Thanksgiving 2012

Thanksgiving is here and this year and I am so busy that I am going to rely on my favorite dishes. Every year I make wild rice with chestnuts. These long, black grains have an extraordinarily earthy flavor. This was a comfort dish made by my mother when I was little and, although she is long deceased, making this dish helps me to feel close to her.

I decided to research wild rice. According to the International Wild Rice Association, “Wild Rice is an aquatic cereal grain that grows “wild” in isolated lake and river bed areas located primarily within the continent of North America. It is also native to ecologically similar regions located on the continent of Asia. This evolutionarily ancient grain has been found in layers of the earth dating back some 12,000 years. In addition to its role as an important food staple for ancestral peoples, it has provided a unique habitat for fish and waterfowl for thousands of years.”

Here’s my mother’s recipe for wild rice:

1 cup wild rice

Medium chopped onion.

1-2 stalks celery, diced

½ lb. mushrooms


Little bit of thyme or herbs de Provence

1 bay leaf

4 cups chicken or mushroom broth

Salt to taste

1 lb. fresh chestnuts, either boiled or roasted and peeled or 1 package of roasted peeled chestnuts from Trader Joe’s (this is a really great cheat)


Sauté the vegetables and thyme in butter till wilted. You can use oil, but really people- it’s thanksgiving. Add the rice and stir till covered with butter and combined with the vegetables. Add the broth, starting with 2 cups and then adding more liquid as needed. Add the chestnuts towards the end. Lower the flame and simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. The rice should open up lengthwise when completely cooked.

Serve as a side dish, or use it to stuff the turkey for a delicious gluten free stuffing.

Optional: if you can’t get chestnuts, try slivered almonds. Throw in a handful of dried cranberries.

That’s it! Easy and afterwards, when you have leftovers, you can make delicious pancakes by folding them into a light batter with beaten egg whites. Serve with that leftover cranberry sauce.

Click Here for a nice looking recipe for Baked Acorn Squash Stuffed With Wild Rice and Kale Risotto from the New York Times.

Leave Your Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Cara Frank is an outstanding practitioner. She treated me for fertility issues and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I would not have my child were it not for her expertise and dedication.

She arranged for a practitioner from another group to meet me in the suburbs, so that I could get acupuncture immediately before and after my embryo transfer, since it was scheduled when she was seeing patients in the city. When our embryo wasn’t growing well, my fertility doc said the pregnancy was “unlikely to be successful”, and there was nothing else that Western Medicine had to offer, Cara’s acupuncture and herbs literally saved his life. I know it sounds crazy but, as a physician and fertility patient, I was far too familiar with how these situations usually end up.

Along the way, she has also treated my migraines, diagnosed my hypothyroidism, and kept my blood pressure in a safe range. Her emphasis on the important connection of diet and healthy, as well as her knowledge of food, are exceptional and significantly contribute to the unique and unparalleled experience of being in her care.

Erin S.