Keep the festivities going for Hispanic Heritage Month. Create a mouth-watering dish filled with protein to keep you satisfied longer, a major factor in promoting weight loss. A punch of good nutrients from greens will also satisfy your appetite.

Ingredients

• 4 tablespoons annatto oil
• 2 cups rice
• 4 cups water
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 ½ pounds sirloin round steak, cut into strips
• 16 ounce bag stir fry vegetables, frozen
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 cup beef stock or water
• Salt and pepper to taste


Directions

1. In a medium sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  Add 2 tablespoons annatto oil and 1 teaspoon salt.
2. Add rice and boil for one additional minute.  Lower to a simmer and cook covered for an additional 20 minutes.
3. While the rice is cooking prepare the steak.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.
4. Add 2 tablespoons annatto oil to large hot skillet.  Once oil is heated through add steak and cook until brown on all sides.
5. Then add veggies and cook until heated through (about 2-3 minutes)..
6. Add tomato paste and beef stock.  Mix until well combined.  Let simmer until rice is done (about 5 minutes).
7. Serve steak over rice or mixed in the rice to increase the flavor.

Annatto Oil - To make the oil, heat ½ cup of vegetable oil over medium heat and add ¼ cup of annatto or achiote seeds (found in the international aisle of your supermarket).  Heat until the seeds begin to sizzle and the oil turns a bright orange.  About 5 minutes.  Strain the oil and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Serves 6.

Elizabeth Carrion, a Dominican, co-founded Mi Cocina, a New Jersey-based catering service that also offers cooking classes, with her sister, Ana Martinez. Follow her on Twitter: @micocinalatina and visit her website micocina-latina.com.

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