Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and PecansThis rice pilaf is delectably wonderful as a side dish with just about any main dish roasted chicken or turkey.

There is about 7 grams of fiber per serving (8 ounces) in sweet potatoes. They have large amounts of potassium, beta-carotene, and are a good source of manganese.

Sweet potatoes are also anti-inflammatory, and can also improve the regulation of your blood sugar levels. The vegetable root is also antibacterial and anti-fungal.  It promotes a healthy digestion, and contains a small amount of vitamin-D, which is good for strong bones, and helps with brain function.

Getting plenty of vitamin-D can stave off heart problems, dementia, some forms of cancer too just name a few health concerns, as one ages.

Now for our featured recipe: Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans, and here is what you will need.

ingredients-for-Sweet-potato-Pilaf-with-Cranberries-and-Pecans

1 cup brown rice, cooked
2 cups chicken broth
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
5  tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecan pieces
1/2 to 1 tsp. pie spice

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a non-stick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes.

Pour broth into a medium sauce pot over high heat. Pour in rice and bring to a boil; lower heat to low and cook for 45 minutes or until rice is done and tender.

While the rice is cooking, peel and dice sweet potato. Place into a large bowl with 2 tbsp. oil, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Line a baking pan with a piece of tin foil.

Spread coated vegetable evenly over foil. Place baking pan into heated oven and roast 20 to 25 minutes or until tender but not mushy. Remove and set aside.

saute garlic and onion In a non-stick skillet, heat 3 tbsp. oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and saute, stirring, until soft and lightly colored, 10 to 12 minutes.

step-by-step-to-mix-ingredients-for-Sweet-Potato-Pilaf-with-Cranberries-and-PecansNext add dried cranberries and pecan, stir another 3 minutes. Spoon in cooked rice and mix well. Turn off heat and add sweet potato and incorporate well. Sprinkle with pie spice and gently mix in to combine flavor with other ingredients. Let stand covered, 5 minutes.

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Spoon rice mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with Italian parsley (optional).

Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans

Plate the Sweet Potato Pilaf with Cranberries and Pecans as a side with your main dish meat. Here we served it with roasted seasoned chicken breast.

Check out another great recipe of ours using sweet potatoes: Baked Beets and Sweet Potato Chips .

What Others are Saying About Rice and Sweet Potatoes:

Different Ways to Cook Rice

 

Different Ways to Cook Rice

Rice needs to be thoroughly washed. A good way to do this is to put it into a colander and place it in a deep pan of water. Rub the rice well with your hands, lifting the colander in and out the water, and changing the water until it is clear; then drain. In this way the grit is deposited in the water, and the rice is left thoroughly clean.

The best method of cooking rice is by steaming it. If boiled in water, it loses a portion of its already small percentage of nitrogenous elements, unless you are using whole grain brown rice. With white rice most of the nutrition was removed when the fiber was stripped away in the processing method.

White rice requires much less time cooking than whole grain brown rice. Rice as it cooks to several times its original bulk. One cup of uncooked rice is two cups of rice when cooked.

When cooked, each grain of rice should be separate and distinct, yet perfectly tender.

Try some of the following methods.

Steamed Rice

Soak a cup of rice in one and a fourth cups of water for an hour, then add a cup of milk, turn into a dish suitable for serving it at the table, and place into a steam-cooker or a covered steamer over a pan of boiling water, and steam for an hour. It should be stirred with a fork occasionally, for the first ten or fifteen minutes.

Japanese Method of Cooking Rice

1 cup rice

1 ½ tsp.  salt

5 cups boiling water

Wash the rice, add it to the boiling salted water, and boil slowly for 15 minutes. Then cover the utensil in which the rice is cooking and place it in the oven for 15 minutes more, in order to evaporate the water more completely and make the grains soft without being mushy. Serve in the same way as boiled rice.

Classic Rice Pilaf

2 cups long grain rice

2 bay leaves

3 cups chicken broth

1 small onion, diced

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. salt

Pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 350 F.

Over medium heat in a small sauce pan, heat the oil. Add the diced onion and minced garlic and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the rice to a 9 x 9 oven safe glass cooking pan. Stir in sautéed onion/garlic mix until well incorporated.

Add the broth, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the heated oven and cook for 35 minutes. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and fluff with a fork.

If making the Classic Rice Pilaf, try adding the following:

Rice with vegetables and nuts

After the pilaf is cooked add

  1. a mix of cooked peas and carrots with slivered almonds
  2. Roasted diced sweet potato and pecans

Check out our article “Say Good-bye to Soggy Rice“.

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