Serves 8. Wild rice is not really rice at all but an entirely unrelated grass. Much of the “wild” rice in stores is actually cultivated, but if you look for it, you can find true wild rice gathered by Native Americans in Minnesota and Canada. It's nuttier, with a less acrid husk. Low in fat, wild rice is high in protein, the amino acid lysine, and fiber. It is also a good source of potassium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. And it's delicious.

1 cup wild rice

2 cups dry white wine

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1½ teaspoons sea salt, divided

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch scallions (7-8 green onions, white and light green parts), sliced

½ cup diced red onion

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced green bell pepper

½ cup diced yellow bell pepper

½ cup diced red bell pepper

½ cup diced water chestnuts

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

½-¾ cup roasted, unsalted pistachios

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ -1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

4 cloves garlic, crushed

¼ cup flax oil

¼ cup finely slivered scallions, for garnish

  1. Wash rice in cold water and drain. Place in a large pot with wine, broth, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until grains are splitting open and very tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you need to add more liquid, add boiling water. Drain excess liquid before proceeding.
  2. Heat olive oil lightly in a large saucepan and add scallions, onion, celery, peppers, and water chestnuts, stirring to coat. Add wild rice and hoisin sauce, stirring to heat thoroughly, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in pistachios, cilantro or parsley, and pepper.
  3. Combine orange zest, garlic, and flax oil and stir into pilaf. Taste and add remaining ½ teaspoon salt, if needed. Serve at once, garnished with slivered scallions.

PER SERVING: 232 cal, 48% fat cal, 13g fat, 2g sat fat, 0mg chol, 6g protein, 26g carb, 4g fiber, 426mg sodium

As a former personal chef, Alan Roettinger's signature achievement has been inventing dishes that are both healthy and palate thrilling. His new book is Omega-3 Cuisine (Book Publishing, 2008).

View a handy guide to cooking grains here...