reader report

Dirty rice not expensive or boring

FAMILY FAVE: Cajun Dirty Rice.
FAMILY FAVE: Cajun Dirty Rice.

I have been cooking everything from scratch since I was 10. I love to cook, it's my "happy place", as my husband says.

I feed myself, my husband and our two teenage boys for between $100 and $130 per week. And we eat really well.

Cooking from scratch with lots of vegetables is neither expensive nor boring.

Here is my family's favourite recipe for a really healthy, quick after-work dinner. Its origins are in the southern part of the US. It is my teenagers' favourite dinner. You will need a large skillet with a tight fitting lid to cook this in.

Oil for the skillet
250 grams ground chicken or finely chopped chicken breast
250 grams ground or finely chopped pork
1 cup chopped onion
2 chopped cloves of garlic or one big Tbsp of minced garlic in oil
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 fresh chopped cilantro
1 can (400 grams approx) of kidney beans (drained)
Hot sauce to taste
1 - 2 cups uncooked brown rice (depending on size of appetites being fed)
4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (low sodium cube variety fine as well)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped spring onion


1. Add oil to a large skillet and brown the chicken and pork.

2. Add the onion, garlic and vegetables and kidney beans and saute until the vegetables have softened. Add as little or as much hot sauce as you like, salt and pepper to taste and mix though with meat and vegetables.

3. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the brown rice.

4. Saute the rice until well coated with oil, add the four cups of stock to the pan, stir until rice and stock well mixed, turn the heat under the pan down to low and place the lid on the pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes until rice cooked through.

5. Leave the lid on the pan during this process as rice is being cook via the absorption method.

Serve with a salad and crusty bread or a bread stick. Divine!