Fruit and Nut Rice

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is now over.  Instead of indulging in cookies and sweets, people are trying to squeeze in gym work outs and vegetables.  Everyone is back to work with no vacation in sight.  Let’s be honest: January just is not as much fun as December.  The everyday blues are beginning to sink in during my semester off from school.  The hustle bustle of work, dinner, sleep, work, dinner, sleep is exhausting and tiresome.

This was an easy, healthy dinner that reminded me of the fun holiday food I ate last month. It is easy enough to make on a weeknight after work and doesn’t break any New Year’s resolutions. This rice is a fun way to shake up your dinner plans during the lull of January.  It will at least keep you occupied until Valentine’s Day.

Adapted from Heat Oven to 350
Originally Pressure Perfect by Loma Sass

1 1/2 cups dried brown rice
Olive oil
25 grapes, sliced in half
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
8 figs, coarsely chopped
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/5 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cook rice according to instructions.  Set aside.Toss grapes with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil.  Spread on baking sheet.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Set aside.  Toast walnuts in oven for 5 minutes, watching carefully.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Combine rice, grapes, walnuts, dried apricots, and figs.  Stir in cinnamon and allspice.  Season with salt and peeper to taste.

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side dish.

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