When I grew up my mom made complete meals for every dinner with some sort of protein, a side dish and veggies. Unless of course if it was pasta night (yum) but even then we had meat from the sauce and a side salad with pasta being the main attraction. So it is ingrained in my brain to try to have 3 items for each meal. I have to admit that I sometimes struggle with a side dish. We would mostly have potatoes whether they would be fried, baked or mashed. I don’t think my dad was one who liked to venture out from that. As I grew older and realized that we COULD have something else, it was like a new world opened up to me. I’m always on the lookout for something to compliment the meal and jazz it up a bit!
We are still trying to eat on the lighter side so last week I took some boneless chicken that I seasoned with some spices and grilled them. A nice quick, simple, and easy main dish that is definitely on the lower calorie side. Just select your favorite spices! For a side, I wanted something with different flavor so I was leafing through a Better Homes and Garden special interest magazine, I saw this rice dish and gave it a try.
Have you ever had basmati rice? It is mainly used in Indian style dishes and can be used in sweet or savory dishes – it does have a distinct sweet flavor which we love. Combined with the other ingredients, it was a tasty side dish. It can be served when made but I even liked it cold the next day when I combined it with some fresh spinach for lunch. I drizzled a little vinaigrette dressing and ta-da a new meal was created!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup pecan pieces
- 8 ounces drained mandarin oranges
- 1 cup frozen peas
- In a medium saucepan add 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute about 4 minutes until soft
- Add water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil
- Add the rice and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 15 minutes until rice is tender
- In a small skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar with the cayenne pepper over medium heat.
- Stir in the pecans and cook for 3-4 minutes until toasted; stir occasionally
- Remove pecans with a slotted spoon and cool a bit on parchment (ow wax) paper
- When rice is done add the peas and pecans then gently stir in the oranges
- Dish can be served warm or at room temperature (I even liked it cold the next day!)
Find other tasty salads on my pinterest board: