Want to save money? Eat more of this. {New Recipe: Vegetable Tomato Rice Salad w/ Lemon Tahini Dressing}

Less than $.10 a serving-- vegetable tomato rice // bring-joy.com


{What I think of arsenic & rice, here.}

If you want to get rich by spending less & saving more, here are a few tips for you:

  • Buy used, when possible/reasonable
  • Bike or walk instead of driving whenever possible (this post will change your view of driving & commuting)
  • Line dry your laundry (it’s not as hard as you think, & you may be surprised at how relaxing it is)
  • and, EAT MORE RICE 

As for us, we mostly eat white rice these days.

It’s not that I don’t like brown rice, it’s just that white rice is:

  • even more inexpensive than brown,
  • has a longer shelf life (I have to store my brown rice in the freezer to help keep it from going rancid),
  • & contrary to popular belief, will not suck your nutritional soul.

Further, in my opinion it’s more versatile than brown. (I only like brown rice steamed straight up, with no embellishments whereas you can get fancypants with white rice.) When paired with vegetables &/or beans, rice makes for a pretty filling & satisfying meal.

Why spend the time clipping coupons to save on the grocery bill?

I saw a lady in the store the other day that made my head spin. She had a HUGE, I mean HUGE impressive binder full of coupons, all categorized & neatly stored in it’s own little pouch. I asked her how much money she spent on groceries each month. She was like, “Um, I don’t know…all I care about is how much I save. I usually get my groceries for 40-50% off.” I was like, hmmm….that’s not a hobby I want to take up any time soon. I mean, I can’t imagine how many hours you’d have to spend searching, clipping, & then finding the deals. Not that I have anything bad to say about you coupon clippin’ fans (& bless that lady with the huge binder full of coupons!), it’s just not really my forte. BUT, I digress.

It’s far more simple & less time consuming to focus on naturally frugal foods, like rice.

I buy my rice from Costco–25 pound bags for about $11. One pound is equal to about 2 1/2 cups of uncooked rice. 1/4 cup uncooked is one serving, so if I’m doing the math right, it’s less that $.05 a serving!

The problem is, many people have no idea how to cook or eat rice. 

In my ecookbook, Simple: 15 vegan + gluten-free recipes to get you started, I share a recipe for cilantro lime rice (yum!), which, when served with some delicious Cuban black beans (also in Simple), is such a ridiculously delicious, frugal, & simple meal I wonder why we don’t eat it every day.

This is another such recipe–I make a variation on this several times a week these days (you know we’re really tightening ship as we aim to finish out our last year of getting out of debt, so these types of recipes really help to keep our grocery budget in check).

Like my Mexican rice, the secret is cooking the rice in a cast iron skillet & “frying” it in a tablespoon of oil or two before adding water.


We ate this vegetable tomato rice for dinner one night in burritos, then I ate the leftovers (I actually love the taste of the cold leftovers–I think the flavor tastes more “complete” after having an extra day to soak in the spices) the next day with a load of organic mixed super greens, lemon tahini parsley dressing (see recipe below), & a sprinkling of hemp nut seeds.

A note on the lemon tahini parsley dressing: It goes really well with my roasted yellow yukons & middle eastern lentil & parsley balsamic pesto. I made some the other day & dressed it up with a little of the lemon dressing.

Vegetable Tomato Rice & Lemon Tahini Parsley Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Serving Size: about 3/4 cup

Calories per serving: 210

Fat grams per serving: 3 g

Vegetable Tomato Rice & Lemon Tahini Parsley Dressing

Easy, frugal & simple vegetable rice.


    Vegetable Tomato Rice:
  • 2-3 TBS. olive oil
  • 3 c. long grain uncooked white rice
  • 5 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. low-sodium V8 vegetable juice (or 2, 5.5 oz. cans vegetable juice)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 c. frozen mixed veggies (I used Costco's organic veggie mix--green bean, corn, & carrot mix)
  • 1 TBS. mild chili powder
  • 1/2 TBS. minced garlic | or 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 TBS. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • Lemon Tahini Parsley Dressing:
  • 1/3 c. lemon juice (I used Italian Volcano organic lemon juice--from, you guessed it, Costco)
  • 1 TBS. agave
  • 1, 12.3 oz. box Mori-Nu silken firm tofu
  • 2 TBS. tahini paste
  • 2-3 TBS. water (to thin)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or 1 TBS. no-salt seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 TBS. fresh or dried parsley


    Vegetable Tomato Rice:
  1. Heat a cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  2. Add oil.
  3. Dice onion. I like a fine dice, but not quite minced. Add onion & minced garlic to skillet & saute for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add rice (don't rinse before adding) & stir until coated with oil & mixed with onions. Using a wooden spoon, stir for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add chili powder, garlic, paprika, cumin, & salt. Stir until spices are mixed in.
  6. Add parsley, frozen vegetables, stir.
  7. Add vegetable juice, water. Bring to a boil.
  8. Cover with a tight light, turn down to low for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat, uncover & fluff. Let sit for 5-10 more minutes before serving.
  10. Serve as a side, or over a bed of mixed greens, dressed with lemon tahini parsley dressing.
  11. Lemon Tahini Parsley Dressing:
  12. Add ingredients to blender in order listed & blend until smooth. (I did 1 cycle on the dressing setting on my Blendtec.)

Additional Nutrition Info: For Rice, per serving: 4.6 g protein, 40 g carbs, 118 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar; For Dressing: Per 2 TBS.--40 calories, 2 g fat, 2.5 g protein, 2 g sugar, 107 mg sodium

How often do you eat rice a month? 


  1. lfwfv
    on September 13, 2014 at 10:45 am said:

    We always have cooked brown rice in our fridge. My husband fills up on it and douses it with hot sauce. Cheaper, and less cooking of “real meals” for me.

  2. Lisa C.
    on September 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm said:

    We all love rice. However, I have cut way back after reading this article….


    • Janae Wise
      on September 11, 2014 at 4:28 am said:

      Hi Lisa!

      Regarding rice & arsenic, I started to respond, but then my response turned into a blog post. Read it here: http://bring-joy.com/2014/09/11/arsenic-in-rice

  3. Amanda K. @ Living on Grace
    on September 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm said:

    and double amen on the clothesline thing. i talk about that all the time on my blog. and people are always so shocked 🙂 it’s almost impossible to convince people to line dry!!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 10, 2014 at 8:25 pm said:

      I know! I LOVE line drying my clothes. It may take me a bit longer, but I love how it naturally starches my clothes, & they smell sun-kissed. And it’s FREE! It’s the best kept secret, isn’t it?

  4. April
    on September 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm said:

    We don’t eat rice very often at all-but I too am hoping to lower our monthly expenses so I may have to take it up and make it once a week!