Wild rice, Chicken, Sweet Potato, Cashew Arugula Salad

wild rice salad (83) WM

I love adding wild rice to my salads, I am now a believer in adding sweet potatoes to my salads too!  Did you know that wild rice isn’t actually rice?  It is actually four species of grasses forming the genus zizania and the grain which can be harvested from them.  

 

Chicken Marinade:

3-4 chicken breasts, sliced into fourths

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

pinch of salt

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Salad Ingredients:

cooked wild rice (we used 2 cups uncooked, this was too much)

1 sweet potato

Arugula

cashew pieces

dried cranberries

olive oil

salt

pepper

 

Dressing:

2 lemons, squeezed

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

1) Combine the ingredients for the marinade (minus the chicken) and boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes until the sauce becomes thick.  Cool for about 10 minutes and pour over the chicken pieces.  Marinade for at least 1 hour (which should be the amount of time it takes to prepare the rest of the meal) or overnight.

2) Cook the wild rice.

3) Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1/4″ squares.  Place into a baking dish drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt/pepper, stir to coat.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes stirring every 10 minutes to make sure the sweet potatoes do not burn.  Once they are cooked through remove from the oven and set aside.

4) Combine all ingredients for the dressing and place in an airtight container so you can shake and combine the ingredients more easily.

5) Cook the chicken pieces in a medium-high heat skillet pouring in the marinade.

6) Once the rice/chicken are cooked, place a handful of arugula on each plate, place a scoop of rice on top of that, add a few pieces of chicken, and top with the sweet potato pieces, cashew pieces, dried cranberries and sprinkle with the lemon honey dressing.

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Pancetta, Cranberries & Candied Walnuts Brussels Sprouts

pancetta, cranberry, walnut brus spr (18)

As a child I hated Brussels sprouts.  That’s because my grandma boiled them, and probably only put salt, pepper and butter on them.  Yuck.  Now, I have learned to either bake or pan fry them with olive oil and to add some other seasonings – the seasons that I add are still pretty basic, but man oh man do they make these round little green veggies amazing!

pancetta, cranberry, walnut brus spr (19)

I typically only put olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic & onion power on Brussels sprout when I eat them for dinner.  But for Thanksgiving this year I decided to add a little bit of color and a lot of flavor to these vegetables that so many children and adults hate.  I wanted to make my friends believers of these little things.

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So, here’s what I did.  This served about 12 people, since it was Thanksgiving and we had so many sides.  I think this amount would serve 4 or so if it’s just for a regular meal.

Ingredients:

pancetta, one package

Brussels sprouts, 1 pound

salt

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

dried cranberries (sweetened or unsweetened, your preference)

candied walnuts (or pecans)

grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1.Wash the Brussels sprouts, chop of the stem end, then slice each into 4ths.

2. Cut the pancetta up into little squares and begin to heat in a large skillet.  Once the pancetta is hot, add the sliced Brussels sprouts.  Stir and sprinkle with the seasonings, stir again.

3. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove the lid and let the Brussels sprouts get crispy.

4. Right before serving stir in a handful or two of the dried cranberries, the candied walnuts and the grated Parmesan cheese.

5. Scoop out into a fancy dish and sprinkle with the remaining grated Parmesan cheese.  Serve warm.

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