This recipe just came to me the other night while I was preparing dinner. I’ll admit that we eat a LOT of chicken, brown rice and veggies for dinner at my home, and with good reason: it’s healthy, quick, easy and a great value if you buy the chicken on sale and stock up your freezer. The challenge here is to keep a good basic healthy meal from becoming boring. The easiest way to accomplish this is by mixing it up with a variety of different flavors. When you take advantage of the bounty of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits in your local markets and grocery stores, you can quickly and economically transform a “blah” dish into a delicious dish. Seasonal fruits and veggies are also typically much lower in price, and best of all they taste the freshest.
Right now scrumptious, juicy cherries are in season. Cherries are generally in season late spring into summer, and recently I have been seeing them week after week in the grocery store and it started me thinking about different ways to start incorporating them in some dishes. Here is one that is so simple, yet so delicious. I hope you enjoy it…
- 1 C uncooked brown rice, preferably short grain
- ½ Tbs butter, salted or unsalted*
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Olive oil (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 12-15 pitted Bing cherries, rough chopped
- 3 Tbs toasted chopped walnuts**
Cook the rice according to your package directions. As soon as it is done cooking, transfer the rice to a mixing bowl. Add in the butter, garlic powder, a small drizzle of olive oil, ½ tsp salt and a pinch of black pepper. Stir until well combined. Add in the cherries and walnuts and mix again until everything is evenly distributed.
Enjoy as a side dish to your favorite dinner or you can toss in some cubes of cooked chicken breast and serve it over your favorite salad greens.
* Make this dish vegan by substituting vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
** To toast the walnuts, place in the middle of a 350° oven on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes.