This was the third week of my health coaching program and I’m really enjoying it. As part of the program each student is paired with their own health coach, both for personal growth and mentorship. I had to re-select a coach at the last minute and was nervous, but after out first session last week I was really happy with my choice.
One area I discussed with her was being more active, so when my husband finally had a day off from work we went to the Wild Animal Park. The park is part of the San Diego Zoo, so our membership covers admission. It’s less crowded, mainly because it’s ten times larger than the zoo, and it’s a great place to get outside and walk with the added benefit of flora and fauna.
My pet peeve when we go to the zoo or park is that we get “free” admission, then plunk down $30 for lunch when you’re allowed to bring in food. My husband made a sandwich, and I tossed together a quick salad with some leftover brown rice and some pantry items. Verdict? Awesome.
Let us cover some of the benefits of this salad in a thinly-veiled ploy for me to write a list:
- Contains whole grains
- Better with leftover whole grains, saving lots of time
- Ingredients are commonly found in the pantry and fridge
- Can be served cold, warm, or room temperature
- Perfect for picnics!
- Light, but filling
- Chock-full of contrasting-yet-complementary flavors and textures
That pretty much covers it. Oh, and it tastes really good. I may have eaten this for lunch three days in a row, for scientific purposes. Yeah. Results of my experiment show that this salad tastes best when eaten on a park bench sitting next to your sweetie while observing lemurs frolic in a giant ficus tree. Really.
Brown Rice Salad
Seriously, come up with a better name for this because it tastes so much better than the name lets on. Also, the photos are from my second batch when I ran out of black beans. I have included them in the recipe. Some easy substitutions would be shallot for scallions, dried cranberries for raisins, and walnuts for almonds. Enjoy!
2 cups cooked brown rice, preferably day-old
1/3 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons champagne or wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped almonds
black pepper to taste
1.) Stir together rice and beans. Slice scallions into rings and separate the light and dark pieces.
2.) Combine light parts of scallions, raisins, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Whisk in oil until dressing emulsifies. Pour dressing over rice and beans and mix thoroughly. Adda a splash more oil if it seems dry. Cover and let stand at least 30 minutes.
3.) Top with almonds and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve cold, warm, or room temperature.
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