Sunday, June 20, 2010

Can't beat it Rice Salad

easy? check.
great for potlucks? check.
healthy? check.
vegetarian? check.
vegan? check. brownie points for that one!
easily converted to gluten free? yes, even that.
cheap? ehh, not exactly, but you get a lot of really filling food out of this.

I found this recipe on one of my favorite food/living blogs, Apartment Therapy, and they adapted it from this Emeril recipe, and then I changed it up a bit to match what I liked and what I had available. The ingredient list is a little longer than what I usually go for, but it was worth it.

I used wild rice and bulgar:

and then all of this stuff:

I'd eated two bowls of it before I remembered to take a photo of the finished product:

This is salad is wonderful because it tastes incredible, it's healthy, and it's incredibly filling.  One bowl, and you're pretty much set for a few hours.  Great for a pot luck, you can make it the day before, and it's holds just perfectly in the fridge.

even better, I managed to make this entire thing only dirtying one sauce pan, and one bowl! 

I highly suggest preparing the rice and the bulgar the night before, as they take a while and you want them at room temperature or cold when you put the rest of the salad together.  Both the wild rice and the bulgar can just sit (covered) on the kitchen counter overnight.

Rice and Bulgar Salad

1 4oz package wild rice
1 1/2 cups bulgar
1 lime
1 orange
about 2 tbsp dried dill
a good bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
a few sprigs of fresh mint, chopped
1 sweet pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
about 1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup diced dried dates
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin

Cook the wild rice according to the package directions. If you have extra water left, strain it.  Put the bulgar in a bowl large enough to hold the entire salad and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over top.  Cover, and let sit one hour.

Mix cooled, cooked rice into the bulgar.  Zest the lime and the orange, and add the zests to the rice mixture.  Juice the lime and orange into a seperate bowl, and set aside.

Add the dill, parsley, mint, sweet pepper, cucumber, almonds and dates into the rice and bulgar. To make the dressing, blend the orange and lime juice with the cumin, olive oil, and some salt & pepper. pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.  add more salt and pepper to taste.  Chill for a few hours and enjoy!

Just looking at the ingredients, I knew this salad was going to be good, but I didn't expect it to be that good!!  the dates and sweet peppers are, well, sweet, the lime juice is tart, the mint is bright and fun, and the cumin, rice and bulgar are earthy, with some crunch in the almonds.  Just a really wonderful mix of ingredients.  I took it for lunch to work a few times, and I was amazed at how filling this was. Usually my lunch is a tupperware container full of something, and a snack.  after a bowl of this, I didn't need my snack.

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