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Wild rice pilaf with apples and cranberries

Wild rice pilaf with apples and cranberries recipe

Unlike some overly-restrictive diet fads that focus on only a single food group, the Mayo Clinic Diet approaches weight loss and nutrition as a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. The diet encourages you to break your unhealthy eating habits and replace them with a considered diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and modest amounts of unsaturated fats.

If you’ve had your fill of cabbage soup, you might want to try one of the 200 meals from The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook. Full of wholesome, seasonal recipes, it is clear the Mayo Clinic has no intention of testing your willpower and endurance with a punishing (or even dangerous) diet. Those diets work well at first but ultimately leave you worse off than you started by depriving you of essential nutrition. Instead, the Mayo Clinic focuses on flavor, with superb recipes designed to keep you healthy and out of the drive thru.

I first made this unbelievable wild rice pilaf using an uncredited recipe on another food blog. I’d never tried a pilaf with this many extra mixins before — onions and mushrooms were about as exciting as it got — so wild rice with apples, toasted almonds and dried cranberries was pretty adventurous. The dish came together beautifully. Savory, sweet, salty, crunchy and a little tart, it was easily the best rice pilaf I had ever eaten — certainly the best I’d ever cooked. And as luck would have it, my sister had stopped by our house on an errand and I made her up a plastic container of the rice to take home, but it never left the kitchen. She was impressed as I was and I accepted her gushing compliments with the same kind of pride I normally reserved for particularly good barbecue or the occasional batch of Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispies treats (which are easy to make, granted, but people legit lose their minds over them).

For years, I made this recipe without knowing it’s true origin, until one day I found the exact same recipe on another blog, but this time it was appropriately credited. I followed the link to the Mayo Clinic website and discovered an absolute treasure trove of amazing recipes. I mean, I had been floored by one of their side dish recipes and here was everything from curried pork tenderloin in apple cider to a Hawaiian calzone (wha-at?). How this amazing little side dish came from a weight-loss cookbook still seems impossible.

So, if you’re looking to slim down and shape up, you don’t have to live off of half a grapefruit. Get over to the Mayo Clinic website right now and pick yourself out a dish, you’ll be better for it.

Recipe from www.mayoclinic.org.

Image: ForkingSpoon



Wild rice pilaf with apples and cranberries recipe

Yields8 Servings

This wild rice pilaf with apples and cranberries isn't just a nutritious side from the Mayo Clinic, it might just be the best rice dish you've ever had.

Prep Time15 minsCook Time1 hrTotal Time1 hr 15 mins

Ingredients

 cooking spray
 ¼ cup slivered almonds
 3 cups water
 5 ½ cups wild rice
 ½ cup dried cranberries
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
 1 tablespoon sugar
 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and finely chopped

Instructions

1

Toast the almonds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet or cake pan with cooking spray and spread the slivered almonds evenly in the pan. Cook the almonds for 5 minutes and stir the nuts, moving the outer almonds towards the center or by gently shaking a cake pan. Cook for an additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until the nuts are browned and become fragrant. Transfer the almonds to a plate to cool. The almonds will continue to cook and likely burn if they are left to cool in the pan used to toast them.

2

Prepare and cook the rice
Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add the rice. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. Check the rice occasionally as it is cooking and add water as necessary to keep the rice from drying out and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Drain the rice through the fine mesh strainer and return to the saucepan. Add the dried cranberries. Place a folded kitchen towel under the lid, cover and set aside.

3

Finish the rice
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar and sugar. Add the apples and toss with the oil and vinegar mixture. Garnish with the toasted almonds.


Notes

Although it is a botanical relative to rice, wild rice is actually a type of grass found in the lakes, rivers and streams throughout the Great Lakes region and has been harvested since prehistoric times. Wild rice is properly cooked when the kernels are soft and tender and have burst open. The rice should still be a bit chewy. Overcooked kernels will curl.

Ingredients

 cooking spray
 ¼ cup slivered almonds
 3 cups water
 5 ½ cups wild rice
 ½ cup dried cranberries
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
 1 tablespoon sugar
 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and finely chopped

Directions

1

Toast the almonds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet or cake pan with cooking spray and spread the slivered almonds evenly in the pan. Cook the almonds for 5 minutes and stir the nuts, moving the outer almonds towards the center or by gently shaking a cake pan. Cook for an additional 4 to 6 minutes, or until the nuts are browned and become fragrant. Transfer the almonds to a plate to cool. The almonds will continue to cook and likely burn if they are left to cool in the pan used to toast them.

2

Prepare and cook the rice
Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add the rice. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the rice is tender. Check the rice occasionally as it is cooking and add water as necessary to keep the rice from drying out and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Drain the rice through the fine mesh strainer and return to the saucepan. Add the dried cranberries. Place a folded kitchen towel under the lid, cover and set aside.

3

Finish the rice
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar and sugar. Add the apples and toss with the oil and vinegar mixture. Garnish with the toasted almonds.

Wild rice pilaf with apples and cranberries


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