My Puerto Rican neighbor taught me how to prepare Arroz con Gandules from scratch, and I don't see one of the key ingredients, like the Achiote oil to give it a nice color to the rice. Also, one to remember too much liquid is not good, and the most important seasoning to add, is "SALT". Long grain white rice is best for this recipe. Not sure of using Brown Rice for this recipe, but I guess if it floats your boat, why not! Using a blender is a lazy-man way according to my neighbor, he advised me to really enjoy a true home cook meal is starting from scratch. He cooks on a open fire using dry Mesquite wood, all of his cooking equipment is made of cast-iron. I can attest to his Puerto Rican style of cooking is one of the best tasting prepared food! Also, his Pastele stew and banana wrapped Pastele is to die for! Oh! forgot to mention his Codfish salad is another one to add to his many Puerto Rican recipes!