Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Basmati Pilaf with Almonds and Cilantro

Rice is a staple in many households - whether vegan or otherwise - and for good reason. It has protein, amino acids, and vitamins, brown versions more so than white of course, but even white basmati can be a nutritious choice. The trick is to make sure you don't let this essential side dish become boring. The bold flavors of cilantro and toasted almonds make this easy pilaf different and tasty.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 and 1/4 cups vegan beef broth (prepared from Not Beef bouillon)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the almonds and saute for 2 minutes, until lightly browned.

2. Add the rice and garlic; saute for 2 minutes.  Stir in the water and broth; bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, green onions, salt, and black pepper.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 cup), Calories 258 

Tasting Notes:
Fresh and green tasting, like an herb garden has taken up residence in your plate of rice. If you like cilantro, you will love this. The toasted almonds add pleasing crunch, and you can definitely taste a richness from using vegan beef broth to simmer the rice rather than plain water. The grains of rice are tender but retain a separateness (unlike, say, sticky rice), which is characteristic of rice prepared in Indian cuisine. In fact, I can easily imagine being served this at an Indian restaurant. Enjoyable all around.


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