Friday, June 12, 2009

Wild Rice Salad

I’m always looking for ways to increase the protein content of our meals, because we don’t eat meat or poultry.  Wild rice is very high in protein.  It has almost double the protein of brown or white rice.  It’s also high in iron.  Wild rice is actually a grass, and the only cereal grain native to North America. Originally, It grew mostly in the Great Lakes region, but now it’s cultivated in paddies in Northern California.  The California rice is good but the grains tend to be shorter.  I try to buy the wild harvested rice if I can.
The American indians of the Great Lakes region ate wild rice three times a day during the late summer harvest.  They would boil it like oatmeal and sometimes sweeten it with maple sugar.  I’ve never tried it this way, but it sounds good!
I sprouted the wild rice in this salad, because I wanted to preserve the enzymes.  I soaked the rice overnight in filtered water, and then drained it in a mesh colander.  You’ll need to rinse the rice every
 3 or 4 hours until you’re ready to make the salad.  This is the type of colander that I used.  I like it because it spans my kitchen sink, so the rice can drain.  If you’re going to use sprouted rice in this salad, you going to want to start soaking the rice at least 24 hours before you’re planning on serving it.  
I added chopped carrots, tomatoes, green onions, and english peas.  You can substitute green bell peppers for the peas if you want, it’s just that I’m allergic to peppers.  They blister my skin, so I usually replace them in recipes with English peas, the ones with the edible pods.  I chop them into little pieces and they do a great job of adding the color and crunch of a bell pepper.  These peas came from my garden.  I also put corn in this salad.  If I was making this later in the summer when fresh organic corn was available, I would cut it off the cob and use that, but it’s still too early for corn of the cob here, so I used frozen organic corn.  I defrosted it by running it under warm water for a few seconds in that mesh colander.  I would have added chopped avocado and pinto beans to this salad if I had them, but I was out.  Pinto beans combined with the rice makes a complete protein, equal in quality to animal proteins.  I’ll add them next time, but I included them in the recipe.

Sprouted Wild Rice Salad
1 cup organic or wild harvested long grain wild rice
1/2 cup cooked pinto beans
1/2 cup quartered cherry or plum tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped english peas (and/or bell pepper)
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup cilantro leaves 
1 teaspoon lime zest (make sure you use an organic lime!)
1/2 of an avocado, chopped
Sprout the wild rice as explained above or use cooked wild rice that you’ve chilled.  
Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl, except for the avocado. 
Dressing for the salad
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic finely chopped or mashed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Blend all of the dressing ingredients in a small food processor, if you have one, or use a whisk.  
Pour the dressing over the wild rice and veggies and mix to coat everything. Sprinkle the avocado over the top.  
You can serve it right away but I think it’s better if you let it sit in your frig for at least 30 minutes.
This will serve 2 as a main coarse or 4 as a side dish.

No comments:

Post a Comment