it and add a little water if needed. After a few minutes add the finely sliced stalks of the herbs and the green peas (if using fresh – if you are using frozen add them closer to end). When the rice is almost cooked add all the fresh and dried herbs and mix well. Serve in a bowl drizzled with some nice fruity olive oil if you wish and some salty fetta crumbled on top.