How to Cook Spanish “Rice” & Root Veggie Hash

Some say true Spanish rice involves saffron, and Mexican rice includes chiles and peppers. We don’t really know which is correct—what we do know is that this is a great side dish for our Green Enchiladas or meatballs made with Southwestern meat mix. If you want to make this vegetarian, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.

SERVES 6 TO 8 / PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES

One 14-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes (about 2 cups)

1 medium yellow onion, minced

1 tablespoon fat (coconut oil, olive oil, bacon grease, etc.)

2 ribs celery, minced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 medium head cauliflower, riced, about 6 cups

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup chicken stock, store-bought or homemade

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

Salt and black pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, puree the tomatoes and onion until smooth.

2. Heat a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the fat. When shimmering, stir in the celery and bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables have softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the riced cauliflower and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for a minute more.

4. Stir in the tomato-onion puree, the stock, cumin, and cayenne and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cilantro (if using), and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

VARIATIONS: Olives, jalapeño or poblano peppers, or even carrots are all great additions to this dish. Play around with what works for you.

Root Veggie Hash

Parcooking root vegetables helps reduce the amount of time they need to cook on the stove or in the oven. We use a microwave in this recipe. If you choose not to use microwaves, you can boil or steam the vegetables on the stovetop. You’ll see that the parcooking is truly optional—cooking entirely on the stovetop just adds a bit of time to total preparation.

SERVES 6 TO 8 / PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

1 turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

2 tablespoons fat (coconut oil, lard, or other fat of choice)

2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced

1. To parcook (optional): Place the sweet potato, carrots, parsnip, and turnip in a large microwave-safe bowl and cover with water. Cook on high until the vegetables are just barely soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain in a colander.

2. Heat a large cast-iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fat and when shimmering, add the vegetables. Allow to cook, without stirring, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until the veggies are softened, about 5 to 10 minutes, or longer if not parcooked.

3. Stir in the garlic, salt, and rosemary. Cook for 2 minutes more. Serve hot (see Note).

NOTE: Any leftover hash is a great breakfast side dish.

VARIATION: Beets, rutabagas, and white potatoes also work well in this recipe.