Fiesta Month: A Side Dish Classic

Yes, I know, Easter is this weekend. As much as I love this holiday it hasn’t meant anything since moving here to Colorado. I miss my big extended family Easter gathering. Maybe once little tummy and tiny tummy are old enough to enjoy the traditional festivities it will become special again.

So for now I’m going to bypass this holiday and celebrate another one happening this month. FIESTA!!! Surprisingly, it is the one time of year that I get the most homesick. Fiesta celebrations in San Antonio are a huge ordeal. It lasts for a week and a half and schools actually get a holiday on the last Friday so that everyone can enjoy the celebrations.

Sure, downtown San Antonio turns into one big long party with drunken fools crowding the streets. I went to NIOSA once. Not the best thing to attend for someone who hates crowds. I still had fun even though it was elbow to elbow all night and beer being spilled on me left and right. So what’s to love about Fiesta, you ask? Just the colors, the music, the dancing, the cascarones, the parades, the dresses, and of course THE FOOD! In short: the culture. It’s San Antonio at its best. The city comes alive. Check out this page to see all the events that happen each year.

I have fond memories of mini float parades at school. Each student had to create their own float out of a shoe box and then we would have a small parade in the courtyard for our parents. I even had an authentic dress to wear one year. I wish I still had that dress. Once I find the picture of me in it I’ll post it on here. Now, I know cascarones are not vegan at all, but everyone has a past. They were a blast and fun to make so I’m hanging on to that memory too!

In my way to partake in Fiesta I have decided to post all of my San Antonio-inspired Mexican recipes all month long that I’ve been saving up. To kick things off I am sharing my Spanish rice recipe today. You can see this rice in my post for the Green Chile Taco Cups. Every time I make tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas, or the tamale feast I made this past Sunday for guests (as seen on my IG account), this is my default side dish. You can make this as spicy as you want by choosing to leave out certain ingredients or using more of one or another.

This rice will go great with the enchilada recipe I will share in a few weeks so stay tuned!

Mama Tummy's Spanish Rice

Mama Tummy’s Spanish Rice

vegan, soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, oil-free option*

serves about 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (*use water or vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (or whatever pepper you’d like for desired spiciness)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 15 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper OR dried jalapeno (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, saute onion in oil for 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat. Add jalapeno and garlic, saute another minute.
  2. Stir in rice and cook, while stirring, until the rice gets lightly toasted. This should take about 5 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 50 to 60 minutes, or until water has been absorbed.
  4. Keep covered, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve. Enjoy!

Mama Tummy's Spanish Rice

Mama Tummy's Spanish Rice

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