Cilantro Lime Brown Rice is a quick gluten free side dish made in minutes with Minute Whole Grain Brown Rice. Jazzed up with bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, green chilis, cilantro, and lime.
There is a lot you can do in one minute. You can:
- Put your hair into the perfect messy bun just before running out the door in an attempt to be on time to wherever you are going…not that I ever do this.
- Listen to your 2 year old throw a full on meltdown over not getting her nails painted, putting on her own shoes, or refusing to brush her teeth.
- Bathe two children at once with only one handful of 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, body wash. I’m a pro at this.
- Chase the bus to the end of the street just in time for the bus driver to see you frantically waving your hands in a signal for him to wait for your kindergartener to board the bus.
- Shave both of your legs…at least up to the kneecap…although this more often results in a couple of Band-Aids on your knees and ankles.
Now if I can master each of these things in only a minute, imagine what I can do with 30 minutes!
I’ll tell you one thing, I can make a pretty mean Cilantro Lime Brown Rice using Minute Whole Grain Brown Rice.
I rely a lot on potatoes, rice, and quinoa to keep our family feeling full and satisfied after a meal. If I eliminated all types of grains and starches, Braelyn would be left feeling hungry and irritable most of the day and would continually ask for snack after snack. And trust me, she already does enough of that, seeing as how she also seems to be growing like a weed.
Seriously, this kid has been wearing high water pants for the past few months because I refuse to buy any new pairs now that our weather is about to reach the 90s. It’s a good thing capris are still somewhat in style, right???
I think Braelyn’s starch/grain of choice has got to be rice. Of course she would rather have a heaping helping of that good old sticky white rice, but you know me…whole grains it is!
Since I don’t seem to plan dinner until the last minute most nights, I usually do not have time to spend 45 minutes waiting for brown rice to cook. So, more often than not, I whip out my trusty box of Minute brand brown rice.
I do have to say, though, I always cook this rice longer than the instructions state. For me, it just does not get soft enough with only 5 minutes of cooking time and an additional 5 minutes of sitting. I always simmer the rice for 10 minutes and then let it sit 5 minutes before serving. My kids will eat it much better, and without complaint, if it is slightly softer.
Although I do love plain rice as a vehicle for whichever toppings float your boat: Slow Cooker Cowboy Chili, Sweet n’ Sour Country Style Spare Ribs, Slow Cooker Sweet Tomato Country Style Spare Ribs, Slow Cooker Tomato and Artichoke Heart Braised Pork Chops, Everything Hawaiian Haystacks, Creamy Rosemary and Chicken Broccoli Bake, One Pot Carrot and Cabbage Cider Chicken, and the list goes on and on and on!
Sound of my Heart. The beat goes on and on and on, yeah!
Sorry, that’s Braelyn’s favorite song right now. It’s pretty much playing on repeat in my head all day. But, that’s okay because I actually kinda love it.
Anyway, the fun thing about rice is that not only can you top it with anything, but you can mix it with anything too. It takes on an array of flavors and makes for the perfect side dish to almost any meal.
A few night ago we were having a Mexican theme for dinner, but I couldn’t think of any sides to go with our tacos. I usually have ingredients on hand to make Spanish style rice, but I was fresh out of tomato sauce.
Scouring through the fridge, I found a few lonely limes, some leftover cojita cheese, some bell pepper halves and just enough cilantro to add flavor to whatever I was about to make.
I love Café Rio’s cilantro lime rice, so I thought I would give something along the lines of that flavor profile a whirl.
This rice came out FABULOUS!
The mushrooms and brown rice combo gives off such an earthy flavor, while the cilantro and lime give it a burst of fresh flavors. And the combination of bell peppers and green chilis add just the right touch of Mexican spice.
The cojita cheese is the real game player in this recipe, even though it was originally just an afterthought. A sprinkle on top adds creaminess, coolness, and a bit of saltiness to this warm dish. Plus it cuts through the lime flavor of the rice and balances out the subtle heat from the chilis.
Buy this cheese now and crumble away!!!
You seriously have to give this recipe a try the next time you’re prepping for Mexican Monday or Taco Tuesday or whatever other days there are in the week.
What are your creative twists with rice?
- ½ onion, diced
- ½ green bell pepper, diced
- ½ orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 limes
- ½ small 4 oz. can of green chilis*
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1¾ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½-3/4 teaspoon cumin*
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon chili powder*
- 2 cups Minute instant brown rice
- 1½ teaspoons dried cilantro, or 1½ tablespoons freshly chopped
- Prep vegetables by dicing onion and bell pepper, slicing your mushrooms, and mincing the garlic. Set vegetables aside and begin heating 2 tablespoons of avocado oil on medium high heat in a medium sized pot.
- One oil is hot enough to sizzle, add onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Add juice of 1 lime. Generously season with shakes of salt and pepper. Stir to coat with oil. Reduce heat to just above medium and saute for 8-10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
- Once veggies are tender, add minced garlic and canned green chilis. Stir and cook for an additional minute.
- Pour 1¾ cups water into pot and add salt, cayenne, paprika, cumin, cilantro, pepper, and chili powder. Stir to mix evenly. Add 2 cups of Minute instant brown rice. Increase heat to high until water is boiling. Cover pot with lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until liquid is almost completely absorbed.
- Remove pot from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add additional juice of remaining lime. Fluff with a fork and serve with desired toppings such as cojita cheese, lime wedges, avocado, diced tomatoes, etc.