April 26, 2015

Wild Rice with Cranberries, Mushrooms and Almonds {recipe}

With spring and warmer temperatures, I get inspired to eat healthier. I wish that was the case in the colder months as well, but sadly I crave comfort foods to keep me warm that time of year. It's like I need to start over again every spring.

Along with eating healthier, I've started using a Fitbit tracker and really love how it keeps me mindful of how much I'm moving (or not) during the day. I have a desk job, so having this reminder to get up and walk around periodically is very helpful. It's also a great way to have a quick "recharge" so you can focus on the task at hand after getting a little movement in to add some steps to your total count for the day.

After a restock of the fridge and pantry between Saturday and today, I'm ready to start the week with a meal plan in place and some healthy foods to ensure I can stick to my healthy eating plan. Today, I tinkered with a recipe for Wild Rice with Cranberries that I found in Betty Crocker's Whole Grains cookbook that I've had for a few years. I loved the idea behind the recipe, but didn't want to drag out the crockpot for this one (which is what the recipe had in the instructions). I opted to cook it on the stovetop and it was ready in about 20-25 minutes. So, not really necessary to keep the crockpot running all day for this one dish.

Wild rice blend with cranberries,almonds and mushrooms. #lunch #healthy #weekendprep

I also ended up adding some garlic powder since the recipe really didn't have enough flavor once it was done. That's one of the great things about having a nicely stocked spice cabinet and adding flavor at the end of cooking... just take a small taste and then add in a little bit of whatever flavor you think is missing. You might think the sweetness of the cranberries wouldn't blend well with the garlic powder, but it really added a nice contrast to the dish.

This recipe would be a great weeknight side dish to go with grilled chicken or packaged up in smaller containers for lunch during the week. Which is exactly what I did with it. If I prep things ahead of time, it takes the "thinking" out of the equation when it's a busy morning.

Wild rice blend with cranberries almonds and mushrooms #lunch #healthy

My Oldest noticed I was making this earlier today and thought it smelled delicious. Once it was ready, he was first to come in and ask for a taste. He ended up having a portion for his lunch today. So, healthy can be appealing when it has a blend of flavors and textures that are satisfying.

Wild Rice with Cranberries, Mushrooms and Almonds

Recipe by Adapted from Betty Crocker's Whole Grains Cookbook
Yield: 8 servings

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice blend (I used one with Texmati rice, white, brown, wild and red rice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup scallions, sliced
  • 4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 24 ounces vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
Cooking Directions
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan, then add the rice blend and stir until mixed well with the butter. Add the salt, pepper, scallions, mushrooms and vegetable broth; bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes then allow to stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.

  2. Add almonds and cranberries and stir to combine. Serve hot.

Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.

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