To add a bit more heat to this side dish of Creamy Rice with Nopalitos, substitute Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers for the regular Monterey Jack. In order to streamline the preparation, we roasted the nopales with the chilies.
3 nopales, trimmed (cactus paddles)
2 poblano chiles
1-1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cup uncooked basmati or other long-grain rice
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 8-ounce carton plain fat-free yogurt
1 8-ounce carton fat-free sour cream
1 4-ounce jar diced pimiento, drained
1-1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
Place the nopales and chilies on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until chilies blacken and nopales are tender, turning nopales once. Place the chilies in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chilies; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes; chop chilies to measure 1/2 cup. Chop nopales to measure 1 cup.
Reduce oven temperature to 350-degrees.
While nopales and chilies cook, prepare the rice. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Add rice, and saute 2 minutes. Add broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool slightly.
Add nopalitos (chopped nopales), chilies, yogurt, sour cream, and pimiento to rice mixture; stir until well blended. Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Broil 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
Recipe makes 8 servings.
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories: 274; Total Fat: 7.8g; Cholesterol: 17mg; Protein: 13.2g; Carbohydrates: 35.9g; Fiber: 1.2g; Sodium: 344mg
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