Side Dish Confession (Recipe: Quick and Dirty Rice)

I have a confession to make. Let me tell ‘ya…if I didn’t get kicked out of the food blogging world for the post about blogging success that I wrote yesterday, I’m sure this revelation will be what does it. I have a very, very difficult time with side dishes for our family dinners. In fact, Knorr, Uncle Ben, Betty Crocker…if we are going to have a side in addition to fresh fruit, veggies and salad or some kind of potato, it comes from them. Flavored noodles, rice mixes, etc. from those little packages are sometimes what saves my dinners when I need a little more substance on the table.

Then, to make things more confusing, I come across this recipe for Dirty Rice over on one of my favorite blogs, Karen Bove’s Our Life in the Kitchen. Dirty rice is like a side dish, but it has the meat in it, so is it a side dish or a main course or what? I’m so confused!

We used it as a main dish and served it with a salad and fresh fruit. I also set out some tortillas on the table, which I am pretty sure is not what dirty rice was intended for, but it made for some really tasty tortilla filling!

If you feel like taking pity on me and giving me some good ideas for side dishes with dinner, I’d certainly appreciate it. Otherwise, you can find me over on ousted food bloggers island. I’ll be the one with the boxed mixes.

Recipe: Quick and Dirty Rice (Adapted from Karen Bove’s Our Life in the Kitchen)

  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Ribs celery, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can Bush’s Black Beans
  • 3 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 cups Rice
  • 5 cups Beef Stock

  1. Heat a stock pot over medium-high heat and add the beef.  Cook it, until brown.
  2. Stir in the vegetables and cook until tender.
  3. Stir in the creole seasoning, thyme and bay leaves.
  4. Add the black beans then stir in the rice.
  5. Add the broth and bring it to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook undisturbed until the rice is done, about 25 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Stay Connected

Subscribe to receive news, updates, and exclusive content from Dine & Dish.

Facebook      Twitter      Pinterest       RSS


  1. says

    I actually made a side dish tonight that is super simple: saute onions and garlic in olive oil with salt and pepper. Once the onions are translucent add in some spinach and kill the heat! Yum!

    Rice with corn and carrots with a jar of pace salsa thrown in is also one of my favorite side dishes :)

  2. Amber says

    LOL Kristen, you crack me up. Well, if you’re exiled, so am I. I use jarred pasta sauce, uncle ben’s basmati rice to go with my curry – and that comes from slouch too.

    I have, however, perfected Mexican rice (the secret is chicken and tomato bouillion in the cooking water with garlic and cumin), refried beans are better if you add a little butter and milk to them from the can, and I’ve figured out how to make Pam’s shells and cheese into a side dish size. I love that you confessed this!

  3. says

    I will FOR SURE be joining you on that island! However, I think the more important thing is that your cooking for your family and that your all eating together. And I think the dirty rice in tortillas sounds yummy! I for one am a huge fan of dirty rice…I wont say who, but someone I know might also have been a fan of rice a roni in tortillas in their college days….

    OK – if the food blogger world didn’t question why I’m here before, they sure do now!


  4. says

    This made me laugh…we are all there plenty!
    Growing up I always had my own personal side of raw veggies…my 99 yr old grandmom still puts them out for me (even though I now will eat cooked veggies lol). I do the same for my children a couple times a week.
    One thing I have always done is TNFT – Try New Food Tuesday (I had it on my son’s “to do” chart for the week), and since my oldest was 2 every Tuesday we try something new…so maybe begin once a week adding in a side you have never tried before for your family meal…let the kids help choose the featured item…maybe that will help :)

  5. Pat Wogan says

    You foodies crack me up! What’s wrong with using new technology (boxes) in cooking……after all, your blogging is a new technology, too, isn’t it? Back in the day, Mama beat the egg whites for angel food cake by hand using a wisk. I don’t think her angel food cake was any better than mine. I used an electric mixer. Does that make me a bad cook…I don’t think so. She also churned her own butter, but only because she had to use up the cream from the cows she milked every day. I buy my milk and butter at the store. Would Julia Child frown about that? I don’t think so. I am glad there are so many food bloggers out there who are bringing attention to good nutrition. Go for it, people. Box or pouch or from scratch, you are doing a great job!

  6. says

    I struggle too which is why lately I’ve been making a lot of one pot dinners or pastas with lots of veggies and protein. Side dish vegetables are easier for me than side dish carbs/starches. I gotta get creative with some easy rice or potato dishes. Tonight we had a layered lasagna casserole (but with bowtie). I put a bunch of extra vegetables in the sauce and then we had roasted broccoli on the side. Would have been great with some garlic bread but I didn’t have the energy for that.

  7. says

    Sometimes I have the opposite problem: I’ve got 2 or 3 side dishes, but nothing sounds good for the main course (not big on meat dishes 5-7 nights a week)! Dirty rice is always a keeper though—you could have stuffed some peppers with this (or those little 8-ball squash) & called it a night!

  8. says

    I am notoriously simple with my side dishes. Most of my focus goes to the main, so unless it’s thanksgiving my sides are pretty one-step (I can’t even bear to make salads – too much work!). My standbys include: steamed broccoli (just have to cut the florets), red potatoes roasted with salt, pepper, olive oil and dried rosemary at 400F for about 35-40 min, wild rice cooked in chicken broth with dried cranberries mixed in, couscous.

  9. says

    I think I’d be kicked off to the ousted food blogger island as well… and I’d be happy to be hanging with you! Side dishes are tough… and sometimes you spend so much time doing a from-scratch main dish you have to take a short-cut here and there to make a complete meal. It’s all good in the end if the family is fed!

  10. PatW says

    I saute some onion in olive oil, add rice– amounts vary according to the number of people, add an appropriate amount of water and an equally variable dollop of beef Better Than Boullion, and some chopped cilantro if I’m feeling very dashing. Cook the lot until most of the liquid is absorbed, stir in whichever salsa you prefer in any amount that tastes good to you, and you have a very nice faux Spanish rice.

    As most medieval recipes say: “Serve it forth!”

  11. says

    This seems like a perfectly reasonable tortilla filling to me. I feel lucky if I get veggies on the table, let alone a starch. I often rely on that old saw, “Serve with a green salad and some crusty bread.’. In the summer, though, I always like corn on the cob and tomato salad. I make a succotash that I always serve when I serve sausages. And if I want to go fancier, creamed spinach or my fave butternut squash gratin.

  12. says

    Awww! We’re not going to oust you from the blogging world! We love ya! :)

    I serve dirty rice with grilled hot links. Or sometimes, I sear a small pork chop and add it into the dirty rice as it cooks: meat + side dish in one!


  1. […] Side Dish or Main Dish Recipe Ideas Quick & Easy Dirty Rice | Dine … Stir in the creole seasoning, thyme and bay leaves Add the black beans then stir in the rice. Add the broth and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook undisturbed until the rice is done, about 25 minutes. Serve and enjoy! I put a bunch of extra vegetables in the sauce and then we had roasted broccoli on the side. Would have been great with some garlic bread but I didn't have the energy for that. Katie @ goodLife {eats}´s last blog . […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *