Friday, January 25, 2013

One Great . . . wild rice salad

Like most of us these days, I'm trying to stay on track on my resolution promises: Eat more whole grains, keep it healthy and save a little money while I'm at it.

Packing lunch most workdays helps with the money part. It's tough finding something uptown that's under $10 by the time you add in beverage and tip. And since so much of what's available around my office is fried or cheesed, packing is healthier too.

Wild rice takes longer to cook than white rice. (Yes, I know - wild rice isn't actually a rice, it's a wild grain.) But once it's cooked, you can add a few things to it and get a tasty lunch with lots of flavor and texture. It's good cold, so it's easy to pack it along, and you can round it out with a piece of fruit or something meat-like if you must.

For this recipe, you don't want the wild rice and long grain mixes you find in many supermarkets. You want real wild rice. You can usually find it at Trader Joe's, or look in the bulk bins at health-focused supermarkets.  This makes about 3 servings, enough to take for a couple of lunches. Or you can double it for 6 servings.  

Nutty Wild Rice Salad

Adapted from "The Silver Palate Cookbook," by Sheila Lukins and Julee Rus

1/2 cup raw wild rice, rinsed
4 cups chicken stock (or half stock and half water)
1/2 cup shelled pecan halves, or chopped pecans
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 to 3 green onions, diced (white and some of the green part)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste

PLACE  the wild rice in a mediium saucepan with the stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking about 15 minutes, until the grains taste tender and the liquid is mostly gone. (Add more stock or water if it starts to cook dry.)
ADD the remaining ingredients and toss to mix well. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

YIELD: 3 to 4 servings.