Low-fat Spanish rice for lovers

Your kitchen will smell wonderful.

Published January 8, 2002 8:00PM (EST)

1 1/2 cups short-grain brown rice

2 12-ounce cans diced tomatoes (do not drain)

1 4-ounce can mild (or hotter) diced jalapeño peppers

a quarter-cup medium (or hotter) salsa

half an onion, finely chopped

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. chili powder

3 tbsp. canola oil

(OPTIONAL) low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese

In a large frying pan (preferably cast-iron), slowly heat the onions in the canola oil until the onions are translucent. Add rice and heat until the rice begins to brown. Add tomatoes, salsa, spices and plenty of water to cover the mixture. (Water level should be almost to the top of the frying pan.) Cook on medium heat (mixture should be barely boiling) until all the water is absorbed -- around 35 minutes. (Your kitchen will smell wonderful.) Do not stir!

Remove from heat before the rice begins to burn. After the rice is done, you have the choice of covering the top with grated cheese and warming in the oven on low, just enough to melt the cheese. Heat some flour tortillas in a dry skillet and fold a generous tablespoon of Spanish rice inside the tortillas. Garnish with plain, nonfat yogurt. Serve with nonfat refried beans or black beans, and a green salad.

By Stephen J. Lyons

Stephen J. Lyons is the author of "Landscape of the Heart," a memoir of single fatherhood. He lives in Washington state.This week he received a rejection letter that described his writing as "unfocused and full of broken glass." It actually made him feel good.

MORE FROM Stephen J. Lyons

Related Topics ------------------------------------------