Personally, I don't use any prepackaged foods like "Rice a Roni". I try to cook with one pretty simple rule in mind. If it comes in a box and has ingredients that I can't immediately identify, it doesn't go on my guests plate. Next time you're in the mood for the "San Fransisco Treat" try this instead. Your body will thank you for it.
1 Cup Basmati rice.
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely grated
1 carrot finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced.
1 red, yellow or orange pepper diced
2 cups organic chicken stock
1 pinch saffron threads.
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste.
So here's how you do it. Get a nice sauce pan with cover on the stove. Add olive oil and melt butter. Add rice and sautee over medium hi heat until it starts to turn color and smell fragrant (nutty). toss in veggies and cook about a minute more. Add chicken stock and saffron. cover, reduce to simmer and leave it alone for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork, adjust S&P seasoning and serve. Not only are you creating a delicious healthy side from scratch but you're also saving yourself money, not to mention hidden sodium, MSG and other fun things like that. I know this recipe leaves out the "roni" but if you really miss it, chop up a few strands of vermicelli and up the chicken stock by about 1/4 cup. Be sure to visit my hubs for other great recipe ideas.