Feb 28, 2013

IHCC: Meat Free But Flavorful

We're doing meatless at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week.

My pick was a type of dish I like to make on a Sunday afternoon for my lunch during the week.

This rice pilaf, based on Madhur Jaffrey's Rice Pilaf w/ Almonds and Raisins, makes a large amount.  I used some as a bed for for Silken Chicken

and the rest as a meatless lunch for a couple of days.

The recipe starts by sizzling a cinnamon stick oil, setting up a flavorful base for cooking the rice.

One of the reasons I like to cook dishes like this is that they make it easy to use straggler ingredients.  The little chunk of ginger leftover from another Jaffrey recipe.  The lone carrot in the fridge.  Pistachios and dried cranberries from the pantry.  Green onion from the garden.

All cooked along with basmati rice to make a colorful, sweet and savory, healthy dish.


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*The original recipe can be found here.

Rice Pilaf w/ Pistachios and Cranberries
based on Madhur Jaffrey's Rice Pilaf w/ Almonds and Raisins

2 c basmati rice
2 Tbsp olive oil
one 2" cinnamon stick
1 small onion, sliced into thin half rings
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 carrot, sliced
3 Tbsp coarsely chopped pistachios, reserve 1 Tbsp for garnish
3 Tbsp coarsely chopped dried cranberries, reserve 1 Tbsp for garnish
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 c water
2 green onions, chopped (green and white parts)

Add the oil to a pan with a tight fitting lid.  Heat over med-high.  Add the cinnamon stick to the hot oil and let it sizzle for about 10 seconds.  Add the onions, ginger, and carrot.  Stir fry until the onions start to brown a little.  Add the pistachios and cranberries and stir for a few seconds.  Stir in the rice and salt and stir fry until the rice is opaque.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Cover and lower heat to low.  Cook for about 25 minutes.

Fluff rice with a fork and gently mix in the green onion.  Sprinkle the top with the reserved pistachios and cranberries and serve.


  1. YUM this looks good too.. By the way I am posting my version of your ribs tonight... with a link back to your recipe.

  2. looks so colorful and inviting

  3. Dried cranberries and pistachios sound so delcious and exotic. The colours in the dish you have used match the rice pilaf perfectly.

  4. I just read that we are supposed to eat 47 pistachios a day. (not sure why 47 as opposed to 45 or 50). And while I like pistachios just straight out of the shell, it's always good to find other ways to use them like in this dish.
    I need to go meatless more often---this looks really good.

  5. Hey Michelle! Thanks for stopping by Foodtastic Friday! Good luck on the career change!!

  6. Your rice pilaf looks delicious! I could have seconds on the rice alone! I can imagine having this with some meat curry too! Yum!

  7. Cranberries and pistachios in rice pilaf- I am in love! :) I want to try this!

    I am looking forward to See Ya In The Gumbo!

    Following you on Google+!

    Joy from Yesterfood

  8. I'm a vegetarian and this is such a great dish for me :)
    I also loooooooooooove cinnamon, so thanks a bunch for this recipe :)

  9. I love these types of dishes with all the different textures, the chewiness and sweetness of the cranberries and the crunch of the salty pistachios. It probably wouldn't last the week with me around :)

  10. I love that you used cranberries in this instead of raisins. Prettier color and better taste! ;-) I may have to "borrow" your idea and make this.

  11. Love this kind of dish, especially as you say being able to use up a few "stragglers". Love the cranberries and pistachios in here - great texture and very pretty.


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