Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fruit and Nut Pilaf

So I went to Taste of Atlanta yesterday and ate lots of great foods.  And also lots of salt.  So today I decided to try to avoid salt as much as possible.  Which is hard, since I just made vegetable soup which I was planning on eating every day for a while.  Also that used all my veggies except lettuce, but I can't eat lettuce without SOMETHING on it and everything I put on lettuce (dressing, cottage cheese, feta, etc) is high in sodium, so that was out for the day.  Which meant I had to figure out something else for dinner.  I immediate thought broccoli and brown rice, which is my go to plain healthy meal when I'm not actually hungry (somehow the vast amounts of food I ate yesterday are helping me not get too hungry today) but know I need to get some nutrition.  But I decided to shake it up a little with this Kashi 7 Grain Pilaf I bought a while ago but haven't used.  But I clearly need to flavor the pilaf, and I'm trying to avoid salt, so instead I decided to play it sweet.  I followed the basic directions for the pilaf and decided to throw a little dried fruit in too.  i like the way dried fruit plays when it's added in the middle of cooking oatmeal, so why not some other grain?  Another great thing about this is sometimes I hate cooking 4 portions of everything and having to find room for leftovers.  This can be made to feed one, which is perfect.  Note I also had broccoli with this, but I cooked that first since I only have one small saucepan.

This is definitely customizable in terms of fruits and nuts based on what is in your pantry.  But make sure not to add too much dried fruit, it expands a lot.  Also note I added a squirt of lemon juice, but I didn't like it in there.

Fruit and Nut Pilaf
(serves 1)
1/4 c Kashi 7 grain pilaf
3/4 c water (this is more than the directions call for because the fruit absorbs a lot of the water)
2 dried apricots, cut into small pieces (this doesn't sound like much but they expand a lot)
2 tsp dried cranberries.
sprinkle dried basil
pinch of black pepper
pinch (I did a very small pinch) of sea salt
2 tsp toasted almonds (I keep a few tablespoons of these at all times)

Bring the water and pilaf to a boil, then add the fruit (or most of the fruit, it is nice to have a little added at the end for a texture difference) and basil, salt, and pepper.  Cook until most of the water is absorbed.  Add any remaining fruit and nuts, stirring until all the water is absorbed (about 20 minutes).  Check the texture of the pilaf to make sure it is done enough, if not, add a little more water and cook until the water is absorbed.

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