Sunday, April 18, 2010

Money Rice Salad

It’s green and it’s awesome, what else would I call it?

Like I said, I have a new obsession with herby vinaigrettes.  I just throw things in my mini Cuisinart and hope for the best. So far, so good!

I was thinking about a summery orzo salad my dad makes, and I wanted to put my own spin on it. His is full of cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, parsley, and lemon and it is one of my favorite things about sitting out on my parents’ deck in the summer.

I have looking for whole wheat orzo for years to no avail, so time for an alternative. Brown rice seemed like the perfect solution. Trader Joe’s sells a box of three packets of organic brown rice (two servings per packet) in the freezer section. This is perfect for me because while rice seems like it would be easy to cook, brown rice is my kryptonite. I stand over and stir it constantly and still end up with a pot of rubber. Once again, Trader Joe’s to the rescue! If you don’t share this problem, by all means, make your rice the old fashioned way.

Since this is inspired by my dad, I encourage you to follow his advice. “A recipe is only a guide”. You could use any combination of herbs, veggies, and protein and I’m sure it would turn out great.

First I made the parsley vinaigrette so it was ready and waiting for me.

Parsley Vinaigrette
1 to 1-1/2 Cups fresh parsley
2 Lemons – zest and juice
4 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves of garlic (chopped or microplaned)
Splash of white balsamic vinegar

Just drop it all in the food processor and let it rip! If it’s a little tart (like mine was) add a splash of agave nector or honey.

Money Rice Salad (4 servings)
2 packets of Trader Joe’s frozen organic brown rice
Parsley Vinaigrette (see above)
1 cucumber seeded and diced
1 box grape tomatoes
24 shrimp
4 Tbs fat free feta cheese, crumbled

Microwave each packet of rice for 3 minutes and mix with the parsley vinaigrette while it’s still warm. Add in the cucumbers, tomatoes, and shrimp and stir. I portioned mine into four containers and then sprinkled on the feta, but you could add it all at once. Put it in the fridge to chill and once again, cook once eat all week.

Another tip, I buy crumbled fat free feta at Trader Joe’s and store it in the freezer. It keeps longer, and it thaws so quick that it’s never a problem when I need it.

I am so excited to eat this for lunch this week that I almost look forward to going to work. Almost.

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