Dietitian's tip: Pilaf is a Middle Eastern dish that is made by sauteing rice or other grains in a bit of oil, and then adding seasonings and various vegetables. This version uses brown rice — rice that has its nutritious bran coating. Brown rice is naturally higher in most minerals and in vitamin E, compared with fiber-free white rice.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup brown rice
3 cups water
1 teaspoon low-sodium chicken-flavored bouillon granules
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 pound asparagus tips
2 tablespoons finely grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the rice and saute until it begins to "toast." Grains will begin to turn golden brown. Slowly, add the water, bouillon granules, onion, mushrooms and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add water as needed to keep the mixture from drying out.
Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, discarding the woody stems. Stir asparagus into the rice mixture, cover and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the grated cheese and garnish generously with parsley. Serve immediately.