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Recipe: Savory Wild Winter Rice (plus a cost analysis!)

This recipe demonstrates the affordability of healthy eating and the ease with which you can prepare a healthy and hearty meal.  This recipe combines a whole grain, protein, 3 different colored vegetables and healthy fats (oil).  Further, the seasonal ingredients used help keep the cost down but the flavor bold.  To make this a vegan dish, lentils or chickpeas would be a great substitution for the egg and provide plenty of lean protein.

The cost analysis below provides a breakdown of each ingredient.  When compared to the high vitamin and mineral content, you get a much bigger nutritional bang for your buck than with any convenience food or item on the go.

*Note: maybe it’s summer where you live, in which case you should feel free to prepare this with any two (or more!) seasonal vegetables.  If it were summer in the northeastern United States, I’d prepare this with roasted summer squash, red peppers and oregano.

Savory Wild Winter Rice

Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup wild rice
  • 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ butternut squash, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ bunch greens (i.e. collard greens or kale), roughly chopped
  • Crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Splash of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium stockpot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ½ the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 more minutes.  Add the rice, rosemary, and broth.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook about 45 minutes or according to package directions.

In the meantime, lightly spray the butternut squash with oil and bake for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and caramelized.  The smaller the pieces, the faster it will cook.

When the rice is finished, transfer to a bowl and fill the stockpot with 2-3 inches of water and add the vinegar.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low so the water isn’t quite bubbling.  Also, fill a bowl with an ice water bath (water plus ice).  Poach the eggs for about 3-4 minutes each for a runny yolk, up to 6 minutes for a hard yolk.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place into the ice water bath to stop the cooking.

Lastly, lightly spray a pan with olive oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.  Add the greens and sauté until bright green.  To the rice, add the squash, greens, parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Toss and divide servings.  Place one egg on each serving.

Cost Analysis



Cost Per Item

Cost Per Recipe

Cost Per Portion

1 lb. bag wild rice $3.79 $1.25 $0.63
1 can chicken broth $0.79 $0.79 $0.79
1 butternut squash $2.00 $1.00 $0.50
Onion $0.60 $0.60 $0.30
Garlic $0.25 $0.15 $0.07
Rosemary    *free if you grow your own $2.00 $0.50 $0.25
Eggs $2.50 $0.42 $0.21
Parmesan $4.00 $1.50 $0.75
Oil, vinegar salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, lemon juice ——— About $0.20 $0.10


  $7.20 $3.60

*All of the ingredient costs were derived from online store prices.

505 calories ∣ 154 calories from fat ∣ 17 g fat ∣ 5 g saturated fat ∣ 65 g carbs ∣ 7 g fiber ∣ 26 g protein ∣ Good source of B vitamins and vitamins A, C, K, E ∣ Calcium ∣ Iron ∣ Magnesium  ∣ Potassium ∣ Zinc

*This recipe provides at least 30% of the daily value of almost all vitamins and minerals

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