Jeweled Rice

Story by Natalie
Jeweled Rice
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Mediterranean for dinner every night, please.

If there was one category of food I could eat on repeat from now until eternity it would be Mediterranean food. (Tacos are probably up there, too). After sampling Traina Foods’ new line of their new chopped medleys (known as Fruitons...how cute is that?) we were hit hard with inspiration. Jeweled rice. A favorite dish of ours, soon to become your new best friend.

The jeweled rice dish I’m sharing with you today is one of my favorite recipes to pair with a big Mediterranean feast, or to simply eat alone as a delicious lunch. But, before I jump into sharing the what’s and how’s of this dish, let me take a moment to share with you the top reasons I love Mediterranean food so much (and why you should, too).

Why the Mediterranean diet is the best diet:

  • It is largely plant based
  • It’s full of whole grains and legumes
  • It is low in sodium, but high in flavor thanks to a great variety of spices
  • It utilizes plenty of healthy fats over butter
  • It favors lots of lean proteins
Jeweled Rice

So, now that you know how you could be eating, let me tell you what to start with. This jeweled rice is the perfect introduction to your new Mediterranean diet and incorporates tons of the “good stuff.” For starters...tumeric (a great health aid)! Not only are there health benefits aplenty to turmeric, it gives the rice a beautiful golden color. Once an assortment of dried fruit is added the rice looks as if it’s filled with little jewels. So pretty! This dish is traditionally served at weddings and celebrations, but if you’ve read any of our past posts you’d know that we think celebrations should start at your dinner table Monday-Friday, so we think it’s the perfect dish anytime.

This rice makes an incredible side dish to grilled fish, roasted chicken, or kofta for hearty and satisfying meal. However, we decided it’s just as delicious on its own. There's so many things I love about this jeweled rice from the generous amount of turmeric (research all of its benefits, it’s fascinating), to the great variety of nuts providing plenty of protein, but the real star of this recipe is the beautiful little pieces of dried fruits that add the perfect balance of color, texture, and sweetness.

Holly and I are suckers for good dried fruit (in pretty much everything) which is why we are huge fans of Traina.  (Their cherries are out of this world good.) When we sampled Fruitons for the first time we knew they’d become a new pantry staple in both our kitchens.

These pre-chopped dried fruits make getting a beautiful meal on your table that much easier (and we are all about ease!). This pretty and tasty jeweled rice is perfect for anything from a meatless Monday to a Friday feast and we hope this flavor-packed, color-laden, belly-filling dish is as cravable to you as it is to us.

Jeweled Rice
Jeweled Rice

This sponsored post is written by TMP on behalf of Traina Foods. The opinions and text are all ours. Thank you for supporting the brands we love.

Jeweled Rice

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 orange
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted, shelled raw natural pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cups basmati rice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 (6 oz) bag Traina Food's Fruitons (All American Blend)
parsley for serving

Method

  1. Using a citrus stripper, vegetable peeler or sharp knife remove the zest from the orange. If using a knife or vegetable peeler, slice the zest into thin srips. Add it to a small saucepan along with 1 cup of water and ⅓ cup sugar. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 7-10 minutes, drain and set aside.

  2. In a 3 quart dutch oven or soup pot, set over medium heat, dry toast the almonds and pistachios until slightly golden about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan, set aside.
  3. Add the olive oil to the pot, along with the shallots and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the dry rice to the shallots and sauté until opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, allspice to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Pour 4 cups of water to the rice mixture along with the orange peels. Bring to a boil.
  5. Turn heat to simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes until rice is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  6. Once cooked, remove from heat and add the dried fruit and nuts. Put lid back on and allow to rest for 10 more minutes. Serve warm topped with fresh parsley.