So many tastes and textures packed into one easy and healthy rice dish. Mix it up with whatever you have in your fridge!
Sometimes plain old rice gets boring. In fact for me, that’s the case most of the time. When it comes to rice, Mr. EN and I enjoy it most when it’s jazzed up with little bits and pieces of whatever we can find in our cupboard or refrigerator. That’s how I came up with the perfect accompaniment to our main dish tonight, this Cranberry-Almond Rice with Kale and Apples.
We’re tired this week and you know what? It’s ONLY Tuesday. We’ve been extra busy with holiday prep (gift-wrapping, food-making, holiday cheer-spreading), you know the drill. Plus, last night was NOT a great night: Daughter number 2 and I spent an hour in the emergency room of our local hospital watching Mr. EN get his fingertip glued back on after a nasty confrontation – while HE was fixing dinner – with an off-the-charts- super-sharp, Benriner mandoline. (Needless to say, The Benriner won and dinner was NOT served.) In my defense I have told Mr. EN, no less than a dozen times, to USE THE FINGER GUARD that comes with the mandolin but you know men…
Like most people, our energy is waning this week, and with one of our Christmas elves (Mr. EN) down and only 6 more days ‘til Christmas …we still gotta eat! So tonight I whipped up this Cranberry-Almond Rice with Kale and Apples and served it with my healthy and quick Honey Mustard Salmon (the subject of a future post).
I’m not exactly sure what to call this rice dish. It’s sort of a salad and sort of a pilaf. All of the flavors and textures work so well together: sweet and juicy apples, bold earthy kale, crunchy almonds, subtly tart cranberries, and a zippy quick-to-fix vinaigrette that compliments – and ties it all together.
I hope you’ll try it. And, BTW, don’t be afraid to double or triple the recipe and to change it up with whatever greens, dried fruit, or nuts you’ve got lying around. The leftovers make for a quick, fiber-filled, healthy and tasty lunch. Enjoy your holiday!
Peace, love and good eats; from our empty nest to yours.
Cranberry-Almond Rice with Kale and Apples
Yield 3 servings
- 1 ½ cups cooked brown basmati rice, cooled to room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Olive Cart, Lemon Avocado Oil, or plain olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ fresh lemon, juiced (*see note below)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3-4 leaves, Dinosaur/Lacinato Kale, de-stemmed and sliced very thin, chiffonade-style
- 2-3 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons diced green onion
- 1 small apple, cored and diced
- Optional – 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the rice in a pot or rice cooker using this ratio: 2 parts brown basmati rice to 1 ½ parts water or broth.
- When the cooking time is over, immediately remove the lid from the pot or rice cooker and let the steam begin to escape. Using a fork, gently toss the rice every few minutes, for a total of 15 minutes, allowing more and more steam to escape. This helps the rice grains remain separate and not sticky or clumpy. Do not stir the rice over and over again. Just toss it gently to let as much steam escape as possible. You need 1 ½ cups of cooked rice for this recipe.
- In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and fresh lemon juice.
- Place the room temperature rice in a medium-size bowl. Add the chopped kale, green onions, diced apple, toasted almonds, fresh parsley (if using) and vinaigrette dressing, from step 3. Combine gently.
- Finish with a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
- * In this recipe I used Lemon Avocado Oil, from our local Olive Cart You can substitute either plain olive oil or another oil such as canola oil or plain avocado oil. If you use the Lemon Avocado Oil you may need to reduce or omit the fresh lemon juice to suit your taste.
- Other things I would add to this if they were in my fridge: sliced radishes, chopped spinach, ripe pear chunks, diced English cucumber, shelled edamame, defrosted frozen peas and maybe a little crumbled goat cheese.
Serving Size one very full cup
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium 210 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 4 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.