It definitely isn't the same but a lot of time when I make rice I will saute a little onion, garlic, and celery in a bit of oil, add my rice to get it a little toasty (white or brown), and then add in the appropriate amount of chicken stock/broth. I'll put in a bit of salt and pepper and cook until the rice is done. You can also toast a little slivered almonds or even orzo if you want it more like actual rice a roni.
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Okay, Rice a Roni is a great treat for this family, for all my husband never cooks it right and it's all crunchy and gross.
I've been curious about this stuff, though; does anyone know of a healthy, home-made alternative to the San Francisco treat?