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Asparagus Rice Pilaf

When I met my husband he was the type of person that had to have his broccoli covered in cheese. I on the other hand grew up eating vegetables and loved them o’natural. Over the years I slowly introduced Todd to new vegetables and healthier ways of cooking them. And to his credit, he’s not so bad in the kitchen himself and has done his own experimenting with veggies – it also helps that he’s always willing to try something at least once.

I was so proud when Todd told me one day “My 2 favorite vegetables are asparagus and spinach.” Success! We started to buy these on a regular basis and would experiment with new ways of cooking them and introducing them to some of our favorite dishes. This pilaf dish is not only Todd’s favorite type, a one-pot meal, it also combines 3 of Todd’s favorite things – asparagus, rice and pasta.

I can’t take the credit for this recipe. A friend of mine stumbled upon it when she was trying to figure out what to do with all the asparagus she had leftover from her CSA box (thanks Sarah!). I gave it a try one night and it was an instant hit. I have actually never made this recipe with butter (as it calls for), always with Earth Balance. Have also never put cashews into it, ever, and it’s still great. This round I threw in some Goji Berries for some color and all the health benefits they offer.

Now…how to get Todd to like olives???

Asparagus Rice Pilaf
Adapted from

Serves 8

1/4 Cup Earth Balance
4 ounces uncooked Spaghetti, broken
1/4 Cup Yellow Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/4 Cup uncooked Jasmine Rice
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 bunch Asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1/4 Cup Goji Berries, reconstituted in warm water

  1. Melt Earth Balance in sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Stir in spaghetti and cook until coated with the butter and lightly browned.
  3. Stir in onion and garlic into sauce pan and cook about 2 minutes, until tender.
  4. Stir in Jasmine rice and cook about 5 minutes.
  5. Add vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and cook for 20 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  7. Place asparagus in a separate pan of water and cook until tender.
  8. Combine asparagus and goji berries with rice mixture, serve warm.

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