1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Toss sweet potatoes, rice, cranberries, butter, water, maple syrup and pepper together.
3. Place mixture into a 2-quart baking dish lightly sprayed with cooking oil.
4. Cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature of 165°F.
5. Stir and top with chopped pecans prior to serving.
Tip: Slivered almonds can be used in place of pecan pieces.