My new favorite side dish! Considering I have zucchini growing out of my ears and add to that the fact that I’m always looking for a quick and simple side dish to accompany easy weeknight entrees (anything from these fab grilled pork chops to this Island Chicken), this zucchini rice is a lifesaver. Please tell me I’m not the only one who lays awake at night pondering the side dish conundrum: what to serve with stand-alone meat entrees as opposed to the all-in-one casserole that needs no such side dish garnishing.
Not only is this rice dish a godsend for my apparent side dish issues, but it doesn’t hurt that it is downright delicious and hearty enough to fill the hollow legs that sit at my dinner table (i.e. my four growing boys). I watched in wonder as my family scooped spoonful after spoonful of this rice onto their plates. I’m not entirely sure they knew they were consuming no less than two zucchinis from our garden but I’ll keep that little secret to myself if it’s alright with you.
I hope this simple, cheesy, homestyle rice will please the palates at your table as much as it does at mine and let all of us who obsess over side dishes sleep a little better at night.
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 medium or 2 small zucchini, grated on a box grater or with a food processor (no need to peel beforehand)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons milk, if needed
- In a medium saucepan, combine the rice and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and let the rice simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the grated zucchini, cheese, and garlic powder. Add salt and pepper to taste (don't skip this step - I needed at least 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt to boost the flavor). Add a tablespoon or so of milk to adjust the texture if needed. Serve warm.