Wild Rice, Orzo & Mushroom Pasta

wild rice orzo mushroom pilaf

Yum! I love wild rice – a love that probably traces back to my upbringing in northern Minnesota. My grandpa used to harvest wild rice and we always had it in the pantry. These days it’s a bit harder to find, and more expensive – but it’s SO WORTH IT!

First you must endure a little lesson about wild rice – because it is one of my favorite things. Fact #1 – It’s a grain – not a rice. Fact #2 – It has been found in layers of the earth dated as far back as 12,000 years. It is most definitely an ancient grain.

Fact #3 – Any wild rice that is actually growing wild in Minnesota’s state waters can only be harvested with a permit -and must be harvested the same way the First Nation tribes harvested it years ago. Which is actually a pretty cool process.

I love the flavor of wild rice, but it does take awhile to cook – so plan accordingly – 1 cup of wild rice in about 3-4 cups water cooks in about 45-55 minutes.  If you’ve never made, or eaten, wild rice – this recipe is an amazing intro – it’s easy, flavorful, and good for you.  Get adventurous and trade out the orzo for another ancient grain – maybe faro or barley would be good!

Wild Rice, Orzo & Mushroom Pasta
Tasty - easy - and an amazing side dish! I actually eat this as dinner when I'm home without the troops.
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  1. 6-8 C Chicken Stock (Reserve 1/2 C for final product)
  2. 1 C Wild Rice, prepared using chicken broth or stock according to package instructions
  3. 1 C Orzo, cooked in chicken broth
  4. 1/2 C Onion, minced
  5. 8 oz Mushrooms, sliced
  6. 2 tsp Garlic, minced
  7. 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  8. Salt
  9. Pepper
  10. Parsley
  11. Parmesan Cheese
  1. Prepare the orzo and wild rice according to package instructions - but use chicken stock instead of water. You could also use vegetable stock if you wanted to keep this vegan/vegetarian. Wild rice doesn't absorb as much water as white or brown rice - but it does need to cook for a long time - don't be afraid to use a lot of water and just drain it when it's done. Refer the the photo to see what it looks like when it's done - it will curl up and expose the white inside of the grain.
  2. While the grains and pastas are cooking - slice your mushrooms and mince your onions and garlic.
  3. Heat the coconut oil in a saute pan and add onion and mushrooms - saute until mushrooms are nearly done, then add in the garlic and heat through.
  4. Add the orzo and wild rice into the mushroom mixture and stir well. Add in reserved 1/2 cup of stock and taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Let simmer for just a few minutes so the stock can come together with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and minced parsley.
Adapted from BakersBeans.ca
Adapted from BakersBeans.ca
Looks Like Homemade http://lookslikehomemade.com/

Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce


I love the concept of cooking once and making multiple meals out of the results.  Putting a pot of marinara in the slow cooker is a great way to quickly put something tasty together, freeze the leftovers, and having at least 4 meals out of the product.

This is a really easy and tasty marinara sauce.  You could put other veggies in it if you like, it’s all to your taste – just consider this your “starter” or “base” to continue on from.  I thaw some of this and serve it over my Lasagne Roll Ups with Kale, use it to make Skillet Lasagne, add meatballs for spaghetti, or even spread it on a pizza crust to enhance a yummy homemade pizza.Get the Details!

Thumbprint Cookies – Coconut Style


Mmmmm – I love thumbprint cookies.  Since I’m supposed to be losing weight – I don’t bake much….but it’s cool out these last few days, and I need to send a care package to my daughter who is a Freshman at Northern Arizona University – so I’m baking cookies to send in her box.

Some thumbprint recipes don’t call for coconut, some want you to put a glaze on top, some are rolled in cinnamon and topped with apple butter (yum) – Maddie loves thumbprint cookies with coconut and berry jam -so that’s what she gets!  We brought home some Marionberry jam from our Oregon vacation last month – so I’m setting her up with some tasty treats.  

Here’s my recipe – its probably very similar to other thumbprint cookie recipes – but it’s easy, has minimal ingredients – and is very tasty!

Get the Details!