Healthy Holiday Side Dish: Wild Rice + Pecans + Cranberries

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I'm giving away all my secrets with this post. This recipe is the dish I usually bring to family holiday gatherings and now everyone will know how embarrassingly easy it is. :)This dish is healthy, so delicious, festive for the holidays, and E-A-S-Y. It's great for the entirety of the fall and winter seasons, but it's perfect for holiday gatherings. Why? Because it's a real crowd pleaser, it's easy for you to make, and it's easily doubled (or tripled!) for a large crowd. Plus, it's healthy and light in the midst of super rich holidays meals.

As for ingredients, I always use Uncle Ben's Wild Rice. There are usually 2 versions at the grocery store: the regular box (takes 20-something minutes) or you can be extra lazy like me and buy the Fast Cook 5 minute version. Either one works. If you do decide to double the recipe, there are instructions on the box for how much extra water you'll need. For the dried cranberries, I buy a bag of Craisins and get the 50% Less Sugar bag. Even if you're not a huge cranberry fan, try it! These are SO yummy in this recipe. They give a great texture and really balance out the flavors of the dish nicely. As for the green onions, I've made this dish plenty of times omitting them, and the dish is just as good. Let's call that ingredient optional.Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
1 Box Uncle Ben's Wild Rice
1/2 cup plain Pecans
1/2 cup Craisins (50% Less Sugar Bag)
2 tablespoons good quality Olive Oil (1 tbsp for cooking and 1 tbsp for adding at the end)
1 stalk Green Onion, chopped (optional)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

​• Preheat oven to 350 degress F.
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the pecans on this and roast for a total of about 8 minutes, stirring or shaking half way through. You'll want them slightly browned and aromatic. Take them out before they scorch or they'll be ruined. Let them cool, and then break them into pieces with your hands. Chopping them is just too messy.
• Take the box of wild rice and cook according to the instructions on the box. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to this when you're initially mixing it all together. When it's done cooking, remove from heat.
• Add the toasted pecans, dried cranberries, green onion, the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to the rice and stir together.
• That's really it. EAT!
​Love & Light.
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