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Toasted Pecan Wild Rice Salad

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So in case anyone hasn’t noticed at this point, Winter has arrived and is announcing his appearance quite loudly. And yes, Winter is a “him” because his characteristics include annoying, aggravating and in your face. Sounds more male than female, right??!

The car thermometer read 15 degrees this morning on the way to work and the heat didn’t kick in until I pulled into the parking garage. Sweet, thanks for keeping me warm. Needless to say, our apartment continues to be chilly as well, so this is happening….

Double fuzzy socks. This happened last night–

That’s our Christmas tree, and that’s our balcony. And that is how we disposed of our Christmas tree this year; over the balcony. And that’s my redneck fiance 🙂

“Hand me my beer, this is men’s work”

While Seth was “helping” me take down the decorations, I made this toasted pecan wild rice salad for you (and us) to have for dinner. It’s delicious and very easy and the pictures here do not do it justice. Something about photographing brown rice with brown pecans in it just don’t make for a good visual.

To start out, you want to chop and saute 1/2 cup of onions and a glove of garlic in some olive oil.

While that’s going, toast up some pecans (about 1 cup) in a pan for roughly 7 minutes on medium low heat. Stir them around so that they don’t burn; few things taste as bitter and smell as bad as burnt pecans.

Next, make a box of your favorite wild rice but don’t add the spice packet. We want just plain wild rice. When the rice is finished cooking, combine it in a bowl with the toasted pecans, sauteed onion and garlic, and a heaping 1/2 cup of dried cranberries.

Then, make this super simple dressing that may look vaguely familiar to last night’s beet dressing. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar and real maple syrup. Simple = delicious.

I think it’s so cool how oil and vinegar separate like this. It’s like they hate each other and don’t want to touch. The whisk however has other plans for them….

Once you add the dressing, the salad is complete!

Served alongside some monotone colored pork tenderloin and it makes a delicious meal. I think next time I’ll add some broccoli 🙂


Toasted Pecan Wild Rice Salad


  • One box of wild rice, minus the spice packet
  • 1/2 cup of onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 cup of pecan halves
  • 2/3 cup of dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup (sorry Aunt Jemima, you just won’t cut it here)


  1. Chop onion and garlic and place in a cast iron pan to sauté until soft, about 25 minutes on low heat
  2. Once onion and garlic are soft, remove from pan and set aside in bowl. Add pecans to pan and toast for 7 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently
  3. Make boxed rice according to instructions but omit the spice packet
  4. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl and whisk thoroughly
  5. Add sauteed onions, garlic, toasted pecans, cooked rice and dried cranberries to bowl and mix dressing thoroughly throughout. Serve warm or at room temperature

Enjoy, and stay warm!



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