2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion (or brown, yellow or white) diced
1 red capsicum / bell pepper (large) diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 lb lean beef mince (ground beef)
2 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp EACH cumin, black pepper
1 tsp each onion powder, dried oregano (or other herb of choice)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 dried bay leaf
1 1/4 cups long grain white rice (uncooked) (Note 1)
2 cups beef broth
2 cups diced frozen veggies (I used corn, pea, carrot mix) (Note 2)
2 large handfuls baby spinach (~ 3 oz), or other leafy greens (Note 3)
Heat oil in large pot over high heat. Add onion, capsicum and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
Add beef, cook until brown, breaking it up as you go.
Add tomato paste, salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin and cayenne pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
Turn heat down to medium. Add rice and beef broth, mix well. Add frozen veggies and bay leaf, then stir.
Place lid on, lower heat to medium low so it’s simmering gently. Cook for 12 – 15 minutes (might even take longer) until all liquid is absorbed (tilt pot to check). The rice should be just cooked, but will be wet.
Remove from heat. Quickly toss spinach on top of the rice and put the lid back on. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Fluff rice and mix through wilted spinach with a fork. Adjust salt if desired. Serve!
1. RICE – This recipe is best made with white long grain rice because it’s less sticky than short and medium grain. Medium grain is the next best sub, then short grain or sushi rice though the rice at the end is a bit stickier rather than fluffy like you see in the video (still nice, just less pilaf-like). Basmati and jasmine will also work but will take about 5 minutes longer to cook. I don’t recommend making this with brown rice as it takes around 40 minutes on the stove and by this time the vegetables will be mush. This recipe is not suitable for risotto or paella rice. Not yet tested with quinoa or other rice subs!
2. IMPORTANT: You can sub the frozen with more chopped fresh veggies. But if you opt to use fresh instead of frozen veggies, add 1/4 cup of water to the rice. This is because frozen veggies leech water as they cook and this is factored into the liquid to rice ratio in this recipe.
3. LEAFY GREENS: This can be substituted with any leafy greens that wilts quite easily. It will even work with torn kale (remove from the stems). Another idea is using the leafy part of Asian greens. Roughly chop it then use per recipe. Asian greens don’t taste “Asiany”.
4. RICE FIRMNESS: This recipe makes al dente fluffy rice (ie tender and fluffy, not super soft rice that is kind of mushy on the outside). If you like your rice softer, add 1/4 cup of water to the rice. To adjust rice softness, when the liquid is absorbed but before adding spinach, taste the rice. If you want it softer, drizzle 1/4 cup of hot water over the surface and leave it on the stove for another 3 minutes. The proceed with recipe.