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A pic of the dish:
I can remember my mom making Rice-a-Roni when I was a child, and loved to hear the sizzle when the water was poured in the skillet. These days, I make my own homemade version of Rice-a-Roni for about 1/4 of the cost! With "tools of the trade", the process is handy and will give you the endless variations that Rice-a-Roni has. Here are my tools: 1) Salad Shooter (bought from a thrift store for $7), 2) a nice array of spices, and 3) chicken and beef bouillon. You can make up a bunch of the basic dry mix ahead of time and scoop out only what you need. The good thing about making it this way is that you can control the salt levels by using lower-sodium bouillon; plus, you can add in whatever fresh veggies you happen to have on hand, for a healthier version of the store-bought mix.
Preparation Time:30 minutes
1 c regular rice
1/3 cup orzo pasta
1/3 cup vermicelli or thin spaghetti, broken in little pieces
2 or more T dried parsley
2 of more T dried minced onions
Mix together and store in a container as you would flour or sugar. You can multiply this recipe by however much if you want to make a bunch.
To make the homemade version: Scoop out say, a cup or so and saute in butter or Smart Balance as you would regular Rice-a-Roni. Add just over twice the water as the rice/pasta mixture. Mix in some bouillon. Use your Salad Shooter to mix in whatever fresh veggies you might have on hand, if desired (I've got some on the stove now that has sweet red peppers and carrots in it). Add in other ingredient you might like such as garlic powder, cumin, etc. Cover and simmer till done.
There you have it! Custom Rice-a-Roni for a lot less!