1 December 2010

Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club Celebrates the Holidays with Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts

Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts and Cranberries

We are taking a brief break from my "Bucket list " menu to bring you our monthly event. We are so glad you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies in two neighbouring countries get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. We are now in our second year and continue to share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. This is a team effort where we combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!! Every month millions of readers turn to Cooking Light for recipes, advice on nutrition and fitness.

This month our theme was chosen by  Helene of La Cuisine de'Helene....

Holiday Dinner Party!!!!

 Today is December 1st when I officially start thinking out loud about Christmas, the decorations go up and baking is a weekly occurance. With the holidays coming this is the perfect time of year to pump up our kitchens into high gear! Let's see what the ladies over at the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club have brought to our Virtual Supper this month. If you would like to join in with a healthy dish from the pages of Cooking Light, from your archives or any another dish that would fit the "light" theme please feel free to join in below.

The editors at Cooking Light share their tips for slimming down classic holiday dishes. Never is this as important as it is during the holiday season when we are faced with an overwhelming variety of tasty dishes. Let's face it eating is a central part of the holidays. Whether you're serving two or 20, lightened up dishes make sure your dinner will be delicious as well as healthy.

Here is my secret to healthy holiday eating. Stop thinking you have to give up your favourite holiday treats, such as those cookies made by a special relative. I don't know about you but as soon as I even think of not eating something, I want to eat more. Instead, plan to enjoy one or two cookies rather than a whole plate even if they are just that good!!! To get the most flavour and pleasure from any food, slow down and savour every bite. Everything in moderation has always been a good philosophy to live by.

Helene of La Cuisine de'Helene brought some delicious Creamy Artichoke Dip. It made such a tasty beginning to the menu Helene. Thanks for choosing this months theme.

Next Sandi of The Whistlestop Cafe wowed us with the perfect holiday dish of Turkey Scallopine with Apricots and Ginger. This dish gave us the canvas to develop our menu that has that WOW factor.

 Our newest member Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen shared a stunning Cauliflower "Caviar" with Frizzled Prosciutto . This can be used as an appetizer but also makes a stunning side dish as well don't you think!!

I brought this Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts and Cranberries from the pages of Cooking Light. I loved the texture the wild rice added to the dish married with the sweetness of the cranberries. The nutty, almost smoky flavour of wild rice pairs beautifully with game birds and other poultry. Although it wasn't originally planned this way this Wild Rice Dressing dotted with highbush cranberries and earthy chestnuts goes perfectly with the rest of my "Bucket List Menu". (I began my "bucket list" challenge with a tasty starter of Crab Cake Sliders with Lemon Remoulade. As the main dish I had Roasted Chicken with Tarragon Gravy which is now accompanied by this delicious stuffing).

And for dessert Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club wowed us with a dessert of Vanilla-Bourbon Pumpkin Tart. There can never be enough pumpkin in my books at a holiday table!!!!!!

On to the recipe.....

**Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts and Cranberries**

2 cups uncooked wild rice
2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 cups whole roasted bottled chestnuts
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups halved lengthwise and thinly sliced carrot
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine rice, broth, 2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. (Do not drain.) Place rice in a large bowl; cover.

 Arrange chestnuts on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Cool slightly; cut chestnuts into quarters.

 Place cranberries in a small bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and add to rice.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add carrot, onion, and celery; cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in herbs; remove from heat. Add to rice mixture. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, chestnuts, and pepper.

 Spoon rice mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup)

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. This look absolutely nice! I love cranberries!!! huggs, gloria

  2. I have never had chestnuts, but I am sure they added a nice flavor to this dish. It looks great!

  3. Roasted Chestnuts just make me think of Christmas Festivals in Germany. A handful in each pocket will keep you warm.
    This looks like a great holiday party recipe!

  4. This looks great! I love wild rice with cranberries!

  5. I really have to try this Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts Val. Sounds so Holidays to me. Lights are going up in the neighbourhood. Feels like Christmas already.

  6. I really like wild rice and don't cook with nearly often enough. This sounds so great with the chestnuts and cranberries!

  7. I think I like dressings a little more than the "star" they are to accompany. I'm certainly grateful to add this one to my repertoire!


  8. i feel like i've made something similar with raisins, but cranberries are much more colorful!

  9. Mmmm I adore the texture of wild rice and after roasting my own chestnuts for Thanksgiving, I have a serious penchant for them now as well! This sounds like my kind of dressing.

  10. That is a lovely recipe! What an original combo.



  11. That's a really nice menu -- from start to finish! Congratulations girls.

  12. What a wonderful and healthy side dish Val. This is definitely not a boring rice dish.

  13. Wow, I'm so intrigued by this dish, Val. :-) Chestnuts AND cranberries? How delicious, sprightly and so very warming. :-)

  14. I love wild rice - that looks absolutely delicious - I'm definitely bookmarking this one for Christmas :-)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'm so glad you came to visit.
    Sue :-)

  15. It is always difficult to stick to some kind of a good eating plan this time of the year. You have just shown me it IS possible!!

  16. I was just at the doc's today and found I gained 7 pounds and my blood pressure is way up! Time to slim down! I love this idea for dressing. I remember turning my nose up at rice dressing when someone made it as a kid. Now I think I'm pretty willing to try anything. Wild rice is so versatile!

  17. I love when you gals do this. You, always, have the best dishes. I love cooking light and use it, all the time.

    I didn't realize you had a linky. I am not sure, I have anything for this month but I am going to take a look.

  18. I love wild rice and for some strange reason, seem to forget about it. Thanks for reminding me with the lovely recipe Val.

  19. one mere mention of chestnuts and my mind automatically turns to 'the christmas song.' :) bring on the holidays!

  20. Roasted chestnuts in a bottle is new to me and will now certainly have to be on the look out for it. The rice must be so flavourful and there's a few things I will adapt to my next wild rice dish.

    What a fabulous menu Val...very appetizing. I will have to also go check out that Bourbon Pumpkin tart ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  21. i think i can easily live off roasted chestnuts - just waiting till the weatehr is cold enough in the med to start roasting them!

  22. I was given wild rice at the foodie exchange. This looks like a great recipe to try.

  23. Now this is a tasty way to enjoy some wild rice.


Welcome to my home. Thank you for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your support, comments, suggestions,and daily encouragement.


This blog uses comment moderation therefore SPAMMERS, SELF-PROMOTERS and ADVERTISERS will be deleted.