One of the best things you can do to streamline your dinner prep is to always have a batch of already cooked rice on hand.(I cook mine in a big batch then freeze it in single serving sizes.) This will provide you with opportunities galore!
Pilaf … However you want it!
This is something you can make all your own. You don’t need a recipe! Using the salad bar as your prep cook, toss in whatever veggies and/or fruit appeals to you. Some of my favorites are a Mediterranean-flavored pilaf with spinach, garlic, onion, tomato and chickpeas tossed with olive oil, balsamic (lightly), oregano and basil. If you eat dairy, a touch of feta cheese would be lovely.
My favorite sweet pilaf has a drizzle of walnut oil, cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar, diced apples, carrots, celery and walnuts. If the cinnamon flavor isn’t enough for you, sprinkle on a bit of pumpkin pie seasoning.
You can add just about anything to rice to make it a delicious side dish: Onions, carrots, peas, peppers, radishes, edamame, beans, chickpeas, beets, mushrooms, bean sprouts, tomatoes, dried cranberries, nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts …
You can dress it with whatever you like including, Asian style, Italian, Balsamic, Russian or French dressing. You can create your own dressing by combining oil and vinegar, soy sauce, spices … Bottled dressings often have a ton of additives or sugar so I usually make my own.
For pilafs, I just add what I think will work. I use either olive or walnut oil, then add spices to flavor it. For a Southwest feel, I’ll add chili powder, peppers, onions and cumin. If I feel like a trip to Italy I’ll add garlic, onion, parsley, basil, tomatoes, lemon, a touch of fresh parmesan and olive oil.
If you’re looking for specific recipes, just click on the pictures and you’ll be taken to the recipe on another website (not mine).
When creating sweet pilafs, I often blend fresh pineapple (usually from the salad bar) with yellow mustard and honey (in my NutriBullet) to create the dressing. It is DELICIOUS!! Just play with amounts. Start with the pineapple, give it a squirt of mustard and a teaspoon of honey. Blend, taste, adjust, blend, taste, adjust. Be adventurous!
I hope you enjoy creating pilafs of your very own! Let us know the outcome and what flavors really worked for you in the comments below.
Are you wanting to taste an impromptu pilaf? Check out my Cooking … Fast, Easy, Healthy classes being held all over the KC Metro Area. You’ll find the list on my website at www.HealthWorksKC.com. Just click on the ‘Events’ tab at the top of the page.
Nancy Oglesby, The Practical Health Coach