Revamped Rice-a-Roni

We know this pantry staple

I have recently started stocking up on Rice-a-Roni because it has been on sale at the grocery store. It is nice to have a quick, inexpensive tasty side dish waiting in the pantry.  And Aaron really likes it. He quoted the other night, “Any meal with Rice-a-Roni is alright by me.”  Who knew he was so easy to please?!

Aaron and I have been able to polish off a box all by ourselves, so I got creative when we added a third member to our dinner table. I also took advantage of being able to up the nutrition in the side dish. Rice-a-Roni now has whole grain options which is all I buy, but let’s be honest – it is still far from health food.

To make the box stretch to serve more people, I added barley and quinoa to the cooking water.  Since both grains cook in about the time indicated on the box, I figured it would work out perfect. All I did was add some additional water and cook as usual.

I used red quinoa and you can see the pretty red specks in the mix below.  And you can see the hearty barley, too.  This trick really stretched the serving and we even had leftovers!  I will be using this trick every time we make rice a roni. I didn’t hurt that it was served alongside grilled london broil and green beans Aaron whipped up.

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