[Food Tip: Wild rice is called a rice because it is the seed of a cereal grass, but technically it is an aquatic grain, since it is the seed of a marsh grass that grows in the Northern Great Lakes area. It has a hazelnut flavor, is dark-brown in color, and is chewy. American Indians called wild rice “mahnomen,” which means “gift of the gods.”]
This rich and filling salad goes well with roast chicken, turkey, or pork. It is a beautiful addition to a holiday menu, too. If you have leftovers, make a one-serving frittata by placing 1 cup of this rice/vegetable dish in a small frying pan along with two whipped eggs. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until eggs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Salt to taste.
3 cups fat-free chicken broth (amount will vary depending on rice)
1 cup wild rice, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 pound shiitake, crimini, or portabello mushroom, stems removed and sliced into
1 1/2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into quarters
2/3 of a large yellow onion, cut into 1-inches wedges
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1) In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth to boil. Add rice, cover, return to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until rice is done, approximately 50 minutes (kernels crack, revealing the fluffy white interior). Amount of fluid will vary depending on rice; you may need to add additional broth or drain rice when done. Makes approximately 3 cups of cooked rice.
2) Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, blend olive oil, vinegar, thyme, and garlic. Set aside.
3) While rice is cooking, spray two cookie sheets with cooking spray. Arrange carrots on one side and mushrooms on the other side of one sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Spray a second cookie sheet and arrange red peppers and onions on opposing sides, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Place both cookie sheets in oven. Roast vegetables for approximately 30 minutes or until tender, turning twice.
3) Drain rice if necessary, transfer to a medium bowl, and blend in vinaigrette. Add vegetables while rice is still warm. Thoroughly stir and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend and mushrooms to absorb some of the liquid. Serve at room temperature. Makes 6 cups.
Nutritional Analysis per cup: 195 Calories; 25 percent fat (5.4 grams); <1 gram saturated fat; 14 percent protein; 61 percent carbohydrate; 5.4 grams fiber.