Spanish Rice



1 cup water
3/4 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp salt
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup long grain rice
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
Dash ground red pepper or bottled hot pepper sauce


In a medium saucepan combine the water, sweet pepper, onion, celery, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in undrained tomatoes, rice, chili powder, black pepper, and ground red pepper or hot pepper sauce. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

Once you know how to make Spanish rice in its basic form, you can alter it based on your family's tastes. Substitute brown rice for the white, tone down or eliminate the hot pepper sauce for the kids, or add other chopped vegetables. Let your leftovers -- and your imagination -- guide you in making this recipe for your own. Given that each serving has no fat, very little sodium and just 111 calories, you can afford to play around. By the way, this nice side dish can be converted easily to a main dish by adding cooked, cubed ham, or chicken, or even shrimp.
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