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In this week’s “4PM Panic” post I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes. I like this one for dinner and then especially as lunch the next day. As a mother, I always feel the call to feed my children healthy, well-rounded options. It’s not always easy but with this Brown rice salad, it is. I tried it at one of my favorite Ann Arbor Restaurants years back and it’s been a regular part of my dinner repertoire since. The combination of crunchy pumpkin and sunflower seeds, creamy avocados, and the tangy vinaigrette make for a dish that’s full of complex flavors, yet easy to prepare.
We eat this dish as a meatless meal, but if you prefer to have another form of protein, you can easily add the meat of a roasted chicken, grilled chicken breasts, sliced flank steak, etc. This is a great dish to make when you have leftovers you want to add to a new dish. Also, I love this dish the next day for lunch. I usually add a bit more greens and sometimes toss in a few dried cranberries. It’s a chewy dish that makes you feel like you are eating something substantial when you’re actually eating a very nutritious meal.
Brown Rice Salad
- 2 and 1/4 cups Sweet brown rice
- 2 and 1/4 short grain brown rice
- 1/3 cup sliced scallions
- 1 avocado diced
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds
- 2 Tablespoons Sunflower seeds
- sprouts, baby radish sprouts or arugula, optional
- 1 Tsp Tamarin or soy sauce
- 2 Teaspoons of plum vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 cup chopped flat leave parsley
- 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium diced cucumbers
- drizzle with cold-pressed flax oil to finish
- 1 bunch of Kale and 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Optional: 4 eggs see suggestion below!
- Prepare rice according to the package (or your rice maker’s) directions. Place cooled rice into a large bowl.
- Sprinkle rice with plum vinegar, brown rice vinegar and olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Add seeds and 1/2 parsley and 1/2 scallions mix again.
- Season to taste with Tamarin.
- Spoon into bowls and top with tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, parsley, greens and scallions.
- Drizzle with flaxseed oil to finish.
- If you choose, Kale chips are delicious with this dish.
Suggestion: The truth of the matter is what Beyonce really meant to say was “put an egg on it.” Putting an egg on anything elevates it to a whole new level. If I say to my family that we’re having salad for dinner I usually get a less than enthusiastic look. If I put a plate go hearty brown rice salad with a fried egg on top in front of them I’m the BEST Mom/Wife ever! Give it a try. Sorry, it’s not pictured. I was out of eggs this time so I was only average mom tonight.
Perfect Kale Chips
Line a sheet pan with Parchment paper. Wash and dry your kale. Use a sharp knife to remove the thick stem in the middle of the leaf. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces. Not too small, they will shrink when they bake. Toss them with a drizzle of olive oil. Use your hands to work the oil into all the parts of the leaf. They should not be “wet” just lightly dressed. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.
I’ve tried to make Kale chips several times and I think I have perfected the process. Kale chips should not be soggy or burnt. I bake at 300°F for 10 minutes, then I rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. So 25 minutes total for kale chip perfection in my oven. This will vary based on your oven, but it’s a good starting point! I usually have to stand guard when they are ready because my kids and husband will eat the entire sheet pan full and there won’t be any for dinner.
Use the Kale chips to garnish the rice bowls and put the rest in a serving bowl on the table to enjoy.