Cranberry Wild Rice & Buckwheat Salad

Cranberry Wild Rice & Buckwheat Salad

 

Did you know that wild rice is not actually rice at all, but it is a seed-bearing grass that grows in marshes and shallow waters in the Midwestern United States?  Despite its name and resemblance to traditional rice, it is not in the same family.  It is however very nutritious – high in protein, fiber, B vitamins, potassium and phosphorus, and low in fat.  Because it is more expensive than regular rice, it is often sold as a blend combined with other types of brown rice.  But for this recipe, I use true wild rice (the kind that looks like tiny black pieces of licorice) and not the blend.  It makes a lovely combination with buckwheat groats and you can cook them together in the same pot (although you have to cook the wild rice longer).  The sweetness of the cranberries, lightness of orange zest and fresh parsley, and crunchy pecans make this a refreshingly simple side dish that will satisfy your appetite and nourish you with home-cooked goodness:)

 

Ingredients:

 

1 cup wild rice

1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats

3 cups filtered water

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup raw pecans

1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped

2 T olive oil

1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp orange peel (zest)

1 tsp agave nectar

1 tsp sea salt

Fresh cracked pepper

 

Bring the water and wild rice to a boil on the stove top.  Add 1 tsp sea salt and cook for 30 minutes.  Then add the raw buckwheat groats and cook for another 15 minutes.  If there is still water in the pot, remove the lid for the last few minutes so it cooks away.  Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.  In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, juice of fresh-squeezed lemon, orange peel (take a cheese grater and grate the outside of an orange), and agave nectar.  Toss with the chilled buckwheat/wild rice mixture, cranberries, pecan pieces, and fresh chopped parsley; serve cold.

 

 

Note:  Cranberries are often sweetened with sugar.  For a lower-sugar content, try a brand of dried cranberries called Health Best, sold at Whole Foods and other health food stores, that is sweetened with fruit juice instead of sugar.

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