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Archive for July 13th, 2012

Un-Recipe; Off-the-Cuff Rice Salad

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Are you as hot as we are? It is too warm to cook much today.

Fortunately, Brian made a big batch of rice yesterday and we had leftovers. “Leftovers” is one of my favorite words! Less cooking time always makes me smile. I like eating a lot more than I like cooking.

They say one boost to creativity is to have limitations. Leftovers in the refrigerator means I’m limited to starting with the left over item. It’s amazing what flavors I’ll try together when they are left over on the same day.

Yesterday it was leftover chickpeas and greens (warm, with rice and good olive oil, very nice). Today? Cold rice became a brown rice salad. It was wonderfully satisfying.

We had a can of blackeyed peas in the refrigerator, just waiting to be some sort of salad. I added two chopped fresh carrots and a handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped, from my tiny herbs-in-pots garden on the back porch.

I didn’t use a dressing, really. Olive oil and gomasio (crushed sesame seeds and sea salt) were all that I added. If I’d had a lime, I might have squeezed some of its juice on it.

This salad can be altered very easily. I’m offering guidelines here rather than a true recipe.

Off-the-Cuff Brown Rice Salad

Starch (1-2 cups rice or pasta)
Protein (maybe a can of beans, 1-2 c thawed frozen peas, 1/2 c flavored tofu, or a chopped egg or three)
Chopped Crunchy Vegetable (carrot, celery, bell pepper, kohlrabi)
Fresh Herbs, Optional (basil, dill, cilantro… or your favorite)
Dressing (commercial dressing or great oil with good vinegar or citrus juice)
Optional: Top with Sesame seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds sans shells) for extra crunch, minerals and protein.

If you can have a commercial Italian dressing, that would be an easy way to flavor it. In my case (because of food restrictions), I added separate flavorings and fresh herbs.

Just toss it together. If you can let it sit for a while and soak up flavorings, all the better. If you are hungry, dig in and don’t worry about formalities.

Big yum. Cool, clean summer eating. (We had organic fresh strawberries with organic home-whipped cream for dessert… gourmet.)