Happy Wednesday (again!) 🙂
Hope you all had a beautiful day!! BEST WEATHER IN MONTREAL. BEST MOOD EVER. Well, sorta! BYE! Honestly, I shouldn’t be complaining about the weather today, BUT… IMAGINE MOVING BOXES BACK & FORTH FROM LIKE A CRAY-CRAY PERSON IN THIS HEAT… KILL ME! I have legitimately not stopped ALL DAY LONG, once again! Who knew moving could be such a workout, seriously. It does feel great though! I’m all for NEW BEGINNINGS! ANYWHO, enough about my move! Let’s talk about this ARBORIO RICE SALAD!
You should be.
You really, really should be.
In a nutshell, this is my take on a clean-eating Arborio rice salad… THREW IN SOME ZUCCHINI, AVOCADO (DUH <3)… dried apricots (ZOMFG)… goji berries… (ZOMFG x 2)… & some celery, diced onion & cremini mushrooms. THEN, THEN, THEN… I lathered her in a homemade LEMON AGAVE DRESSING!!! I really don’t think you munchkins are ready for this!
First off, just so you know, Arborio rice is the rice used to make NONE OTHER THAN… RISOTTO! But today, we aren’t making risotto. TODAY, we are making an ARBORIO RICE SALAD. Yes, you read right.
I’m turning RISSOTO INTO A SALAD.
TALK ABOUT CLEAN-EATING, EH? Again, here I am, making a thing that isn’t a thing into a “THING”.
This babe is:
But… delicious-AF, healthy, full of nutrients & vitamins &
Will give you not only your EAT YO GREENS FIX, BUT ALSO PROVIDE YOU WITH NATURAL SUGAR, FIBER, CARBS, GOOD-FOR-YOU FATS & PROTEIN.
Basically, she’s a magical combination. A dream come true. A ONE BOWL WONDER. A PACKAGE DEAL. AN ALL-FOR-ONE (and every other synonym or similar expression along these lines).
AND, if you are still not convinced… STOP PLAYING HARD TO GET.
No, but seriously, I have another great thing to rant/rave about regarding this babe of a bowl… WAIT FOR IT… SHE IS THE PERFECT MEAL PREP SOLUTION TOO. Prep a large batch of her (a.k.a. double your ingredients) & portion her for the week for the perf on-the-go lunch that will keep you FULL & SATISFIED… OH & MAKE YOUR TUMMY DANCE.
So… not only is she good for you, clean, healthy, delicious & simple, BUT SHE WILL ALSO SOLVE ALL YOUR “OMG-IT’S-8AM-JUST-MISSED-MY-TRAIN-&-FORGOT-TO-PREP-LUNCH” problems! Just grab & go! Make your train! Get to work! & COUNT DOWN THE HOURS UNTIL LUNCH!
Ladies & gents, this is Kelly’s Clean-Eating Arborio Rice, Zucchini, Avocado, Dried Apricot & Goji Berry Salad Lathered in a Lemony-Agave Dressing a.k.a. That-Package-Deal-That-Will-Have-You-Ranting-&-Raving-All-The-Way-Home-Oh-&-Did-Somebody-Say-Vegan?
I have one last thing to share… I’m not guaranteeing that I can do so in one sentence though, so please, BEAR WITH ME. Okay? Since I’ve never posted a recipe with Arborio rice, I wanted to give you munchkins a brief rundown of its benefits! (A.k.a. WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE HER OVER REGULAR RICE FOR THIS SALAD?). Let me explain!
In a nutshell, Arborio is a type of short-grain rice rich in carbs, vitamins & minerals!
She also has a very high protein content – In fact, one small portion (approximately 70g) will provide you with 10% of the RDA & only 1% of the RDA of fat, a.k.a. she is A LEAN PROTEIN SOURCE! #WINNING!
She is super-duper easy to digest!
Oh, when I said “vitamins & minerals”, I meant…
Manganese (25% of the RDA): Plays a role in detoxing your liver & brain & super-duper important for healthy bones!
Copper (16% of the RDA): Crucial for antioxidant activity (cleansing/repairing), cellular energy & immune system boost!
Phosphorus (13% of the RDA): This nutrient is actually required by every single cell in our bodies to work normally, is CRITICAL in creating energy & maintaining the chemical balance of our bods!
Zinc (8% of the RDA): Essential for immune system health, growth, development, brain function, reproduction & wait for it… SKIN HEALTH!!!!
Uh, so Arborio rice = free skincare.
BYE SEPHORA. BYE.
Selenium (7% of the RDA): Last but not least, Arborio rice is also rich in selenium, which regenerates the activity of vitamins C & E, contributes to antioxidant activity & enhances the immune system!
OKAY, so now you’re wondering when I’m going to be done ranting. And well, I have your answer!!!! NOW. NOW. NOW. It’s time to get down to that nitty-gritty. And by nitty-gritty, I mean… INGREDIENTS! Let’s go.
My loves, YOU WILL NEED:
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 ½ cups of organic Arborio rice, COOKED ACCORDING TO PACKAGE DIRECTIONS (BTW, if you don’t have Arborio rice, you can try out this recipe with a wild rice blend as well!)
- ¼ cup of dried apricots, DICED;
- ¼ cup of organic unsweetened goji berries;
- 1 medium or 2 small zucchini, DICED;
- 1 small white onion, DICED;
- 3-4 stalks of celery, CHOPPED;
- 120g of Cremini mushrooms (or white mushrooms), DICED;
- 1 ripe avocado, DICED;
- Freshly ground black pepper for garnish;
- OPTIONAL: Drizzle some chilli flakes before serving for some spice!
FOR THE DRESSING:
- ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice;
- 2-3 tbsp. of raw organic agave (Start out with two and taste, then add the third if you want a sweeter dressing!)
- ½ tsp. of dried thyme;
- ¼ cup of organic extra-virgin olive oil;
- A drizzle & sprinkle of onion or garlic powder (Whichever you prefer!)
- Organic Himalayan pink sea salt & freshly ground black pepper for seasoning!
KAY, now let’s bring this baby together!!!
- Cook your Arborio rice according to package directions. Generally, IT SHOULD BE EATEN THE SAME WAY YAS PASTA, A.K.A. AL DENTÉ!
- While the Arborio rice is cookin’, boilin’ & simmerin’, MULTITASK. Chop & dice all your veggies & dried fruit Yes, I acknowledge that there is A LOT of that to make this BABE OF A RECIPE, but I promise you, IT’S WORTH IT. IT’S WORTH EVERY CHOP. EVERY DICE. EVERY SLICE. & BEST OF ALL, EVERY “I-ALMOST-CUT-MY-FINGER-FML” MOMENT. Don’t believe me? You’ll see.
- YOUR RICE SHOULD BE JUST ABOUT READY NOW. ONCE COOKED, remove it from the heat & munchkins, PLEASE, set it aside to cool off before adding it to your veggie/dried fruit mix, unless you want a soggy salad. But I’m not down with that, how about you? Nah. Didn’t think so! SO LISTEN TO ME, OKAY?
- While the rice is cooling off, MAKE YOUR DRESSING! Simply combine all the sweet, tangy & citrusy ingredients in a SMALL metal mixing bowl & whisk the eff out of ‘em until fully combined & a beautiful dressing consistency is obtained! YOU BE THE JUDGE, BABIES. But y’all know what a dressing should look like, right? (P.S. Don’t forget to taste your dressing after having whisked & added the 2 tbsp. of agave. YOU MIGHT NEED TO ADD A THIRD IF YOU WANT A SWEETER DRESSING!).
- Once YOUR RICE IS COOLED & all your veggies & dried fruit are DICED, CHOPPED, SLICED & all that other good stuff, combine them in a LARGE metal mixing bowl!
- Pour the beautiful dressing ALL OVA’ DA PLACE & TOSS THE EFF OUT OF YOUR RICE, VEGGIE & DRIED FRUIT MIX to make sure all the babes are EVENLY COATED. My loves, this is not the time to make your rice jelly of your veggies or your veggies jelly of your dried fruit or your dried fruit jelly of your rice. OKAY, YOU CATCH MY DRIFT! Coat allllll ‘dem beautz ingredients EVENLY.
- Now, plate the babe!!!!! Garnish her with some freshly ground black pepper & some chilli flakes if you want some added spice to balance the citrusy-sweetness of the dressing!
OH & FOOD PORN!!!