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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!





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Comments

  1. You are not alone! Too make *boxed* sides all the time! LOVE dirty rice can’t wait to try it!

  2. I think I might be on the boxed side island with ya… who doesn’t love some Far East Couscous? I’ll admit it.

  3. aliesha howell says:

    sometimes the flavor from the boxed mixes is something you can’t duplicate from scratch. everybody can’t get lucky ^_^ so i don’t blame you. if your ousted, i’ll visit & we can make zataran’s lol

  4. I was just telling my husband YESTERDAY about how much I LOVE dirty rice. Guess what will be on our menu next week?!?

    PS…my side dishes mainly consist of carrots. Raw carrots. From the bag. When I’m feeling really gourmet…I add frozen corn to Mahatma Spanish Rice. See ya on the “ousted” aisle.

  5. Oh, I have never had dirty rice but definitely want to try it now. Sounds delicious – boxed or not!

  6. ps…. during the winter I like to roast veggies, make big salads out of winter greens with fruit tossed in, baked gratins, etc…

  7. Well, if you are ousted I won’t be far behind… I know people are up in arms over “processed” foods but in moderation there is nothing wrong with them at all and in fact there is a lot” right” !! During the week I do a lot of one dish dinners, so everything is combined but when that isn’t on the menu, my simple sides are rice (do in the oven with onions, fresh herbs and a little veg or chicken stock), couscous (stock w/ a little lemon juice and herbs/raisins and nuts), quinoa (see couscous!) quick cooking barley (awesome with a little stock and sauteed mushrooms and onions!) and of course, roasted potatoes!!!!

  8. You’re so funny! I’m not a food blogger (just an eater and a preparer), but I’ll hang out in the ousted aisle with you too. This recipe sounds great to me!

    Side dish ideas? One of my family’s favorite side dishes this time of year (well, any time, but they’re cheaper now) is steamed artichokes. We all get our own. They’re easy to make and fun to eat.

  9. I will not let ANYONE kick you out of bloggerville. Sometimes you do what you gotta do. And sometimes that involves a box of Rice-A-Roni.

    This dirty rice sounds delicious! I’m always confused about side dishes that have meat in them as well. Weird.

  10. Looks like we’re going to all have one big party on the Island of Ousted Food Bloggers! Honey, I use boxed side dishes all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but not every dish from scratch for every meal for goodness sakes! I have no problem whatsoever with taking a little help from a boxed mix or frozen prepared side dish.

    We love dirty rice but I’ve never had a really good recipe for it. Can’t wait to give yours a try!

  11. When my kids were little, I used lots of mixes for side dishes. After all, you do what ya gotta do to get a meal on the table when life is so busy. I still have to buy Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice-love it.
    Now, I make oven roasted potatoes and other veggies for sides, and some quick rice dishes that I throw together. And sometimes it’s a bag of salad with tomatoes. It should be easy, guilt free meals!

  12. This looks delicious – thanks for sharing this! I am going to try this with collard greens and cornbread. Yum! You might enjoy a great cookbook I’ve been diving into lately called, “Let’s Cook Tonight,” by Gigi Centaro. Inside are tasty, foolproof recipes that are very easy to make. I love everything so far.

  13. This is a staple in our house. We have it at least once a week. On the day before my treatment I cook up a pile of rice in my Thermomix and refrigerate it overnight. When I fry it up I usually add peas,red pepper, onion, tumeric, curry powder, sultanas and pinenuts. It gets me thru the first couple of days after treatment when I’m feeling tired and not in the mood for cooking.

  14. Side dishes = my arch nemesis. I would rather focus on the main dish and serve it alongside steamed broccoli. And I rather enjoy Uncle Ben’s flavoured rices. ;)

  15. I have a tough time with side dishes too. Quite often we either just don’t have one, or I fall back on frozen veggies. :)

  16. I’ll join you on that island Kristen, I use Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice all the time, and my favorite veggie side dishes are the Steamfresh vegetable packages. LOVE. We spend enough time on making the main dish, side dishes don’t have to be complicated. At least that’s my take on it. :)

  17. Smile. I love your honesty…your blog is such a joy to read. This dirty rice looks delicious (and I would have served it as an entree too). I’m not good with side dishes, I usually bring the desserts…so I understand the difficulty! Thank you for the kind words on my blog…your thoughts are so appreciated!

  18. lemme tell ya, this actually made me feel MUCH better reading that you sometimes go to the easy-peasy’s. i’m just starting to get my own personal food blog under way (a love in progress, lemme assure you)…annnd yeah. sometimes all i want to make is a main course. or a side. or a dessert. as much as i love cooking, i don’t want to spend 3 hours in the kitchen conducting a whole meal, especially when it’s usually only going to be me that sees/eats it. so yeah, if that island can hold one more, then i am SO on my way over. i’ll bring cake mixes and fresh market croissants for sammies.

    oh and a side dish that i make that i think it easy and fast is just boiled carrots with a little butter and dill. i know it seems boring, but it’s quick and nommy. i’m also a slut for sauteed veggies. (yep, i buy those pre-mixed too. i just throw in a hunk of butter, some salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning and serve it up!)

  19. Psst! Don’t tell anyone, but I have been known to serve Hamburger Helper from time to time. Looks like I’ll be on that ousted food bloggers island right along with you. ;)

  20. Kristin, you crack me up! That’s great if you can put the main dish and the side dish together – it’s smart, healthy and fast! You’re smart, mom of four, and BUSY; it just makes sense. I’m going to try the recipe myself. As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I enjoy a dinner like this. You just need to get rid of all that noise in your head that says, meat, sides, veggies, salads, and then dessert. It’s made with love and will nourish your family. I love your blogs – you better not stop. :)

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