Wild Rice Salad
Still on #babywatch here but using that to my advantage to get back to blogging since I’m still feeling pretty good. I know for most people the second trimester is THE trimester but I’m still saying that the third is the best – even though I’m at the point where I want to meet the little one. Last weekend my mom and sister came up and we stocked our freezer full of delicious vegetarian treats, some that have been featured here, a few from my SRC blog last week, and some other random ones from the internet. The random ones I plan to feature here as we make them as I was able to test the changes I made, we just made them! Some of them I’m not worried about, such as switching in vegetable stock for chicken or doubling beans/vegetables in place of ground meat, while the ones involving switching chicken for tofu could be a bit more interesting. Enough about that, time for today’s recipe.
This recipe is about as easy as it gets – and since it can be served hot or cold it can be on the table in under 30 minutes! Thanks to the warm fall a few of the local markets are still selling cherry and plum tomatoes, so I took advantage and grabbed a pint of some yellow cherries. From there, dinner created itself!
I served this naked but to stretch it even further, and to give it a bigger nutritional boost, serve over some massaged kale or baby spinach. Make sure to add extra oil if there happen to be leftovers, otherwise the rice will dry out and start to clump. However I doubt there will be any leftovers as this dish is FANTASTIC! I kept my cold the next day while Joe warmed his up in order to melt the cheese – but there is no right or wrong way to enjoy this dish.
Acorn Squash with Dried Fruit
When I saw the challenge for /r/52weeksofcooking was Native American – I was a bit nervous but not for any of the normal reasons. Recently there has been some uproar on blogger “feedback” sites about the insensitivity of bloggers as it relates to other cultures/religions/practices with a focus on cultural approbation. While I would hope that posting a recipe would not be considered cultural stealing, I still paused to weigh if it would be worth being a potential target on one of those more venomous sites, especially after “yelpgate” a few weeks ago. In the end I decided that sharing recipes should always be allowed, regardless of where (or where not) a person is from. After all, everyone has to eat!
In the end, it’s a balancing act – and I can only hope that this post strikes the right note as I would really like to avoid getting messages (again) about how I need to be hit by a truck. I enjoyed this dish as is, while my cheese loving spouse adding some Parmesan Cheese to his. I think in the future I’ll go full stew, instead of debating back and forth while making the dish.
I’m also sending this over to Simple and in Season, hosted by the always fabulous Ren Behan since Acorn Squash is in its prime right now – and there is something very fall-like when it comes to dried fruit treats.
Wild Rice with Spinach, Feta, and Tomatoes
I think it’s finally safe to start packing up the winter sweaters and jackets and start bringing out summer dresses and shorts. Mother nature seems to have finally made up her mind regarding the weather and I could not be more pleased! Joe and I got our garden planted yesterday and now I’m looking out the window keeping my fingers crossed that something will grow. I have dreams of juicy tomatoes and yellow squash with some nice peppers to add even more flavor and color to my summer recipes.
I have done wild rice recipes before but I’m trying to incorporate more leafy greens into my diet. With that I’m also trying to not saute them to death or coat them in butter in an attempt to make them into something they’re not. With this recipe I added them straight to the rice, allowing the heat of the dish to wilt them until they were perfect and tender. At the last moment I also added some chickpeas in order to make it a more well rounded dinner, instead of the side for the bbq tofu that never happened.
I served the rice with oregano bread and it was just right although in the future I’ll probably add a nice side salad.
Wild Rice w/Chickpeas
I’ll admit it, sometimes I’m lazy when it comes to cooking. While I try to cook 100% from scratch as much as possible sometime I go the Sandra Lee route and use a prepared food as the base for my recipes. Normally I do this because I am craving something outside of my skill level but occasionally it’s because I don’t have the time during the week to do all that I need to do during the day and still have dinner on the table at a reasonable hour. The challenge I find with these shortcuts is making sure I’m not sacrificing quality or adding more sodium/calories then I need. This recipe is one of those where it is very important to check the label first. When looking for a wild rice kit I found ones ranging from 20mg to 80mg to 220mg to over 300mg a serving. I would up going with the Wild Grains brand which was right around 80mg per serving, after a second look showed that the 20mg variety had mini serving sizes compared to the others and would wind up being closer to 80mg once all was said and done. In the past I have also used the Whole Foods brand Wild Rice with great results, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Wegmanns will eventually have a variety as well.
– 1 box wild rice mix (look for one that will be around 3 1/2 cups when finished)
– 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1/2 white onion, diced
– 3 Plum Tomatoes, diced
– 1/2 cup crumbled feta – divided (or crumbled soft tofu for vegan version)
– pepper to taste
1. Prepare the wild rice per instructions on box but subtract 5minutes from the cook time suggested. Add the chickpeas, stir, and cook 3minutes over medium heat. Add in the tomatoes and 1/4 cup of the feta, mix well and cook an additional 5minutes.
2. Season to taste then top with the remaining cheese. Serve warm!
There is something about having dinner ready to go in under 30minutes, especially after a long day at work. The ease of this dish also makes it a great Meatless Monday dish, no excuses that it takes too long to prepare or that it contains hard to find ingredients or too many “strange” vegetables. It is also easily adapted for vegans, just switch the feta for either a vegan mock-feta or crumble up some soft tofu for all the texture and some added protein.