Garden Wild Rice
Makes 4 servings
1⁄2 cup wild rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup pea pods
1 cup roast chicken, cut into cubes
1 avocado, cubed
1⁄2 cup red grapes, halved
1⁄3 cup pecans
1⁄4 cup bottled balsamic vinaigrette
1⁄4 cup feta cheese
Cook rice with broth according to package directions.
In a separate pot, add pea pods to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge pods into ice water to stop cooking and when cool, cut in half.
In a large bowl, add rice, pea pods, chicken, avocado, grapes, pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette. Mix well. Sprinkle feta cheese on top.
TD&N Nutrient Analysis: Calories: 364; Total Fat: 22 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g; Cholesterol: 38 mg; Sodium: 519 mg; Carbohydrates: 27 g; Fiber: 6 g; Protein: 18 g
Three must-know tips for perfect rice every time
1) The right ratio is generally 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. During cooking, if your rice looks dry but isn’t done, add more water; if the rice is done but soupy, drain excess water with a mesh strainer.
2) Rice cookers are ideal for hands-off, set-itand-forget-it cooking. The device cooks the rice completely, then shuts off automatically to a warm setting to keep rice ready to eat. Because of its tight seal, you’ll need to use slightly less water when cooking.
3) For a complete how-to, refer to cookbooks catering to the joy of rice, including The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook (www.harvardcommonpress.com) and Roger Ebert’s The Pot and How to Use It (www.andrewsmcmeel.com).
Rice comes in many forms, and eating a variety will keep your taste buds happy and your heart healthy. Here’s a primer on some popular types:
- Brown short grain: Use it in dishes that call for a creamy texture, such as desserts, puddings, paella, and risotto.
- Brown medium and long grain: With fluffier grains, these are well suited to pilafs, salads, and stir-fries.
- Brown basmati or jasmine: With a subtle aromatic fragrance, these are good choices for side dishes and desserts.
- Wild rice: Technically a seed (but considered a whole grain), it goes best in soups, stews, pilafs, salads, and sides.
- Himalayan/Bhutanese red rice: With a lovely red color and nutty flavor when cooked, it combines well with other grains, such as wild rice in pilafs, and goes well alongside pork or lamb dishes. (Note: Use 11⁄2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice during cooking.)
- Purple Thai rice and Chinese black rice: High in antioxidants and sweeter in flavor, these impart a deep reddish-blue and purple hue, respectively, when cooked. They’re best in fruity desserts but also pair well with savory dishes.