Dietitian's tip: Not a true rice at all, wild rice is the unpolished kernels of a wild grass native to the Great Lakes area. Wild rice is cooked differently from true rices — it requires boiling in a larger quantity of water.
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Spread the almonds on the baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Transfer immediately to a plate to cool.
In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice. Reduce heat and cover. Keep adding water as necessary to prevent the rice from drying out. Simmer until the rice is tender, about 45 to 60 minutes. Pour through a fine-meshed strainer to drain. Return the rice to the saucepan and stir in the dried cranberries. Cover and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar and sugar.
In a large bowl, combine the rice and diced apples. Add the oil mixture and toss to coat evenly. Serve warm or cold on individual plates. Top with toasted almonds.