Confetti Rice Pilaf Stuffed Avocados (with Feta, Cranberry, Walnuts)

One of my prized possessions is a postcard with a handwritten note from the late marvelous, hilarious, one-and-only Erma Bombeck.  I wrote her a fan letter, telling her I was praying for her health. To my shock and surprise she took time out of her day (and dialysis) to send this encouraging note to me right after I got my first book contract.

One of my favorite columns by Erma was called “The Leftover Food Syndrome.”  It began, “I have never known a woman who can look at a mound of leftover food….and throw it away –the first time around.”  Erma then describes the leftover ritual known (genetically) to all women. After you wrap the left over in a container of your choice (“no leftover is too small to occupy shelf space”), you put it in the fridge and then over the week, each member of the family takes turns opening up the container asking, “What IS this?”

The object of this game is to never throw away the leftover as long as you can still recognize it. “It is not thrown away until it recognizes you,” Erma quipped.

What I love about this recipe below is that it uses up all those little bits of leftovers before they recognize you!  The savory, sweet, nutty, colorful rice makes a great side dish, or with the addition of extra nuts and cheese or little bits of ham or chicken — a wonderful light lunch or dinner.

Confetti Rice Pilaf Stuffed Avocados

Confetti Rice Pilaf Stuffed Avocados

Serves Six


1 Tablespoon Olive

1 Tablespoon Butter (or Earth Balance for vegans)

2 cups cooked rice, any combination you like or have leftover (I had brown, jasmine and wild rice on hand)

1/4 cup dried cranberries (raisins or other chopped dried fruit can work as well)

1/2 cup chopped cooked veggies, any combo, whatever you have leftover (I had carrots and edamame today)

1/4 cup toasted nuts (walnuts were on tap for this recipe)

2 T. crumbled feta or goat cheese  (skip this or use a vegan cheese substitute if you are vegan)

3 avocados, cut in half, seed removed


In a large skillet, melt butter and oil. Toss in rest of the ingredients until warm and heated through.  Salt and pepper if needed.  Just before serving toss in cheese and stir.  Fill avocado halves with mixture, letting some of the rice fall around the avocado on the plate as well.  One avocado makes a nice side dish, two make a meal in itself!

Variation:  Use leftover grains instead of rice, such a quinoa or bulgur

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