When I was a kid, my mom often made something she called Italian Rice. It consisted of layers of tomato sauce and cheese sauce over fluffy white rice. I figured out a long time ago that there isn’t much Italian about this dish, but I loved it anyway. Names don’t matter, right? (The author in me says they do, but I digress…) At any rate, I didn’t make this nearly so often in the past few years as I struggled with weight issues. I wallowed in the “all carbs are evil” lagoon for far too long. And then I discovered Trim Healthy Mama and set out to regain my health, and that included selected carbohydrates.
After starting my THM journey, I took a closer look at my mom’s hand-scribbled recipe and realized it was “almost” on plan! After dancing around the kitchen for a few minutes, I had to give it a try. And I was right. This quick (and did I say easy? Because it’s easy) version hits all my buttons for this comfort food. If you’ve got leftover brown rice, some Laughing Cow cheese wedges, and a can of diced tomatoes, you’re just a few minutes away from giving this a taste.
For a Trim Healthy Mama “E” meal, the brown rice provides the carb source, and two cheese wedges provide some of the allowed fat (up to 5 grams of added fat). I paired it with a rotisserie chicken breast as my lean protein anchor and added sliced raw veggies, because every meal needs those, too!
Recipe: Easy Cheesy Tomatoey Rice
(And here’s my obligatory disclosure that any product links might be affiliate links. Clicking on them doesn’t cost you a penny more, and I get a small percentage of any sales.)
• 3/4 cup hot cooked brown rice
• 2 wedges Laughing Cow cheese (any flavor that contains fewer than 5 grams fat per serving)
• 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (you’ll need half for one serving)
• 1 teaspoon monkfruit/erythritol sweetener or other 1:1 sugar substitute
• Salt and Pepper
Dump the canned tomato pieces in a saucepan. You’ll need only half the can or jar for a single serve, but I usually do a whole one so I can make Easy Cheesy Tomatoey Rice again in a day or two. Or your significant other can also have a serving. Or you can stow half the jar/can in the fridge for a different recipe. Your choice.
Add the teaspoon of sweetener (monkfruit/erythritol or xylitol or Swerve or Gentle Sweet) and salt and pepper (half as much if you’re only doing half the tomatoes). A little more of all three of those seasonings than you think you need, because that’s where the rich flavor comes from! Allow the tomatoes to simmer until most of the excess liquid has evaporated. More about sweeteners here.
When the tomato sauce has reduced enough, place 3/4 cup of hot, cooked brown rice on a plate and set two Laughing Cow cheese wedges on it. I often use the White Cheddar flavor, but Light is also good. Microwave for one minute. You want the cheese to be warm and soft.
When the cheese has softened, ladle half the tomato sauce on top, add your lean protein and some veggies, and enjoy!
This is a side dish Sadie from Raindrops on Radishes would come to enjoy by the end of her Trim Healthy Mama story! Like many of us, she’d struggle with the carb count at first, though.
Please Note: I am not an authorized Trim Healthy Mama coach or blogger, although I play one in fiction…