Zingy Spinach and Brown Rice Salad

17 Apr

Simple.  Delicious.  Pretty healthy.

Any dish that is simple, delicious and pretty healthy is a winner in my kitchen.  Even more so if it is delicious in a way that just screams “medley of flavors.”  No bland food around here, thank you very much.

This Spinach and Brown Rice Salad is all of the above, so it’s staying.  I found the original recipe on the back of the rice box while trying, trying, trying to think of an easy side dish I could make.  An easy side dish on the lighter, springier side of side dishes, that is.  No roasting, no baking involved.  I modified the box recipe a bit, and this little stunner is the result.  It’s so fresh and pretty it could almost just be a garnish.  But maybe that’s the parsely speaking to me.

Zingy Spinach and Brown Rice Salad

Zingy Spinach and Brown Rice Salad
Makes 6 servings

2 c. cooked brown rice
3 c. sliced fresh spinach
1/2 c. finely sliced celery
1/2 c. chopped, toasted pecans*
1/8 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsely
1/3 c. chopped green onion (white and green parts)
1/2 c. light house Italian salad dressing
8 dashes hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. dijon mustard

While rice is cooking, chop fresh ingredients and put in a large bowl.  Add warm, but slightly cooled, brown rice and mix.

Whisk together salad dressing, hot pepper sauce and dijon mustard; pour over rice mixture and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate before serving.

a light, fresh side dish

*A note about toasting pecans…  Toasting sooo brings out the nutty wonderfulness of nuts.  I purposely toasted an extra handful of pecan halves, just so I could snack on them.  Once you’ve toasted nuts – whether it’s pecans, almonds or walnuts, you’ll want to toast ’em before you use them in any recipe.  And it’s so easy, you will!

Here’s how to toast nuts: Preheat oven to 350.  Spread nuts on a cookie sheet or other metal baking pan.  Let cook for about 8 minutes, tossing halfway through.  Let cool before using.

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