Carolyn Keith’s side dish has become a favorite with family and friends in Evanston, Illinois. With golden raisins, dried cherries and nuts, it goes together in no time using a convenient rice mix. So what’s the problem?
“Everyone loves it,” she says, “but after reading the rice mix label, I don’t feel good about serving a dish loaded with sodium and artificial ingredients. Cutting the butter is easy,” she adds, “but could you come up with a healthier, from-scratch version that uses brown and wild rice, is lower in sodium and keeps all the great flavor but skips the artificial additives?”
Our Test Kitchen could—and did! First, they scrapped the rice mix, opting for a nutritious blend of brown and wild rice. Next, to reproduce the original’s beefy flavor, they substituted reduced-sodium beef broth for chicken broth and added fresh carrot, garlic and parsley. Finally, they reduced the butter, as Carolyn suggested, and the pecans.
The result? A full-flavored Makeover Fruited Wild Rice Pilaf with less than half the sodium and a fourth less fat than the original. It takes a bit longer to fix, but it’s a dish Carolyn can now feel proud to serve!