Brown Rice and Pomegranate Salad

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This brown rice and pomegranate salad is the first recipe I have made from my new cookbook Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (a gift from my lovely aunt Louise!). It is very light and fresh tasting, and it would pair well with a wide variety of other dishes. Like many other grain salads, this recipe also makes for great lunches for the next day.

High levels of fibre and antioxidants make pomegranates a great addition to meals, but the seeds can be a bit tricky to remove (I have sprayed myself in the face more than once while trying to free the seeds). Watch this video by BBC Good Food for tips on how to remove pomegranate seeds with maximum success and minimal mess.  http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/technique/how-remove-pomegranate-seeds

Recipe Analysis for 1 Serving:

Calories (kcal) 340.7
Fat (g) 23.3
Saturated Fat (g) 5.3
Sodium (mg) 265.4
Fibre (g) 3.5
Sugar (g) 8.9
Protein (g) 6.3

Food Groups Per Serving:

Vegetables and Fruit – 2.0
Grain Products – 0.5
Milk and Alternatives – 0.5
Meat and Alternatives – 0.5

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Brown Rice and Pomegranate Salad

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

3/4 cup brown rice

6 medium celery stalks, chopped

1/4 cup roasted pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2/3 tsp allspice

3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

seeds from 1 large pomegranate

black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place brown rice in a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce temperature and simmer for 35-40 minutes until rice is tender but chewy
  2. Transfer rice to a mixing bowl and add in celery, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, allspice and black pepper.
  3. Prior to serving add in feta cheese, roasted pecans, and fresh herbs.
  4. Mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste.

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Recipe adapted from Plenty cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi

Roasted Beet, Carrot and Chickpea Salad

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Roasted beets, carrots and onions are so sweet and delicious that it really doesn’t take much to make a great dish with them. Although you can use any kind of beet in this salad recipe, golden beets tend to be a bit milder in flavour and won’t stain hands, clothes, etc, while you are prepping them. This dish is incredibly simple to make and I recommend it for anyone looking for a quick dinner that they can pack for lunch the next day. Not including roasting time, this recipe took about 15 minutes to prepare (using canned chickpeas) and cost under $8 to make. If you want to make this salad a little heartier, try adding in some scrubbed and quartered red skinned potatoes.

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Roasted Golden Beet, Carrot and Chickpea Salad

Makes ~ 2 main servings and ~4 side servings

Ingredients:

4-5 medium carrots, cut into 2″ lengths
4-5 golden beets, peeled and cut into half moons
1 tbsp olive oil (for roasting)
1/4 tsp salt (for roasting)
1 28oz can salt free chickpeas or 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 small red onion, sliced
1 bunch Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
5 small garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss sliced carrots, beets, and onion with 2 tbsp olive oil and salt to taste.
  2. Spread in a single layer in baking dish and roast until tender and beginning to brown ~40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, to make dressing mix lemon juice, mustard, garlic, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine roasted carrots, beets, onions, chickpeas, and parsley. Pour vinaigrette over salad mixture and toss to combine. You can use as much or as little of the dressing as you like.
  5. Add black pepper to taste. Serve the salad warm.
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Curried Rice and Lentil Salad

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This is a nice rice salad that works great as a side dish or as a main (it’s a complete source of protein!). The salad has a mild curry flavour and is light and refreshing. If you enjoy spicier foods feel free to use medium curry paste (or stronger) instead of mild. This salad will stay fresh for up to 3 days, so make it ahead of time for dinner or for lunches.

When I made the salad I toasted the almonds first to enhance their flavour and give them a crunchier texture. To toast whole almonds:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread nuts in one layer on ungreased shallow baking pan.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant.

This recipe makes about 10 servings. Each serving has about 300 Calories and 10 grams of protein.

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Curried Rice and Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice

2 tsp mild curry paste

2 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable stock

1 (19 oz) can lentils, drained and rinsed

1 cup almonds, whole

1/2 cup carrot, grated

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped

3 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp honey

pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the rice, curry paste, and vegetable stock in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook about 15 minutes or until broth is fully absorbed and rice is tender.
  2. Transfer rice to a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  3. Toss to combine.
  4. Salad can be eaten warm, or you can cover and chill salad until needed.

Recipe adapted from Thrifty Foods Recipes

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Orzo & Arugula Salad with Lemon Thyme Dressing

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This is another quick and tasty salad that you can make for dinner and then pack for lunch the following day. When I make grain salads I usually eat them as the main part of my meal and therefore like them to be packed with vegetables and have some protein. When I made this salad I found that the final product did not have enough vegetables for me. I enjoyed it a lot more with some cucumber and tomato added in. I didn’t include cucumber and tomato on the ingredients list as I wanted to leave it open for you to be able to add whatever extra vegetables might be hanging around your fridge. Next time I make this salad I will consider adding some shredded carrots or beets and maybe some lentils.

Grain salads can be really versatile, so be creative the next time you make one and experiment with different grains, vegetables, cheese, and nuts.

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Orzo & Arugula Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo
2 cups arugula or spinach
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
3-4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup toasted and chopped walnuts or pecans
Squeeze of lemon

Lemon thyme vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (1 tbsp dried thyme)
salt & pepper, to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Cook the orzo in boiling water for about 7-10 minutes.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients for the lemon thyme vinaigrette. Set aside.
  3. Place the arugula in a large bowl. When the orzo is cooked, use a slotted spoon to scoop the hot orzo over the arugula.
  4. Add the feta cheese, and pour in some of the dressing. Toss to combine, the arugula will begin to wilt.
  5. Add as much or little of the dressing as you like. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.loveandlemons.com/2012/06/18/orzo-arugula-salad-lemon-thyme/

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Kale and Quinoa Salad

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I am really excited to share this kale and quinoa salad recipe that was passed on to me by my cousin. I love kale! It has amazing nutritional value for only a few calories, and it is easy to grow. I planted 12 small kale plants this summer, went away for 2 weeks, and came back to find 12 large kale plants that supplied me with enough of the leafy vegetable well into the fall. This year I hope to be able to start my own plants from seed. I encourage everyone to try growing this plant. http://gentleworld.org/kale-an-easy-beginners-guide-to-growing/

This is actually the first recipe (outside of smoothies) where I used uncooked kale in a recipe. I was a little concerned that the kale would be too crunchy/chewy/bitter, but the warm quinoa and the dressing softened it up and added a nice peppery flavour. Most grain salads like this suggest that you cool the grain before adding to the salad mixture; however, I like my grain salads warm and will often add the just cooked grain to the rest of the ingredients. You can serve it whichever way you prefer. This salad is great because it is very simple to make and has lots of nutritionally dense ingredients.

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Kale and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups of water

1 cup of quinoa

10  leaves of kale, cut into bite sized pieces

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 – 1 tsp black pepper

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1 cup currants

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Mix quinoa into boiling water, cover and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 12 minutes or until water is fully absorbed.
  2. Place kale in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, and pepper. Drizzle over kale.
  4. Add quinoa, pecans, currants, and feta cheese. Toss to mix.

Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/kale-and-quinoa-salad/

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