Rice Meals

Rice meals have been great extenders throughout the ages. Rice is one of the oldest foods in history and is a basic food of the world. Great cooks everywhere favor it because it fits so well into any main dish. Rice doubles for potatoes and pastas on the American menu.

In some Asian countries each person consumes an average of 300 pounds of rice a year. Their survival depends on the availability of the rice crop. Americans each average about 25 pounds of rice a year in products of cereal and refined white rice.

White rice is the inner portion of the grain. Sometimes it is commercially coated with a talc or glucose to increase the eye appeal. This coating is harmless and easy to wash off. The snowy whiteness of polished rice is a quality popular with the public but discounted by nutrition experts who point out that food values are removed.

Brown is whole grain rice. In addition to giving you more iron, phosphorus and vitamin B1 and G, it has a pleasant nut like flavor. Brown has not always been readily available like white but has become more popular in recent years. It is usually sold in sealed containers to keep it from growing rancid. Brown rice requires a longer cooking time than does white rice.

Wild or Indian is not true rice at all, but the seed of a marsh grass. Wild is more expensive and has a flavor appreciated by food connoisseurs as an accompaniment to meat dishes.

When cooking, it does expand to about three times its original size. The time required for making rice meals varies according to the variety of rice used. The varieties of white sold in the US requires about 15 to 25 minutes. Experience with the variety that you use will establish the exact time needed for cooking.

Rice should be washed in a colander with fresh water before cooking. Hard water will sometimes make rice turn a grayish or greenish color. To correct this add ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon vinegar to the water before cooking.

NOTE: Although many think that it is necessary to wash rice, I never have done so unless it has been imported. Grains like quinoa must be washed to remove the bitter tasting outside; this is not so with rice.


Dirty Rice RecipeCook Dirty Rice for a Rice Meal

This rice meal is cooked in a simple skillet.

  • 2 Tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 Pound chopped chicken livers
  • ½ Pound Italian sausage
  • ½ Cup butter
  • 1 Large chopped onion
  • 2 Stalks chopped celery
  • 1 Medium chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 Cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 Teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons hot sauce
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 Cups cooked rice
  • 1 ½ Cups chicken stock

Heat oil in large skillet; add chicken livers and sausage and cook until browned.

Remove livers and sausage from skillet; melt butter in skillet.

Add onion, celery, bell pepper, parsley and garlic to skillet; cook until tender.

Return livers and sausage to the skillet; add remaining ingredients to skillet and mix well.

Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated stirring constantly.

Serves about 8.


  • 1 Large sliced onion
  • 1 Pound hamburger
  • ½ Cup raw (uncooked) rice
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Chopped green pepper
  • 2 Cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 Teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Cup Monterey Jack cheese

Cook onion and green pepper until onion starts to brown.

Add hamburger; cook and stir until crumbly.

Add tomatoes, rice and seasonings; pour into casserole.

Bake in preheated oven at 375F degrees for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake 5 to 7 minutes longer until cheese melts.


This rice meal can be done on the stove top or as a casserole baked in the oven; either way very good.

  • 2 Tablespoons fat (bacon, lard, butter)
  • ¾ Cup sliced onion
  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • ¼ Cup raw rice
  • 3 Cups diced raw potatoes
  • 1 Cup diced celery
  • 1 Cup kidney beans
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Cup tomato sauce
  • ½ Cup water

Melt the fat in a Dutch oven; arrange a layer of onion slices on the bottom.

Make a layer of ground beef, then a layer of rice, a layer of potatoes and a layer of celery.
Top with a layer of kidney beans;
Combine and blend salt, pepper, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and water.
Pour tomato sauce mixture over the beans in Dutch oven.
Cover tightly with lid; heat to steaming on stove top, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 to 3 hours.
FOR CASSEROLE place in oven at 325F degrees for 2 to 3 hours.


This rice meal is very popular in the south.

  • ½ Cup olive oil
  • 2 Medium chopped onions
  • 1 Can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Pound raw shrimp peeled
  • 1 Cup rice
  • 2 ½ Cups boiling water

Heat oil in large skillet; sauté onions until tender.

Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper, oregano and parsley; cover and cook 5 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook 5 minutes longer; stir in rice and boiling water.

Cover and simmer for 25 minutes until rice is tender. Serves 4.


This rice meal is very flavorful. Be sure to make enough to have leftovers!

  • 1 Large chopped onion
  • 1 Chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • 1 Large can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 Can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Teaspoon pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon marjoram
  • ½ Teaspoon thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon sage
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • ½ Teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 ¼ Cups rice

In a large Dutch oven melt butter over medium heat.

Add ground beef, onion, green pepper and garlic; sauté until beef is cooked and vegetables are tender.

Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT rice; heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Blend in uncooked rice; cook about 30 minutes until rice is tender.

NOTE: If mixture becomes dry add a little tomato juice or water.


  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Beef bouillon cube
  • 2 Pounds boneless sirloin top roast (Cut in 1 inch squares)
  • ½ Teaspoon pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon paprika
  • 2 Large chopped onions
  • ¾ Cup boiling water
  • Hot cooked rice

Combine flour, salt, pepper and paprika in a zip lock freezer bag; shake to blend.

Place beef in bag and shake well.

Heat oil in Dutch oven; add beef and cook until browned.

Add onion; cook until tender.

Dissolve bouillon in the boiling water; add to the beef.

Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

NOTE: Add a little more water if pan gets dry.

Serve over hot cooked rice. Serves 6-8.