Yes… that’s my family, in all our pre-Thanksgiving dinner glory after the annual Turkey Trot. No you didn’t miss Thanksgiving, this is last year! I am getting excited though for our gathering time to give thanks, eat, hang out and well be crazy.
With the day fast approaching I start thinking about what kind of food I want to share. It’s time to make up a batch of kale chips, seed crackers, hummus and dips oh my, and what to make for that feasting day?
I don’t try to change or compete with Momma’s recipes, she’s too good and I will be eating at least one of her homemade yeast rolls! I do however try to make some Plant Based yummy dish or two to share and for me to feast on. It has been years since I have partaken of “the bird.” I used to just eat the special made for me dressing, potatoes, and rolls, and pie, the usual suspects, however a few years ago I started adding to the dinner. My Momma threatened last year not to make dinner, but I told her she needs to remember that 98% of the family would revolt, and I would probably be banned from any family gathering in the future.
So we gather together in Momma’s kitchen and she makes her magic with traditional dishes and I add a little Plant based goodies of my own. The thing is I haven’t yet come up with a “menu” that is a repeat, other than I believe brussels sprouts may have to repeat. As I was looking through the recipes yesterday I found this little beauty that, according to my notes I made in 2011 (so I don’t think I have shared it with you all). I am not sure it will be on the table this year, but it is possible! It is an easy, but extremely tasty Wild Rice Pilaf! The beauty of this in my scenario is that it can also be made a day ahead, therefore I don’t invade Momma’s space too bad 🙂 In the past I was never one to add fruits to my food, but this is what makes this dish so festive. It has cranberries, apricots and raisins in it, that is not only tasty, but beautiful! I really wish I had a picture, and I probably do… somewhere, but I will share the sight that it came from and you can head over there and see how tempting it looks… and you won’t be disappointed with the taste either!
So what are you hoping is on the Thanksgiving table this year?
Cranberry, Apricot and Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf (GF + vegan)
Inspired by Bon Appétit
Yield: 4.5-5 cups
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (use less if watching fat, can use coconut oil too yum)
- 1.5 cups chopped celery + 1/2 cup, divided
- 1 heaping cup chopped sweet onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 & 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
- 2 cups vegetable broth (be sure to use gluten-free if required)
- 1 & 1/2 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4-1 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) + black pepper as desired
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to 325F and toast the pecans for about 7-8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. Sautee onion, oil, and garlic in a skillet over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 1.5 cups chopped celery and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
3. Add wild rice, broth, bay leaf, and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low medium and then cover with lid. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through.
4. After 30 minutes, uncover, stir, and continue cooking for 20-30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Note that wild rice cooking times can vary a lot so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
5. Remove bay leaf and stir in the dried fruit. Season to taste and stir in the sliced fresh cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped raw celery. Stir in toasted pecans.
Note: Dish can be made 1 day in advance. Do not add pecans until just before serving. Allow to cool then place in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in a skillet just before serving and stir in pecans.
NOTE: Thanksgiving 2011. This was so good and easy! Will have to remember this for anytime! This would be good stuffed into some acorn squash too!