Hi again babes!
So as you guys know, when it comes to meal prep, I’ve been LOVING making some sort of plant-based grain & adding it to a salad with tons of crunchy veggies & some organic dried fruit (cranberries have been my fave lately, but today I opted for dried cherries!).
I’ve done the quinoa & buckwheat & today, I went for wild rice!
The main ingredient in this salad is Lundberg Farms’ CountryWild Wild Rice blend. This blend of long grain brown rice & Black Japonica rice has tons of colour, flavour & amazing texture! It’s gluten-free, sugar-free, full of fibre, protein & good carbs!
Wild rice is slightly higher in protein than most whole-grains and is a great source of fibre, folate, magnesium & other beneficial nutrients. Some of its benefits include:
- High in antioxidants (phenolic acid & phytonutrients), so it’s useful in fighting chronic disease, such as coronary heart disease, stroke & even some forms of cancer.
- Very high in folate (a member of the B-vitamin family), which is good for rapid cell division & growth (& may help reduce birth defects for women who are pregnant).
- High in phosphorus, which makes it good for helping eliminate the weakness of bones & reduce the risk of stress fractures.
- Contains magnesium, which helps the body create & boost energy levels by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This can help prevent fatigue, from day-to-day activities & even when exercising because it’s usually harder for the cells to get oxygen.
Once the rice was ready to go & cooled off, I added it to a bowl & threw in some fresh parsley, celery, green onion, dried organic cherries & crumbled raw walnuts! Then, I whipped up a very simple lemon balsamic dressing & this is one that you don’t have to make separately. You can simply season all your ingredients in… JUST ONE BOWL BABY!
Oh & in case you were wondering, by dried cherries, I mean DRIED TART CHERRIES. And y’all know how freaking good those are for you, right? In case you don’t, check out all the benefits listed here: 6-Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Tart Cherry Banana Soft-Serve Ice Cream a.k.a. Ben & Jerry Who? (P.S. Yes, This Ice Cream Will Soothe Your Muscle Soreness!) (OH &, if you know what’s good for you, MAKE THE ICE CREAM TOO!).
As for walnuts, they have the ability to improve heart function due to their rich omega-3 content & are an ample source of monounsaturated fatty acids, like oleic acid (also found in olive oil). They may also help boost bone health, metabolism & control diabetes, prevent certain types of cancer, reduce inflammation, provide skin health benefits & regulate sleep!
My loves, YOU WILL NEED:
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1 cup of Lundberg Farms CountryWild wild rice;
- 3 cups of water;
- 1/4 cup of dried organic tart cherries;
- 1/4 cup of raw organic walnuts;
- 3-4 stalks of celery, DICED;
- 3 green onions, CHOPPED;
- 1/2 cup of fresh parsley, CHOPPED.
FOR THE DRESSING:
- The juice of 1 lemon;
- 2 tbsp. organic balsamic vinegar;
- 2 tbsp. organic natural (no sodium/no sugar) organic rice vinegar;
- splash or two of pure organic maple syrup (swap for honey if you prefer);
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder;
- black pepper & sea salt for seasoning!
Now, for that HOW-TO?
- MAKE THE RICE! Follow the package directions: Bring 2 cups of water to a bowl. Once boiled, add 1 cup of the wild rice to the skillet, lower the heat to a simmer & cover for about 30-35 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed & the rice is cooked through (BUT NOT MUSHY!).
- If you find the rice is too hard in texture after the water has been absorbed, worry not! Simply add a bit more water to the pot & continue boiling it until it reaches your desired texture.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove from the heat & let cool completely before making the salad.
- While the rice is cooling, cut up your veggies, a.k.a. MULTI-TASK!
- Once the rice is cooled, add all your ingredients to a medium mixing bowl & season with the dressing ingredients. Toss to combine until all rice & veggies are coated & well-seasoned!
- Store in an airtight container & refrigerate!