I am not one to normally follow recipes. Even when I try, I seem to go astray, but last night I almost managed to perfectly follow one (almost!).
Over the past few months of transition and bopping around, I got out of the routine of fun, creative cooking.
Getting back into the swing of things has been a little blah-inducing. Luckily, a dear friend sent me a fantastic cookbook for Christmas called “Veggiyana: The Dharma of Cooking” by Sandra Garson. I’ve been getting lots of great inspiration from these wholesome vegetarian recipes all week and it’s helping me feel excited about cooking again. Often times I get bogged down by recipes in cookbooks because they are so elaborate, but the recipes in this one are very accessible and so flavorful.
Yesterday we went skiing up at Copper. It was a beautiful day, but by the time we got back to Denver, we were pretty tuckered out (a full day of skiing preceded by a long Ashtanga yoga practice takes it out of you!). I wanted to make something not too complicated, heavy or messy for dinner so I tried this recipe for wild rice with clementines, cranberries and pecans and served it with a side of sauteed garlic and spinach. Delicious!
I love wild rice in the cold months. It’s very nutritious, hearty and nourishing. The tart sweetness of the fruits and rasberry vinegar match nicely with the nutty texture of the rice. The other thing that I love about this recipe is that it gave me a use for the many clementines in my fridge. I always fall prey to those big boxes of “cuties” at the grocery store but normally fail to eat them all.
The recipe that follows is pretty much directly from Garson’s book with only a few minor modifications. I can’t claim any creative genius here, but if you like it, I totally recommend you check out the entire cookbook.
(Makes enough for 5 or 6 servings – great for leftovers!)
- 4 cups of cooked wild rice (I used 2 cups of dry rice and it more than doubled)
- 1 cup of pecan halves
- 2 or 3 seedless clementines, peeled, segmented and cut in halves
- Handful of dried cranberries (use the fruit juice-sweetened kind instead of the sugary ones)
- Splash of fresh orange juice (or if you don’t have any, just squeeze the juice from a few clementine segments)
- 2 tsp of rasberry vinegar
- 1/4 cup of a good fruity olive oil
- pinch of sea salt and black pepper
- 1/3 cup of chopped fresh parsley for garnish
~ Rinse and cook the wild rice for 45 minutes or so.
~ Meanwhile, whisk together the orange juice, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil.
~ Toast the pecan halves in a dry hot skillet for a few minutes.
~ Fill a large bowl with the cooked rice. Toss in the halved segments, pecans, cranberries (adding more depending on how the colors arrange themselves- you want it to look pretty!) and then dress with the vinaigrette.
~ Serve warm or cold.
Have a wonderful weekend.