Saturday, September 06, 2014

Easy Mediterranean rice

This is my latest invention.

It was one of those days when I felt mega uninspired about what to cook and I didn't have enough food in my fridge.

I would so have loved to go to Burger King / Macdonalds and get the whole lunch thing over and done with. BUT being a Mum to two young boys, I simply couldn't feed them junk food and hope that they would not be hungry. Sammy has a love-hate relationship with his cheeseburger and while Gabriel likes french fries, I find it hard to justify french fries as a proper meal.

So whether I liked to or not, I had to cook.

Don't you hate those moments?

Well, so I did the next best thing I could do. I ransacked my fridge and freezer for whatever remnants of food I could find.

I found frozen prawns, frozen green beans, mozarella cheese and a couple of fresh tomatoes.

Usually I would cook pasta with tomatoes, but how could I possibly put green beans into my pasta? I'm sure my boys wouldn't have minded, but my hubby would have slaughtered me. Hah.

I decided to cook some rice and see where my creative juices took me. And oh boy! Was I even impressed with my own cooking! It was so easy to cook this meal - just one pan and I fried everything together. And because I didn't follow any recipe (I only seasoned it with salt and pepper), that really brought out the natural flavors of the shrimps, tomatoes and beans! The boys ate everything up such that we hardly had any leftovers.

It's one of those meals that you feel you can give yourself a pat on the back. Enough greens in a one-pot dish and yet tasty enough for your hubby to eat. Yeah, my hubby is the barometer of taste in the family because if he could have it his way, he wouldn't necessarily need any vegetables in his meals.

I'm no professional mediterranean chef, but this tasted mediterranean enough for me. It's like Italian fried rice. 


- 2 cups rice
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 3 Tomatoes, diced
- Handful of beans
- 250 grams Shrimps
- 1 packet Mozarella cheese, diced
- Handful of Basil leaves, chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1 large Onion, chopped

1. Cook the rice. While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients

2. Fry garlic and onion in olive oil until fragrant.

3. Add in the tomatoes and fry until the water almost evaporates.

4. Add in the chopped beans followed by the shrimps.

5. When the shrimps are almost done, add in the rice and mix well.

6. Season it with salt and pepper.

7. Before serving, garnish it with basil leaves and mozzarella cheese. The heat from the rice would melt the mozzarella cheese.

8. Serve warm.

Chef's notes:

- You can add whatever leftover vegetables you have in your fridge. But fresh tomatoes are of essence here, because you want the tomato juice to coat the rice.

- If you have more time, it would be better to cook the rice in advance and allow the rice to cool down before frying it. That way the rice grains remain intact while frying.

- We didn't have time for the previous step, so I fried the rice over very high heat. That way I limited the cooking time and the rice still remained intact.

- The final product tasted a lot like mediterranean baked rice without the additional baking time. Win!

(Disclaimer: We do go to fast food sometimes when we're in a time crunch. Everything in moderation yo.)

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