Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
This post is sponsored by the California Prune Board. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Delish Knowledge.
Ready for the perfect sweet & salty side dish? This rice pilaf with nuts and California Prunes is my go-to side right now. It’s got crunchy, salty nuts, fragrant spiced rice and just sweet enough California Prunes mixed in. It kinda reminds me of a mix between rice pilaf and Indian-style Biryani.
We eat a lot of rice in my house; mostly because it’s Vander’s favorite grain but also because it’s so easy to cook on busy weeknights. I admit that I typically favor white rice over brown rice and yup, I’m still a dietitian. I figure that we get enough fiber in our diet from fruits, vegetables, beans and other whole grains that I’m OK enjoying white rice over brown. Not only do I much prefer the texture, I also think that fragrant basmati rice is one of life’s best indulgences.
I’m always trying to think of new ways to enjoy California Prunes! After my trip out to the orchard both last Fall and in 2018, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with both the taste and the nutrition profile of prunes. When I’m not enjoying them in this pilaf, I love making a batch of my California Prune bars, my Kitchen Sink Bars or dicing and mixing them in with yogurt and chia seeds for an easy, healthy snack.
Prunes are pretty incredible. A single serving, just 4-5 prunes, can help support good gut health! California Prunes provide dietary fiber, sorbitol and polyphenols. The naturally occurring sorbitol is also what makes digestion a tad bit easier with prunes! Sorbitol has a mild laxative effect, which combined with the prebiotic-rich fiber is a winning combination for a healthy gut.
At under 100 calories per serving, California Prunes contain no added sugar, no cholesterol, no sodium and no fat. Pretty perfect, right? With such a focus on gut health right now, I think we all could add a little more prunes to the diet.
For this rice pilaf, I love the combination of both slivered almonds and shelled pistachios but feel free to just use one or the other. Being 8 months pregnant, I am so lazy right now and only buy shelled pistachios to cut down on any additional prep work so I understand if you just want to use slivered almonds or another type of nut.
This side dish couldn’t be easier to put together; just a few minutes of prep and less than 20 minutes overall cook time. It’s perfect to serve with sheet pan tofu, scrambled eggs (weird, I know but my pregnant brain has been loving these two together) or your favorite protein and vegetable. Leftovers are also great in a salad! I like to slightly warm the rice, then toss with arugula, a lemon vinaigrette and whatever raw vegetables I have in the fridge.
Hope you enjoy this rice pilaf as much as we do. If you try it, make sure to come back and rate it in the comments below. You can also tag your creations using the hashtag #delishknowledge on Instagram. Seeing you make my recipes makes my day!
Be sure to check out California Prunes online at www.CaliforniaPrunes.org and on social media @CAprunes.
Rice Pilaf with Nuts and California Prunes! Looking for a healthy rice pilaf recipe? This is it! Spiced rice pilaf with almonds, pistachios and California Prunes.
*I love basmati or Jasmine rice in this dish as it’s got a yummy light texture and fragrance. However, if you use brown rice then increase the liquid to 2 1/4 cups and increase cooking time to 35-40 minutes.
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