This Wild Rice Pilaf recipe is sponsored by the Flexible Packaging Association.
Wild rice pilaf can be very bland, but it can also be sublimely delicious (this recipe is obviously the latter). Made with fresh grains, tasty veggies, and just the right seasonings, this sweet potato and wild rice pilaf has become a favorite dish of mine to make and eat!
I’m a big fan of whole grains and having pantry shelf goodies on hand, but goodness I hate to see food wasted (or not as enjoyed as much) because of bad storage and the inevitable stale flavor.
And I’m not alone! The Flexible Packaging Association, and companies working with them, are working to keep food fresh for longer in ways that work better for us at home by trying to cut down on the 36 millions tons of food wasted in the US each year. Shocking, right?
Lundberg Family Farms is a Northern California rice growing company with which I grew up! They’ve long tried to work with the land and grow their rice (sent around the world) in ways that aren’t competing with nature.
They sell many of their sustainable and organic rices in these resealable zipper bags that are FABULOUS! Food doesn’t easily spill out or go stale! I love how durable these bags are, and I can always reuse the plastic zip-top bag again (more below)!
Wild Rice Pilaf
So. If you have fresh wild rice, this pilaf recipe is going to warm your taste buds right up! It’s a delicious fall recipe that will easily move with us into winter!
As I mentioned above, rice pilaf can easily be blah, but then you know you’ve had it that one time when it was FABULOUS!
This brings us to this sweet potato and wild rice pilaf – it’s the perfect side dish for ANY entree – meat or fish!
How to Cook Wild Rice
Wild rice cooks just like white rice. When we had a rice cooker (a devastating casualty of our move to Sacramento), I love making wild rice in my rice cooker. Now I use the same technique to cook perfect rice on the stovetop!
Wild rice cooks with the standard ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part rice. I like to rinse the rice before cooking in warm water as well as adding salt and olive oil to the pot. You can watch a video of my rice cooking process here!
So while the rice is cooking, saute the diced sweet potato, onion, and garlic. A simple butter, salt, and pepper addition will do the trick! Then mix the cooked rice in and top with chopped pecans and fresh cilantro.
I did consider throwing some dried cranberries on top of this dish as well, so if you have some in your pantry, GO FOR IT!!
Resealable Food Packaging
Since working with the Flexible Packaging Association this year, I’ve REALLY become aware of the importance of packaging for food preservation in our modern world.
When asked what first step people can take to living sustainably, I always tell them to avoid food waste! Approximately 40% of food is wasted each year! That’s terrible!
Avoiding food waste includes embracing leftover recipes and making sure food is stored properly (in the fridge and the cupboard). Flexible packaging helps extend the shelf life of foods we all consume regularly!
Resealable packaging like these zipper-top bags is created specifically to preserve the contents as best and for as long as possible! And they help me not to lose any kernels.
If you’ve started doing proper plastic bag recycling with the store drop-off method, you might be wondering if you can recycle these pouches. WELL!!!
These pouches can’t be recycled curbside, but Lundberg is a Terracycle partner, so you can request a FREE shipping label to send all your Lundberg packaging in to be recycled! Another reason to love this northern California company!
If you’re buying these zipper pouches, and there isn’t a free Terracycle recycling option, I like to reuse these bags at least once before putting them in the trash.
Zipper Pouch Bag Reuse Ideas
Honestly, anything you’d use any kind of plastic bag for is good for these pouches. In our household, we use them to throw away the meat juice absorptive pads, which quickly stink up our trash. This saves us from having to replace the trash bag as much – we can wait until it’s full!
You could also use the bags to store uncooked meat or seafood – anything too tricky to clean!
Finally, if you have something – like broken glass – to put in the trash that needs a container, these baggies are ideal!
What to Serve with Wild Rice Pilaf
While I’m not ashamed to admit that I’d call this a nearly complete meal (especially with a poached or over easy egg on top), it is really a side dish.
If you love rice, check out these rice cooker recipes (for cooking more than just plain rice)!
WILD RICE PILAF
- rice cooker/pot
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 ½ cups diced sweet potato about 2 medium potatoes
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup dry wild blend rice cooked according to package directions
- ½ cup chopped raw pecans
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. At this point watch the potatoes closely and stir about every 2 minutes, they will begin to brown. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until the pieces are fork-tender, but not falling apart.
- Add the onion and garlic, increase the heat to medium and cook for 2 more minutes until both are softened and translucent.
- Stir in the rice and pecans, and cook about 1 minute, until heated through. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro and serve warm.
This Wild Rice Pilaf recipe is sponsored by the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA). All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting all Luci’s Morsels collaborations. Please see my other posts with the FPA: