Let's get ready for spring with this light, satisfying, nutrient dense, and delicious wild rice vegetable pilaf. Filled with crunchy, sweet, sour, savory, and peppery flavor. Eat it as a meal, a side, or a snack.
Spring is officially five days away and that means that it’s time to clean my closet and swap out my winter clothes for spring and summer apparel, clean my windows (boy did they get dirty this winter), and retire the heavy, rich recipes that warmed my soul through the numerous snowstorms for my light and fresher recipes. So exciting!
As the temperatures rise and the days get longer I like to reduce my time in the kitchen. You probably do too, so for the next several months, let’s focus on foods that are easy, quick, nutritious, colorful, and outdoor friendly.
This healthy wild rice vegetable pilaf is the best, because it’s easy to make, it can stand on its own as a meal, or you can serve it as a side dish with a vegan spicy black bean and quinoa burger, or a chickpea burger. It’s filled with colorful, antioxidant rich vegetables and designed to give you a burst of sweet, savory, and peppery – thanks to the red radish.
Wild rice takes fifty-five minutes to cook, which gives you plenty of time to grate the carrots and chop the rest of the ingredients. (I like to cook the rice in vegetable stock for more flavor.) Once you prep the veggies and apple you will have some time on your hands. What will you do with that time? Will you sit on your patio with a glass of wine and a good book? Will you do a load of laundry, or clean a room? As for me, you’ll find me working in my garden until the timer goes off. I can’t wait for the landscape to change from gray and brown to an open box of Crayola crayons; a world full of color.
I have to admit it, I dirtied four forks because I kept sneaking bites of this wild rice vegetable pilaf before we ate if for dinner. The rice was so chewy and savory, and paired with the crunch of the vegetables, and the flavor combination of sweet, savory, salty, and peppery, and sour (the lemon juice dressing), it was hard not to keep snacking.
Fortunately, I didn’t need to feel guilty about my lack of discipline because not only does this pilaf taste great, it’s super healthy.
Did you know that wild rice is a grass? It’s a semi-aquatic grass that grows in lakes, tidal-rivers, and bays. It also has a bit more protein than a lot of other whole grains, and it’s high in fiber, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, Vitamin B6, and niacin. It’s also high in antioxidants. So if you’re carb shy, don’t be afraid of this nutritious powerhouse.
To make this wild rice vegetable pilaf you’ll want to start by rinsing the rice. Then bring the vegetable broth to a boil, stir in the rice, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 55 minutes or until the broth has evaporated.
I made one cup of uncooked rice, which makes three cups of cooked rice. Follow the instructions on your bag of rice. You might want to make more than three cups, and in that case you’ll want to increase the amount of vegetables that you use as well.
Once the rice is simmering you can go ahead and grate the carrots and dice the vegetables and the apple. Set them aside and make the dressing.
The dressing is as simple as it gets. You won’t need to make anything elaborate because you won’t want to mask the flavors of the rice and veggies. Just squeeze the juice of a lemon into a bowl and add 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of fresh black pepper, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk well and you’re done.
Combine the rice, vegetables, and dressing in a large bowl and you’ve got a light, nutritious, and satisfying wild rice vegetable pilaf that will fill you up without weighing you down.