I’ve been staring at this bag of brown rice on my kitchen counter for almost two weeks now, patiently waiting for it to tell me what to build from its lightly textured, fluffy goodness. After dreaming about this salad for the past two nights (yes, actual dreams), I am thrilled to share this hearty, filling salad with you.
Unlike its bleached and stripped sibling, white rice, brown rice is still a “whole grain” with its hull and bran intact; what that means is that brown rice is rich in proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium. White rice on the other hand must be artificially and chemically “enriched” to put back everything that was taken out of it. Yum.
For me a great salad is all about hitting different textures in each bite. An easy, delicious way to do this and add in protein, fiber and healthy fat is with nuts – enter the chopped and toasted walnut. Walnuts go with just about everything, so I always keep a big bag in the freezer, why teh free which keeps the delicate oils from going rancid in your pantry. They only need about 45 seconds in a very hot cast iron pan, shake the pan continuously and do. not. walk. away.
I threw in a handful of dried cranberries when the rice was almost done, let it all cool and stirred in the nuts.
Butternut squash and I have had a gorgeous Caribbean Fall/Winter love affair on the grill, in pancakes and of course gnocchi, so it wasn’t a far reach to want to feature them in this salad.
They only needed about 25 minutes in a 350° oven to be fork tender & perfect.
I sauteed the carrots until they caramelized slightly along with the chopped kale in some garlic coconut oil just for a few minutes until it started to wilt, tossing in some cooked quinoa right at the end.
Needing some freshness since all of my salad was cooked to some degree at this point, I shaved up some cucumbers and made a lemon, tahini dressing to coat them in.
Speaking of fresh…
Were there pomegranate seeds everywhere? Absolutely not and there are no pictures to prove otherwise. Moving on.
A salad shouldn’t be relegated to being a side dish that simply shows up so that you have something green on your plate and yes, this huge plate of goodness really is, a salad.
Simultaneously light and filling, this is a meal filled with complete, whole foods so you can truly feel good about having seconds or even thirds because it really is that good. To everyone who says they can’t have a meal without meat, I’m not vegetarian by any means but just try it before you decide. I can promise you, you won’t miss it one bit.
I’m really proud and excited to offer the Nyämaste Ancient Grains Super Salad as our second menu item, now available for order.
Do something your body will thank you for.