Healthy Recipe

Contrary to what you might have heard, brown rice has a pleasing nutty flavor which can be enhanced with sweet or spicy vegetables or fruit. Here the fruit juices plus chopped veggies and dates combine with the rice to make a delicious dish. All these ingredients create a "cocktail" of health benefits. Serve it warm or cool depending on the season.

Whole-Grain Pilaf with Dates

2 cups quick cooking brown rice
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 T. finely minced orange zest
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, finely diced
2 finely chopped scallions, green & white parts (about 1/4 cup
1 t. cinnamon
2 t. dried chives or parsley
2 t. dried mint (optional)
1 T. canola oil
1 T. orange juice
1 T. lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Cook the rice according to the package directions. Transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl. Using a fork, lightly combine the rice with the dates, zest, almonds, pepper, scallions, cinnamon, chives or parsley, and mint. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and juices. Drizzle the dressing over the rice mixture while lightly tossing everything together. Season the dish to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with poultry, pork, lamb or steamed vegetables.

Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 166 calories, 4 g. total fat (0 g. saturated fat), 30 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. protein, 3 g. dietary fiber, 1 mg. sodium