Creamy Vegetable Rice

I've managed to eliminate another packaged, processed item from my kitchen cupboards.  Sorry Uncle Ben, we're finished.
I have my new favourite taco seasoning, and my easy homemade vanilla coffee creamer.  And now this creamy vegetable rice dish.  It is as good as those convenient store bought packages, and almost as easy to make.  I had this ready in the amount of time it took to bake some chicken and boil some corn on the cob.  Some chopping, some stirring, some simmering, et voila!  A side dish made from real, easily pronounceable ingredients, that's tasty enough to have the kids looking for seconds.
Start with some chopped veggies.
Spices, sauteed vegetables, and the beginnings of the creamy sauce.  These pictures aren't great.  We were having a wild thunderstorm and it was as dark as night outside.
Red peppers are added near the end.
Cooked rice is stirred in.
And dinner is ready.
Creamy Vegetable Rice

1 cup uncooked rice
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium sized carrot, finely diced 
2 celery ribs, finely diced
1/2 small onion, minced 
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 red pepper, diced 
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk (I used half milk and half cream)
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Cook your rice according to the package directions.

In a large pan, melt butter and oil together and saute vegetables until softened, 5-7 minutes.  It's OK to add a little more butter to the pan if it seems to get dry.  Add minced garlic and sprinkle flour over vegetables.  Stir until flour is absorbed, then gradually pour in chicken broth, then milk, continuing to stir to prevent lumps as it thickens.  Stir in salt, pepper, dried parsley, red pepper, and simmer for five minutes, stirring constantly.  Add cooked rice, stir to combine, and allow to simmer for a couple more minutes.  The sauce will continue to thicken so add more milk if necessary.

This will serve four as a side dish.  Or two teenage boys shovelling straight from the pan.

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