Sides usually offer up a lot of calories, and if they don’t, they lack on flavor. Not this recipe. To cut down on the calories, it only adds dried fruit and pecans to get a nice burst of flavor.
You can experiment with what dried fruits to use, but I’m posting what I used on my first attempt.
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice-brown rice mix
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and bell pepper (trinity), stirring occasionally until softened (about 8 minutes).
- Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Add rice, stirring to toast, for about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper and 1 1/2 cups water. Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover, stir, and continue cooking, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (about another 20 to 40 minutes).
- Meanwhile, spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast 5 to 7 minutes (until fragrant). Once toasted, remove from oven and set aside.
- Now, discard bay leaf from rice and stir in pecans and dried fruit. Let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes.
- Season stuffing to taste and fold in dried fruit and pecans.
No butter, no fat (maybe a minute amount from the broth), but a lot of flavor.
This dish goes well with anything and you can really use it as a stuffing if you’re cooking a turkey or other bird that can be stuffed.