vegetable rice pilaf

February 28, 2012

There are just some foods that are underappreciated.

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Brussels sprouts, for instance. Why is it that I didn’t know until I was 23 that I enjoyed Brussels Sprouts? I blame Danny Tanner and that episode of Full House where he admits to his mother (played by Doris Roberts (aka: Marie Barone) by the way) that he never liked her brussels sprouts and didn’t want to hurt her feelings for the first 35 years of his life. That totally scared me away from brussels sprouts for years upon years. Now? I love them! I can’t imagine my life without them.

Another food that’s underappreciated? Cauliflower! Seriously, how delicious is a roasted head of cauliflower? Everyone seems to love its distant green cousin the broccoli stalk, but I kind of love cauliflower even more than broccoli. Roasted, olive oil, sea salt. The. Best.

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Aaand let’s face it — rice pilaf is probably one of the most underappreciated side dishes out there. I mean, think about it — how often do you go to a restaurant, see that a dish is served with rice pilaf, and then totally change your decision to order said dish because of the sides? Riiiceee? Uhh, how about some french fries… a sweet potato… anything but rice? Please?

If you were asking me that question, my head would be nodding up and down and both of my hands would be in the air. Poor rice pilaf — it’s not it’s fault it’s not quite as loved as melty buttery mashed potatoes or a giant sweet potato the size of my head. Mainly it’s because it’s weird to put ketchup on rice in public and others would scoff at my life choices.

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But anywayssssss, last week I made the Husband a loaf of meat (aka: meatloaf — gross), and I needed to make a side dish to go along with it. We had no potatoes (tragedy), and I almost threw in the towel at one point. But then I remembered I wanted him to feel an immense amount of love towards me — kind of like the way I felt about you all yesterday — and I knew that loaf de la meat needed to get to the table ASAP. There’s nothing like winning your husband over with food, am I right?

I figured the rice would be ‘meh’, but it actually turned out gooood! Like so good that I made a second batch for the Husband the next day so he could eat the other half pound of his chunk of meat. He wasn’t complaining, but I was because I wanted to eat more rice and wasn’t able to.

I would also like to apologize now for talking discussing meatloaf for the last 3 minutes. It kind of makes me want to vomit — but not this rice! This rice will make you happy.

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My mouth is watering. It’s 6 AM. I shouldn’t be wanting rice right now, but I do. There’s not a thing wrong with that.

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Khushboo February 28, 2012 at 6:11 am

I was just telling my sister today how much I love brown rice..and that I need to eat it more! This came right after my lunch of leftover seafood pilaf! Rice pilafs definitely need some more spotlight treatment- great recipe!

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Jordan Lynn (Ciao Cow) February 28, 2012 at 6:13 am

Yum! I was at a restaurant the other day that had three distinct types of rice (dill, saffron, and green bean), and it was so delicious. Sometimes really simple food just need a little umph to take it from plain to totally delicious, and that is exactly what this recipe looks like – amazing! Also, I totally agree that cauliflower is underrated, especially roasted.

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Katie @ Raisins&Apples February 28, 2012 at 6:25 am

It’s always a good day when rice can make you happy :)

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! February 28, 2012 at 6:27 am

I love pilaf! This looks great! I would top it with a little nutritional yeast for a little cheesy action! YUM!

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Kaitlyn @ Pain Can Be Fun February 28, 2012 at 6:49 am

This looks delicious! And I completely agree…rice pilaf is one of my all time favorite dishes and unfortunately I think I only ever see it in a box on the grocery store shelf. I’ve never made it from scratch before….this makes me want to try it! :) Have a great day!

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Erica @ For the Sake of Cake February 28, 2012 at 6:52 am

Ah, I love a good Full House reference.

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Linz @ Itz Linz February 28, 2012 at 6:53 am

haha! i just packed my lunch for school and my mouth was watering too. except i actually DID sneak in a few bites… of cabbage… at 7am. heh heh ;)

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Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon February 28, 2012 at 6:55 am

I’ve never had homemade rice pilaf before but the near east boxes of it were a staple in my house growing up!

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Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles February 28, 2012 at 6:56 am

I know *exactly* what episode of Full House you are referencing :) Perfect way to start the day- thinking about the good ol’ days!
I have never had rice pilaf, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen it in real life. Yours looks fantastic! Where’s the spoon?! I want to show it some love!

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I think I have every episode of Full House memorized. Just sayin’…

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Becky Przy February 28, 2012 at 7:01 am

Looks so good! haha I almost made meatloaf for my husband yesterday too, but the thought of making it made my stomach churn. Happy to hear I am not the only one who has a husband that can put away 1/2 lb a hamburger in one sitting;-)

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Tiff February 28, 2012 at 7:22 am

Yup, I have changed orders due to boring rice pilaf. The funny thing is, I really like rice pilaf when I make it at home, I just rarely eat it out.

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Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots February 28, 2012 at 7:28 am

this sounds great! My boyfriend loves the rice pilaf from the restaurant he works at, maybe I can win him over even more with some homemade rice pilaf.

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Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile February 28, 2012 at 7:28 am

Omg I was scared of brussel sprouts because of Danny Tanner too. I swear! hahaha
I totally agree, everyone thinks rice pilaf is boring but I usually order it:D

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 28, 2012 at 7:50 am

This looks really good! I’m marking down things I want to make when I’m in CO with my parents and this is going on the list! I love rice pilaf! Do you think it would be alright to nix the liquid aminos? (soy…)

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Yes! It just gives it some extra flavor.

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Jenny February 28, 2012 at 8:00 am

speaking of Danny Tanner, I’m definitely watching Full house right now. Love it!

p.s. your triangle plates are awesome. I’ve been meaning to tell you that :)

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Thanks! The plate is actually from a serving set I have.

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Marina@cowboycountryvegetarian February 28, 2012 at 8:01 am

I am surprised how media sometimes make our decisions for us! Anyway, Great post for a pilaf’s rehabilitation! Yey! I was making pilaf two days ago but changed my mind while it was cooking and made something else… Come see me tomorrow to find out what I’ve made in the end, if you’d like… :)

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat February 28, 2012 at 8:11 am

I think I’d add in some lima beans too (also underappreciated!) and make this a meal. :)

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Kristin February 28, 2012 at 8:18 am

I must be in the minority, because I’d usually rather have rice than a baked potato or french fries. Now, if we’re talking about some creamy smashed potatoes, then rice might have a problem… :-)

Now I have to go Google what liquid aminos are, to figure out if they’re critical to this recipe or if I can improvise. Looks delicious!

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

That might be blasphemous. ;)

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:00 pm

and liquid aminos is a gluten free soy sauce alternative. You can use soy sauce if you want to.

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Faith @ For the Health of It February 28, 2012 at 8:30 am

I’ve always thought rice was such an underdog carb too. Gimme bread, pasta, even fries…anything but rice! It sounds fab though, when it’s seasoned well.

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 28, 2012 at 8:47 am

“A loaf of meat” …haha! It is pretty disgusting to breakdown the word meatloaf like that. Can’t really get more unappetizing than that!
So true about the rice pilaf. I like rice but when combined with the word “pilaf”…I’m out. Well, usually…this one looks great :)

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm

blech – meatloaf makes me want to throw up. But it made the husband feel manly, so whatever.

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Kinley @ Better Off Barefoot February 28, 2012 at 9:06 am

awww, now my feelings are hurt ;) I love meatloaf… but I like the idea of rice on the side of it and especially the veggieness of this recipe!

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Andrea @ Vegvacious February 28, 2012 at 9:34 am

This looks really good! I made a veggie quinoa pilaf a while back, but I have to admit I’ve never made a rice pilaf. My husband is a meat and potatoes kinda guy, but I love mixing it up!

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Jasper @ crunchylittlebites February 28, 2012 at 9:42 am

how do you manage to snap a photo before you gobble up all of your delicious recipes Chelsey? :)

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm

I think this one was made at like 8 in the morning. I had just eaten breakfast!

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Stefanie @TheNewHealthy February 28, 2012 at 9:58 am

Rice pilaf is totally under appreciated! As is cauliflower – I’ve been eating more cauliflower these days rather than just broccoli. The two combined? The best. :)

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Agreed!

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Stephanie @itrainthereforeieat February 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

Oh my god I LOVE brussels sprouts!! I too only discovered it recently…within the last year actually. Now I eat them a few times a week, roast them up with a bit of olive oil and a touch of salt/pepper.. Perfection!! I really think that anyone that says they hate them has never had them roasted. The same goes for broccoli/cauliflower — roast it up and enjoy!

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Amanda February 28, 2012 at 10:38 am

Three of my favorite things in this post: Danny Tanner, loaves of meat, and rice! Thanks for the recipe–meatloaf and this rice recipe sound like the perfect dinner to make while I’m getting snowed in tonight!

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Katie February 28, 2012 at 10:46 am

I have everything for this in my kitchen!! I’m so excited…I’m basically addicted to rice and like it in every single form possible. Love you!

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm

and I love you!

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life February 28, 2012 at 10:50 am

Ooh I LOVE rice pilaf! And I also think you’re a very good wife for cooking meatloaf for your man! I can’t stand to touch meat so I just stay well away from it and I don’t think I will ever cook meatloaf for anyone haha.

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries February 28, 2012 at 11:06 am

i didn’t discover how wonderful brussels sprouts were until my husband introduced them to me, and now they’re easily one of my favorites. i agree, they’re much too underappreciated! aaaaand i don’t think i’ve ever made rice pilaf… obviously i need to get on that because this recipe looks amazing.

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Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather February 28, 2012 at 11:26 am

Restaurant rice pilaf is never as good as homemade. This looks rockin girl! So sweet if you to feed your hubs with such tasty food. :)

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Krista @ Healthy Berg February 28, 2012 at 11:44 am

Haha I totally remember that episode. Full House was my absolute favorite show growing up. I have seen every episode probably a dozen times!

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Kerry @ Totes My Oats February 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

The rice looks good! Brussels sprouts and cauliflower have been a favorite of mine since I was young… I was the weird kid who loved my veggies! Also, if you’re looking for a good way to have cauliflower, I have been roasting it with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. It’s a great combination of flavors!

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Carrie Purchase @ MyHealthyAddictions February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I totally didn’t know I like Brussel Sprouts until about a year ago- my parents don;e like them so I never had them as a child. My hubby said he loves them and asked me to make them one day. Its all history from there :)

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Lisa February 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

For some reason I’m just not into rice at all…although I love brussels, broccoli and cauliflower…but tragically I recently found out I’m allergic to all those! Seriously! Who’s allergic to veggies!! Especially the best ones…

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cleaneatingchelsey March 4, 2012 at 8:03 pm

What?!??!?! That’s a tragedy – you’re right!

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Amber K February 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower are all completely underappreciated. And now maybe rice pilaf won’t be on that list anymore!

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Mattie @ Comfy and Confident February 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm

This rice pilaf recipe looks wayyyy better than the box kind my bf always gets. Maybe I can convert him!

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Jentry Nielsen February 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm

This is so great! My boyfriend loves rice pilaf, but the packaged boxed kind. This would be perfect to make it a bit healthier for him! Love it!

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kathleen @ the daily crumb February 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

i love…LOVE broccoli, but have never even tried cauliflower! the horror. this rice pilaf looks fantastic… so simple, but delicious.

and p.s., i’m obsessed with anything and everything full house.

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Talia @ Bite Size Wellness February 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I’m with you! I love rice and I love cauliflower! Thank you for the Full House flash back. :)

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Kate February 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Yum. That looks delicious! I though rice pilaf had to contain pasta, which is obviously a problem when you’re gluten free, but that looks great!

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sarah (onedayiwillseethesun) February 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I love making rice based dshes and freezing the leftovers for a quick “ready meal” when im busy.

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Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt February 28, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Yummy! I love any and every kind of rice

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Looks like a good, fast, family-friendly recipe…love those!

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Sarah @ The Healthy Diva February 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I’ve recently rediscovered how much i actually like rice too! for the longest time i would avoid it and make some other starch like potatoes or corn, but now I’m addicted! It takes on so many different flavours really well. Especially good to soak up any leftover sauce in a stirfry

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