TGIF! If you're in Baltimore, welcome to an early summer - this week has been gloriously sunny and hot! Thankfully, some cooler weather is coming our way soon, more seasonal springtime weather to get outside and enjoy. And this week's recipe is perfect for this weekend - are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a delicious & spirited fiesta?
This week has been a very active and exciting week at my house, there's never a dull moment. Thankfully, I've had some quiet time alone in my kitchen, just enough time to prepare some delicious make-ahead recipes to feed us in-between activities. I'm adamant about serving homemade meals, even when our schedule is chaotic; I truly believe that I feel better when I eat food that I've prepared myself, with ingredients that I've chosen. Making time for food preparation can be tough, especially with a full schedule of moving parts, but it's essential for feeling my best when I'm awake and active, as well as for sleeping soundly to let my body rest and repair. Carry-out food can't provide the kind of nutrition that we rely upon for our daily lives to keep-up at their current pace!
I've been making variations of this Fiesta Rice Salad for many years, it's a great recipe to make when the temperature starts to rise. The rice is made ahead of time and served cool/cold. The fruits and vegetables mixed-in are bright and vibrant, they're raw and provide the perfect amount of crunch. And the dressing that pulls it all together is super simple, tangy and delicious. Any dish that can be made in advance is a great one to know, especially a healthful and nourishing salad. It can be served atop of mixed greens or as a side dish next to some simple grilled fish or chicken. Leftovers keep well for several days and I think that the flavor actually improves as it has time to chill together. My daughter loves to find a container of this salad in her lunch box, and I've never heard a complaint from my husband when his take-to-work lunch contains this salad, either.
Switching gears, if you are looking for some fun hands-on cooking classes, I have 2 upcoming classes on the calendar at Common Market Co-op in Frederick, MD. On Saturday, May 19th, I'll be teaching Balls, Bars & Bites: No-Bake Nourishing Snacks. In this class, I'll be sharing some of my favorite energizing snack recipes that won't heat-up your kitchen in the summertime! And on Saturday, June 9th, the class will be Quinoa: 1 Pot, 3 Ways, a great class for learning some simple techniques for making 3 delicious meals from one easy to cook pot of my favorite pseudo-grain. Advanced registration is required, I'd love to see you there!
I'm counting the moments until the weekend officially begins, I've got a houseful of guests to enjoy a relaxing weekend in my home! We'll eat well, play a lot, and make wonderful memories together.
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Fiesta Rice Salad
Ingredients: (note - use organic whenever possible)
6 C cooked & cooled black rice
1 C chopped mango
2 C chopped red cabbage
1 C chopped scallions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 t sea salt, or more, to taste
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 t maple syrup
1/2 C chopped cilantro, or more, if desired
Cook the rice according to package directions. Once cooked, spread onto a large baking sheet and allow to cool to room temperature. Place cooled rice in a large mixing bowl.
Add the chopped mango, red cabbage, and scallions to the bowl with the rice. Toss to mix the ingredients together.
Make the dressing. In a small bowl, mash the minced garlic, lime juice and sea salt together into a paste. Pour the extra-virgin olive oil into the bowl and whisk to combine until smooth. Add the maple syrup and taste for seasoning, adjusting if needed.
Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and toss well to coat all of the ingredients with the dressing. Cover and chill for at least an hour, to allow the flavors to blend.
To serve, remove the salad from the refrigerator and allow to warm to room temperature. Prior to serving, add the chopped cilantro and toss gently. Reserve some cilantro to sprinkle on top of the salad when serving, if desired.
recipe yields 8 generous servings
leftovers keep very well, chilled in a covered container, for 3-4 days
use this recipe as a template - choose your own delicious and colorful combination of vegetables and tropical fruits to make it unique!