Monday, March 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Greek Rice Recipe with Red Bell Pepper, Feta, and Kalamata Olives

Slow Cooker Greek Rice with Red Bell Pepper, Feta, and Kalamata Olives
Slow Cooker Greek Rice with Red Bell Pepper, Feta, and Kalamata Olives may not be that photogenic, but this dish is completely delicious and perfect for Meatless Monday.

I haven't moved for 25 years, and there's no question that I had completely blocked all the memories of just how awful moving really is, so it's a good thing I'm excited about the hew house!  It's now pretty much sorting through stuff and packing for the move every spare minute around here, but a few weeks ago before the new house frenzy switched into overdrive I made this delicious Slow Cooker Greek Rice with Red Bell Pepper, Feta, and Kalamata Olives with Jake.  This is one of those slow cooker recipes that could be made on the stove, but cooking the rice in the slow cooker means you don't have to watch it much at all.   Definitely this could be a nice side dish for a meal with Greek flavors, but I think this rice also makes a nice vegetarian main dish with all the flavors going on here.  The rice didn't end up being overly photogenic, but if you like these flavors, I guarantee you'll love this rice.

This delicious rice that can do double duty as a side dish or a vegetarian main dish is my contribution for Meatless Monday this week.  (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, follow our Meatless Monday board on Pinterest, or check Meatless Monday at BlogHer.)

Heat the olive oil and saute the rice until it's nicely browned.  Put rice in the slow cooker.

Then add the onions and cook until they start to brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the garlic, Greek seasoning, and dried oregano and cook a couple minutes more.

Then add the chicken or vegetable stock to the pan, scraping off any browned bits. 

Add the onion/stock mixture to the rice in the slow cooker and cook on high about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

While the rice cooks, finely chop the red bell pepper.  Add it to the rice and cook 15 minutes more.

Slice the olives and crumble the Feta while the red bell peppers cook with the rice.

Stir in the sliced olives and crumbled Feta and cook 15 minutes more.

Then stir in the parsley and lemon juice and serve rice hot.


Slow Cooker Greek Rice with Red Bell Pepper, Feta, and Kalamata Olives
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe adapted from Greek Rice in Crock-Pot 365 Year-Round Recipes.)

Equipment:
I used my favorite Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe.

Ingredients:
1 T olive oil
1 3/4 cups Uncle Ben's Converted Rice
1 onion, chopped small
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Greek Seasoning (I like Greektown "Billygoat" Seasoning from The Spice House.)
1 tsp. dried oregano (preferably Greek oregano)
2 cans (14 oz. each) chicken or vegetable stock (3 1/2 cups total)
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
3/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives (or regular black olives will also be good)
3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy frying pan, add the rice and saute until the rice is nicely browned (watch it carefully.)  Put the browned rice into the slow cooker.  

Add the onions and cook until they start to brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Then add the garlic, Greek seasoning, and dried oregano and cook a couple minutes more.  Add the stock and scrape the pan to remove any browned bits; then add the onion/stock mixture to the slow cooker with the rice.  Cook on high for 1 1/2 hours.

While the rice cooks finely chop the red bell peppers, and after 1 1/2 hours (or when the rice is fairly softened, but not completely done) add the bell peppers and cook 15 minutes more.  While rice and peppers cook, crumble the Feta and slice the olives, then add the the slow cooker and cook another 15 minutes.  

Chop the parsley and squeeze the lemon juice.  Check to be sure the rice is as cooked as you'd like it, then stir in the chopped parsley and lemon juice and serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Because some starchiness is removed in the converting process, Uncle Ben's Converted Rice is actually the most low-glycemic type of rice you can buy, making this a great dish for Phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Ideas with Rice for Meatless Monday:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Vegetarian Taco Rice ~ La Fuji Mama
Spicy Slow Cooker Rice with Green Chiles, Green Onions, and Cheese ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Persian Crispy Rice ~ Herbivoracious
Mujadarra - Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Saffron Rice Pilaf ~ Simply Recipes
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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19 comments:

  1. Throw in some chickpeas for protein and I would happily call this lunch! I love greek flavors!!

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  2. That looks a great recipe and I love that it cooks in the Slow Cooker!

    Sympathy on the move. I never lived anywhere longer than 8 years (and many places less) till we moved to this house 20 years ago.

    Junk has accumulated and I think we've left it too long to move again without a lot of pain :-(

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  3. Thanks Pat! The only thing that's keeping this move from being downright painful is how much I love the new house. That keeps me going, but it's pretty awful.

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  4. You are giving me the courage to try more slow cooker rice dishes. I've only done a few, and usually make rice in the rice cooker. But I love the idea of adding ingredients every few minutes while the rice continues to cook, so this recipe is going on my list.

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  5. Lydia, the rice is pretty foolproof in the slow cooker, just like the rice cooker.

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  6. I intend to try it with the chickpeas, great idea. I guess they'll get thrown in sometime toward the end. I know you use Uncle Ben's, but I'm going to try it with brown rice.

    Add my sympathies on the move.. Have lived in current house for 22 years and can't imagine packing all the accumulated "stuff". Best of luck!

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  7. Doren, I have so much more stuff than I ever imagined. I think brown rice will work, but it will take a little longer to cook.

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  8. I'd like to try this with brown rice too... how much longer would the cooking time be?

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  9. Debbie I haven't done it with brown rice, so I don't know exactly how much longer it would take, but I'd guess 15-30 minutes at least.

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  10. Pretty much anything with Greek in the title sounds good to me!!

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  11. Kalyn, this sounds so flavorful! I've tried different versions of rice, but have never thought of combining it with feta and olives, brilliant! My favorite ingredient to add in rice is boiled chickpeas, which is so typical in Turkish cuisine, but I love your version too! Would love to pair it with yogurt!

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  12. This looks great! I bet it pairs really well with grilled chicken.

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  13. We are having this for dinner tonight! I pinned it a few days ago. I am definitely drooling over the flavors, and especially since I have cut them up and smell them altogether.

    I keep looking at the clock in anticipation!

    Thank you so much for the wealth of recipes on your blog. I am the only vegetarian among my 2 boys and husband. My husband has started to eat more vegetarian meals, so it is a budget saver!

    Thanks!

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  14. Beja, hope you all enjoyed it! Glad to hear my blog is helpful for you too.

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  15. It was delicious! My husband stirred a little hummus into his.

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  16. I love that idea, and so glad you enjoyed it!

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  17. Dee, without experimenting and trying it I wouldn't be able to give recommendations (especially not for adapting from slow cooker *and* increasing amounts by so much.) If you have time to experiment, you could probably start with a recipe like my Really Lemony Greek Pilafi and the stir in the pepper, Feta, and olives at the end, but I couldn't say exactly how much to use for the amounts you want.

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