Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recipe for Creole-Spiced Rice and Kale

A delicious rice seasoned with Creole seasoning and cooked with chopped kale.

I've been slightly infatuated with kale for a few years now, so when I see a recipe that uses kale in a way that's new to me, I'm always excited to try it.  I found this recipe for Spicy Rice and Kale in an old Bon Appetit magazine from February 1999 (and back in those days before kale entered my life I probably wouldn't have given it a second look.)  Finding old food trends that I have just caught up with is one reason the bookshelves in my office have piles of old cooking magazines arranged by month! This find from the past turned out to be one of those side dishes that I could have happily eaten a big bowl of for my entire meal, and it's so nutritious and easy to make that I think it's a perfect Meatless Monday dish.

I did use chicken stock when I tried the recipe, but you could easily make this vegan by using vegetable broth instead with no loss of flavor. (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  For Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

Heat the chicken or vegetable stock in a heavy pan with a tight fitting lid, stirring in the Creole seasoning when it starts to simmer.

Add the chopped kale and let it soften.

When the kale has wilted, stir in the converted rice and bring back to a simmer. 

This photo is a visual aid reminding you that this is cooked covered for 20 minutes on low, then it sits covered for 10 minutes more.

Serve hot.  If you're a Parmesan fan, you might like a little bit sprinkled on this when you serve it.

Creole-Spiced Rice and Kale
(Makes 4 generous side dish servings; recipe adapted slightly from Spicy Rice and Kale in Bon Appetit, February 1999.)

2 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or use one can broth and add enough water to make 2 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 tsp. Creole Seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning which is good but a bit salty, so don't add salt)
1 cup Uncle Ben's Converted Rice (This is the lowest-glycemic type of white rice)
4 oz. chopped kale
Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

Put the stock or broth into a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid and bring to a simmer.  When it starts to simmer, stir in the Creole seasoning.

While the stock is coming to a simmer, wash the kale, cut away any thick center ribs, stack up kale leaves, and chop kale into smallish pieces.  As soon as the stock and Creole seasoning are simmering, add the kale all at once and let it wilt for a minute or two in the hot liquid.  

Then stir in the rice, bring back to a simmer, turn heat to low, and simmer covered for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and let the pan sit covered for 10 minutes more.  Fluff rice with a fork and serve hot, with Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over if desired.

South Beach Suggestions:
Uncle Ben's Converted Rice is a very low-glycemic type of white rice, due to the converting process which removes some of the starchiness, so this recipe is a perfect side dish or main dish for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.

More Delicious Meatless Ideas with Kale:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Kale Mallung (Sri Lankan Kale with Coconut) from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Quinoa with Sauteed Mushrooms and Kale from Use Real Butter
Kale, Mushroom, and Caramelized Onion Breakfast Casserole from The Perfect Pantry
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. Going to try this with Brown Rice or maybe Farro for a twist. Thanks!

  2. The glycemic index of the Uncle Ben's Converted Rice is as low or lower than farro or most brown rice, which is why I use it. But you can certainly make it with other types of grains. The cooking time might be a bit longer.

  3. Hi Kalyn, this looks tasty. I'd do it with brown rice, for sure, since that's all I'm making at home these days. I don't think the longer cooking time would hurt the dish any. Thanks for the idea!

  4. I'm infatuated with kale too. Nice balance of flavors in this recipe. A perfect side dish.

  5. Lisa, I agree, the longer cooking time would be fine I'm sure.

    CJ, so glad you like it!

  6. This is such a great way to sneak veggies into a side dish! Not that I ever need to SNEAK veggies into anything...but you know what I mean. :P

  7. This looks great. I look forward to trying it.

    We're going to start calling you Kale-lyn! :)

  8. Joanne, I did think of that too!

    Corrine, I will happily answer to Kale-lyn!

  9. Kalyn, thanks for explaining why you use Uncle Ben's converted rice instead of brown. Very interesting!

  10. I've made a recipe similar to this using spinach, chopped onions and rice. This looks amazing and I have all the ingredients. I plan to mention this on my blog tomorrow. Is it okay to use your picture too? Thanks for the recipe. :)

  11. Hi Caron,

    I permit the use of my photos when there is a link to the recipe on my blog, as long as the recipe itself is not posted with the photo. Glad you like it!

  12. Love this idea of mixing kale in with the rice as a one dish meal. I have a bunch of old clipped out recipes that I go through occasionally too. When I do, I usually pull out a few and give them a try.

  13. What a gorgeous recipe! Love these flavors, and I am both a big kale fan as well as rice :)

  14. Hi Jeanette. I really loved this idea and loved how it turned out too.

    Magic of Spice, if you're a fan of kale and rice both, I'm betting you'll love this!

  15. After visiting Haiti, I have been craving creole seasoned rice and beans. The women there make it so perfectly. Such a simple and satisfying meal.

  16. Hi Kalyn, first I wanted to say Thank you!! This has been the best diet for my husband and I because of all the wonderful recipes on here!! I wondered if Creole seasoning was the same or close to the Louisiana spice that I have? I don't get out much.. thank you!!!

  17. Rene, no way for me to know for sure, but I'm guessing if you like that blend it will be good in this.


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