The Frugal Café | Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup"</a> | Creative Commons License,
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne, "Flora's Cup" | Creative Commons License,

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Recipes Using Vegetable Stock

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson


If you don't know how to make your own vegetable stock, click here first to read detailed how-to for making vegetable stock from scratch.

For these rice recipes, use regular white rice unless otherwise noted. For other more exotic or wild rices, cooking times and liquid measurements will vary, so adjust the rice and liquid measurements per the directions on the rice bag or box. If you're using 5-minute "instant" rice, read the directions on the package to correctly adjust the rice and liquid measurements.


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"Holy Trinity" Rice

The "holy trinity" in Louisiana/Creole cooking is the sautéing together of three vegetables: onions, bell or sweet peppers, and celery. This trinity is the basis of many outstanding dishes and the tantalizing mingling of their flavors gently cooked in oil cannot be matched by other vegetables. This is reminiscent of Cajun or Southern US rice dishes.


In a heavy 2-quart pot that has a lid, heat the olive oil until it is just beginning to bubble. Add the chopped onion, bell or sweet pepper, celery, garlic, dill weed, and lemon peel. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and begin to lightly brown, stirring gently but frequently with a wooden spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped tomato pieces and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring gently so that the oil and vegetables mix with the tomato pieces without breaking up the tomato wedges too much.

Pour over the vegetables the pre-heated vegetable stock, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring the stock just up to a boil. Immediately add the rice, stir, and let the stock come back up to a boil. At this point, lower the heat to medium. Put the lid on and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Serves 2-4.

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Rice with Caramelized Onions

This rice dish with caramelized onions bursts with an earthy, sweet flavor. It's an easy-to-make side dish to accompany chicken, fish, or pork. Kids who resist eating vegetables will love it.


Heat sauté pan. Add olive oil and margarine (or butter) to the pan, cook until the bubbling and frothing subsides. Add brown sugar, stir briskly until it is totally mixed with oil/margarine.

Cut onions into thin, crescent-shaped slices (the thinner, the better). Add to the brown sugar mixture, stir in the onions so they are thoroughly coated, and continue to cook. Add a pinch of salt, then stir periodically, allowing the onions to darken and caramelize (will appear glassy), about 8-10 minutes. When done, you can deglaze by putting in a small amount of water and gently scraping the sides of the pan, so that all the rich goodness that may be sticking to the pan can be added to the final dish.

Put stock in medium-size heavy pot, cover with lid, and bring to a boil. Add rice, caramelized onions (gently scrape sides of pan to get all the lovely caramelized bits in), salt, and pepper to stock, bring stock up to a boil again. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover. Cook 20 minutes or until the rice is soft and stock is absorbed.

Serves 4-6.

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White Rice and Beans Medley

The combination of rice and beans makes this dish a complete protein, low in calories, and it's a delicious way to save money. The proportions of ingredients in the recipe are for a side dish; if you want to make this a main dish, double the quantity of ingredients. The jalapeño pepper is just enough to give it some "kick."


Bring vegetable stock, diced jalapeño pepper, and olive oil just to a boil on the stove. Add rice, bring up to a boil again. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover. Simmer 20 minutes or until the rice is soft. Add drained beans, mix together until beans are thoroughly heated, about 5 minutes.

Serves 4.

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"Take Me Out to the Ballgame" Rice

This fun rice dish is earthy and flavorful. It's an excellent main dish for children when coupled with a nice salad or a side of steamed broccoli or green peas. Kids who resist eating vegetables will love it.


Bring vegetable stock, mustard, and olive oil to a boil in a heavy pot (with a lid) on the stove. Add rice, dill weed, and salt, bring up to a boil again. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover. Simmer 20 minutes. Add hot dog or Polish sausage coins, stir into rice gently, and then cover pot for 2 more minutes off the burner, until the meat coins are thoroughly heated.

Serves 4-6.

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