Green Bean Pilaf with Toasted Almonds, Pine Nuts and Raisins

8 Apr

I’ve decided to go on a detox diet for a month to see if I can lose some weight. It means no meat (obviously), eggs, dairy, wheat, sugar or alcohol for a month. My friend has lent me a Carol Vorderman detox book that has some good recipes in it that I am using as a base to work from. They are all quite basic in the flavour department so I will be amping up the spices to make sure every dish is delicious and full of flavour as well as healthy. I don’t want it to feel like I am on a diet or that I am being deprived and I definitely don’t want the food to be boring in any way.

I started about a week ago and I am definitely noticing a difference. I feel less bloated, lighter and less hungry, which is surprising. This is my breakfast smoothie that I am having every day. It is one or two crushed ice cubes blended with 1 banana, 5 or 6 strawberries, a big slice of pineapple, the juice of half an orange and a handful of oats. It is a lovely way to start the day and keeps me full until lunchtime which is great because I walk/jog 4.5km every morning with the dog.

This was my first vegan gluten-free meal, as you can see there is a little bit of crumbled Feta on the top, but that was the last of it I promise… Well I’m not promising anything really. That’s too much pressure and there is an amazing vegetarian “Scotch Egg” & piccalilli recipe that I am desperate to try. The only thing I am promising is that there will never be a boring, tasteless, bland recipe on this blog so don’t worry. I have plenty of exciting South American, South East Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian recipes up my sleeve that you wouldn’t even know were detox, so here we go…

Green Bean Pilaf with Almonds, Pine Nuts & Raisins

serves 4, vegan & gluten-free without the Feta. Adapted from Carol Vorderman’s Detox Recipes

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced in half lengthways, rinsed & finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 300 gr wholegrain (brown) rice
  • 1 litre veg stock
  • 225 gr green beans, trimmed & halved
  • 30 gr pine nuts
  • 30 gr flaked almonds
  • 50 gr raisins (I used moscatel they are bigger & juicier)
  • a handful of fresh parsley, chopped plus leaves for garnish
  • a handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
  • salt & black pepper
  • greek feta (optional)

Toast the pine nuts and almonds in a dry frying pan, shaking occasionally until browned. Don’t take your eyes off of them or they will burn. Set aside to cool.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, leeks and a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes until softened but not browned then add in the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Add the coriander, cumin and rice and cook, stirring for a minute until the grains are glossy. Add the veg stock and the raisins and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid is almost absorbed and the rice is nearly cooked. Add the green beans, salt, pepper,stir, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes until the beans and rice are cooked. Stir through the chopped herbs, taste and serve sprinkled with the toasted almonds, pine nuts, a few parsley leaves and some crumbled feta (if using).

Wholegrain rice provides fibre, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and iron that white rice does not. Leeks and onions are rich in allyl sulphides which are protective against heart disease and cancer as well as providing folate and vitamin C. Pine nuts & almonds provide protein & calcium and are super-rich in heart healthy vitamin E and monounsaturated oils.

All that and it tastes great too, enjoy!!


12 Responses to “Green Bean Pilaf with Toasted Almonds, Pine Nuts and Raisins”

  1. Roxan April 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Sigh, I’d love to do a detox too, but it’s hard with my husband! I will really love reading about yours too… it’ll motivate me to cook even more healthy meals. Maybe someday I will be able to commit to a detox.

  2. Jill@MadAboutMacarons April 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    Who could worry when you see that plate of gorgeous colours and textures? Looks absolutely delicious, the smoothie too. I am in awe of your strength. I keep meaning to do a detox but then I always find an excuse. Who knows? Your posts are definitely already inspiration!

  3. Clarkie @ Beloved Green April 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    I made some pilaf last week, yummy! Can’t get enough of the stuff. Bonus is that I just bought some pine nuts a couple days ago, so this whole combo is making my hungry 🙂

  4. happywhennothungry April 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Good luck with your detox!! I would love to do one for a month, but I think it would be sooo difficult for me. But, if you’re eating this delicious dish everyday then I might be able to!! Looking forward to seeing more!

  5. Rufus' Food and Spirit Guide April 9, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Despite its healthy billing, this sounds quite tasty!

  6. Red April 9, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    That looks like real feel good food, healthy should definitely not mean boring. I love your blog, I’m always looking for new non-meat recipes althought I’m not a vegetarian and I don’t think I’ve seen anything on your blog that I wouldn’t very happily eat.

  7. tony ward April 9, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    You GO GIRL !! Detox is a strange concept to me…..except to say that I think its spelt with two ‘t’s’.
    The pilaf looks great and I’m sure will be just as tasty. xx

  8. Celia April 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Good luck with the gluten detox! With delicious food like this, who’d miss wheat?

  9. Lindsay April 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    I’m having a good giggle over here about your vegan pilaf with feta. I totally do the same thing.

    Don’t pressure yourself with labels. Eat what feels right and tastes good, and enjoy it. I love the fact that you’re focusing on flavour rather than rules. Enjoy it!

    PS. YUM.

  10. Susan April 12, 2011 at 12:44 am #

    Good luck with your diet goal! This pilaf looks delish; one would never klnow that it’s ‘super healthy’!

  11. Bean April 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Good for you for doing a detox diet! I tried to do something similar a while ago, but I was still eating something that I was allergic to, so it didn’t quite have the effect that I wanted. Oh well, maybe next time!

    To answer your question about making an oat bar: you should be able to make quite a tasty granola-esque bar with oats, puffed brown rice, almond butter and honey. You could probably add some nuts or dried fruits if you wanted to as well! A while ago I made something similar:

    Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂

  12. rsmacaalay July 25, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    That pilaf looks delicious! Excellent photos

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