I haven’t had a lot of time to bake lately (sad face) so the minimal time I have spent in the kitchen has been dedicated mostly to cooking quick, healthy and satisfying meals, aka dinner including leftovers for lunch. Now I know a salad often doesn’t sound too satisfying – lettuce, cucumber, tomato. Yes I know, boring. And whilst those types of salads have their place in some situations, this is not one of those. Salads can be exciting and delicious and most of all, a meal in themselves. My idea of a satisfying salad is plenty of fresh vegetables, protein and heaps of flavour! Depending on how I’m feeling at the time of creation, I’ll use different spices, herbs, nuts, seeds and whatever other wonderful things are lying about. And that’s before I’ve even gotten to the dressing.
So this brown rice salad isn’t your typical salad. It’s a satisfying and delicious meal, and a spin on the classic pumpkin and spinach combination. The little bit of maple syrup brings out the natural sweetness of the roasted pumpkin, and the tahini gives it a beautiful nutty flavour to accompany the toasty brown rice. I promise, you won’t regret trying this one!
1 cup brown rice
1 ¾ cup water
1/4 kent pumpkin, cubed
3/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped>
A big bunch of greens (silverbeet, English spinach or kale)
2 tsp unhulled tahini
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water
Squeeze of lemon juice
Place a teaspoon of coconut oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add uncooked brown rice and fry for a few minutes with a generous sprinkle of salt, cinnamon and cayenne. Add 1 and 3/4 cups of water, bring to the boil and reduce to simmer with lid on for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180°C and prepare other ingredients.
Place chopped pumpkin on a lined baking tray. Coat pumpkin well with a tablespoon of coconut oil, drizzle of maple syrup and a generous sprinkle of salt, cinnamon and cayenne. Roast in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Spread walnuts on baking tray with the pumpkin for the last 10 minutes to toast.
Wilt the greens by boiling or steaming for 2 minutes, then drain well.
To prepare the dressing, add all ingredients to a small jar and shake it up, adding additional water if needed for a runny consistency.
Combine everything together and drizzle over the dressing when ready to serve.