March 3, 2013

Black Rice with Apricots and Pecans

Around the holidays, I like to make new recipes that I have never tried before. This may seem like a bad idea, seeing as how I could end up messing up the dish and or doing it perfectly but no one liking it. I take the risk, and have pleased many bellies along the way. Worth it!

This particular dish was found and shared around Christmas time, if my memory serves me right. I found the recipe over at Oh She Glows (who doesn't find recipes there?) and knew it would be tasty, at least to me. I used black rice instead of wild rice, and bought fresh cranberries for the occasion. I attempted to dehydrate a handful of them instead of buying sweetened, dried cranberries, but it wasn't successful, so I ended up leaving them out entirely. Still, all good in the end.

My husband loved the dish, but said it would be a million times better without garlic or onion, since they aren't his best friends. He has recently increased his training for this year of marathons and half marathons, and was looking for a dish like this to carb-load on the day before his long run. We found a match. I also took out the cranberries since it is time consuming to slice the fresh berries super thin, and they aren't as easy to find at the grocery store when 90% of the country isn't making cranberry sauce. I present you,

Angela's Autumn Rice
garlic and onion free! 
serves 3-4

2 cups veggie stock or water
1 cup black rice, soaked for a few hours (or overnight) and rinsed
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup apricots, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1 bay leaf
2 celery stalks, chopped

Toast the pecans. I do this over a low heat in a dry fry pan. Be sure to keep an eye on them because they can quickly burn. Set aside.

Add a splash of water to a pot (I use a large soup-like pot so the rice can happily steam) at medium heat, water sauté the celery for about 5 minutes.

Add rice, veggie stock or water and the bay leaf. Lower heat a tad and cover rice, letting it steam 'till cooked. It takes about 15 minutes, I will check it at this time and mix in the dried fruit. If there is a little liquid remaining I will remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for up to 10 minutes. Prepare a salad, a side of beans, your call. Of the rice is sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a tablespoon or two of water and set the covered dish aside for a bit for the thirsty rice to take a drink. Add the toasted pecans right before serving so they are crisp and delightful. Have fun trying to find and discard the bay leaf in a pot of black rice!

and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:15 ESV)

Christ died for all of us, He was perfect and without blemish, and He took our place when it was us who deserved death for the sinfulness we hold onto so often. He did this out of love. He did this so that we would no longer live for ourselves, but that we would live fully for Him! I find it so much less of a burden to depend on Him rather than myself. If and when I depend on myself or, worse yet, on this world in general, I am often let down. We are flawed, Christ is not. This world changes and turns and flips, Christ is constant.

In order for us to be saved and be able to accept the gift of eternal life once this life passes, He died and was raised. Our Lord is alive, so alive, and we are alive in Him! It's a beautiful promise to hold on to.

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