Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

New Year’s Day provided us with a freebie day off in the middle of the week.  Besides random household chores, I decided that the best use of this time would be to cook a few dishes that we planned to eat in the coming week so that we buy ourselves time in the evenings for the next few days by having dinner already prepared.  The bigger benefit being that these dishes are ones that get better with time- the kind that soak up dressings, and age with grace.  A soup, some roasted vegetables, a dressed rice dish….


  • 1 1/3 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 medium carrots, quartered and sliced thin
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 leek, sliced thin
  • 1 3-inch piece daikon, halved and cut into thin strips
  • 1 small purple-top turnip, peeled, halved, and cut into thin half-circles
  • 1 cup thinly cut cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower (or other mild) oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon barley miso (we found a great 3-year dark handcrafted right in Conway, MA by South River.  Organic too!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  • Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium pot, add the rice and return it to a boil
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through, about 50 minutes
  • Meanwhile, bring a large fry pan up to a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and all of the sesame oil, then toss in the carrots, celery, leek, daikon and turnip and get a nice brown on them.  If they begin to get too dark, turn down the heat and cook them until they’re al dente
  • When the veggies are cooked, add in the cabbage.  It’s cut nice and thin so it should soften up quickly
  • While that’s cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, remaining tablespoon of sunflower oil, ginger, miso and crushed red pepper until blended
  • When the rice is cooked, add it to the pan with the vegetables (or, if you’re out of space in the pan you can do this in a large serving or mixing bowl) and pour in the dressing, stirring to incorporate all ingredients
Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

Miso-ginger wild rice with carrots, cabbage, daikon and turnip

Chicken & leek stew

For a cool and/or rainy day this is a fantastic stew which manages to be thick and creamy, but not heavy.  The sour cream and Greek yogurt give this dish a delightful tang that keeps your mouth coming back for more.  The stew comes together easily, and does not take a ton of time for cooking.  If you have a food processor on hand, you can cut down on prep time too.

I opted to serve the stew over some brown rice that I’d done in a rice cooker with chicken broth, but it would also do well over egg noodles or quinoa.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced

Salt and pepper

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into chunks

All-purpose flour, for dusting

Poultry seasoning

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

½ cup non-fat sour cream

½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt


  • In a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the leeks and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened

  • Add the mushrooms & carrots and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender. Scrape the leeks and mushrooms onto a plate

  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper and lightly dust with flour mixed with poultry seasoning.

  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the chicken and cook over moderate heat until golden brown, but not necessarily cooked through

  • Add the chicken stock and thyme and simmer over moderate heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer the chicken to the plate with the vegetables.
  • Simmer the stock over a moderately high heat until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Return the chicken, leeks and mushrooms to the skillet and simmer over low heat until warmed through, about 1 minute
  • In a small bowl, blend the sour cream with the yogurt and stir into the stew. Remove the pan from the heat. Season the stew with salt and pepper and serve (over some cooked rice)


Recipe adapted from an article in Food and Wine, recipe by Jamie Oliver