Monday, November 19, 2012

Wild Rice, Kale, and Cranberry Pilaf

Here is a hearty, antioxidant-rich, winter pilaf recipe for all of you wild rice fans out there! This simple recipe makes a perfect addition to your holiday table. It can even be used as a stuffing for turkey. I like to add chopped, roasted hazelnuts just before serving. It's seriously good, and good for you!

Wild rice, kale, and fresh cranberries are super foods! Did you know that fresh cranberries, which are in season right now, are high in a multitude of cancer-protective nutrients? They are also an incredible food for reducing inflammation! We are adding a handful to our green smoothies nearly everyday while they last. Cranberries contain a unique mix of potent antioxidant compounds including proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, pterostilbene, and Vitamin C. Proanthocyanidins are anti-inflammatory, have been shown to be helpful in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and help to improve immune system function. Resveratrol and pterostilbene are the amazing anti-aging compounds also found in red wine!

Wild Rice, Kale, and Cranberry Pilaf

This recipe can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. Just before serving, try sprinkling on some Candied Walnuts or roasted hazelnuts! For directions on how to soak and cook wild rice you can see directions in my newest book or simply cook as you do any type of rice using 1 1/2 cups wild rice per 3 1/2 cups water (draining off excess liquid after cooking). Then let the rice cool completely before using. If you don't like the tart, bitterness of fresh cranberries you can substitute dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice) for the fresh and omit the maple syrup.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries
4 cups chopped kale (about 1 large bunch)
5 to 6 cups cooked wild rice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Herbamare
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

Heat a deep 11 or 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the oil then the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened and beginning to change color. Then add the cranberries and kale; sauté about 5 minutes more.

Add the cooked wild rice, salt, and pepper; sauté 5 to 6 more minutes. Stir in maple syrup. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve warm. Source:

More Side Dish Recipes:
Black Quinoa Quinoa and Roasted Pumpkin Salad
Pumpkin Quinoa Cornbread
Holiday Cranberry Sauce

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About the Author

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. She is the founder of Whole Life Nutrition, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them, and offers elimination diet recipes, healthy gluten-free recipes, paleo and vegan recipes, as well as tips for feeding your family a nourishing, whole foods diet. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!


  1. Too good to be true! I just threw away some cranberries because they were in the fridge too long and were rotting. I just didn't know what to do with them! I feel awful now, definitely would have done this!

  2. So is this a tasty likable dish for a gathering? Thinking of replacing stuffing with this

  3. Which cook book is this from? and the other Thanksgiving recipes!! i have your first one!!

  4. This looks like a gem of a recipe and it gives me another destination for kale. I like the sounds of this with dried cranberries. Love the red and green as an appealing holiday dish. Thanks so much!

  5. This dish is beautiful with the colors although the flavor wasnt very good....we ate it up the next day after pouring braggs on it and adding sunflower seeds

  6. This was a very colourful and delicious salad. The addition of toasted walnuts added some depth and crunch. I love your recipes and look forward to your posting. I adore your cookbook! Thanks for all your dedication.


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Thanks and Happy Cooking! ~Ali :)