Sweet Potato & Brown Rice Salad #OrangeInspiration
Adapted from A Splash of Vanilla
I was out and about, searching the Interwebs for hearty, balanced lunchbox type salads for my cooking class, when I stumbled across this one. I stopped dead in my tracks. I am ambivalent about sweet potatoes … I’m really not one of those “oh I just LOVE sweet potatoes” kinda people, but I just couldn’t close the tab for this recipe. The colors and textures totally intrigued me. I just HAD to make this one.
I ran out to buy a sweet potato and some spinach (because the recipe really needed spinach) and I had to TASTE this salad. (It was my third trip to the grocery store in one weekend! I’m horribibble.) I wanted to try toasting the rice to see if that would make a nuttier taste … and it did. I’ve heard friends tell horror stories of the rice that they cook, so I included my rice cooking method in the salad recipe.
It was totally worth the trip and I’m so glad I made this salad! Even though it was my second salad in one day, I didn’t care. I inhaled it. It’s a nutty salad with all the contrasting tastes, textures and colors I thrive on. This recipe makes enough to feed a small army … (ok, that’s a slight exaggeration) … so you can totally cut down on the amounts if you are making this just for you. Roast up a few sweet potato chunks and toss with leftover brown rice and a bit of the dressing for a quick, hearty, meatless meal or a delightful side dish.
It’s also opportune that I found this recipe which features a gorgeous ORANGE vegetable because my friend Justine over at Full Belly Sisters along with some of our blogger friends are doing Orange Inspiration posts in support of the non-profit Cycle for Survival, an indoor cycling event that raises funds for rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Did you know More than 50% of people with cancer are battling rare cancers, such as brain, pancreatic, cervical, stomach, thyroid and ovarian cancers, and all pediatric cancers. These cancers don’t often attract research dollars needed for new therapies and treatments, so patients are left with limited options. If you’d like to learn more … or donate, visit here: http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/justine
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb.), peeled and chopped into 1/2 - 3/4-inch chunks
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 1 small shallot, peeled & chopped (or 2 green onions)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 Tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In a medium saucepan (with tight-fitting lid) over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the rice has a nutty toasted scent to it and starts to "pop" a little.
- Add water and salt and stir. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour or until the rice is tender. Do not lift the lid until after 45 minutes, then take a fork and quickly grab a few grains to test whether it's done, covering again immediately. When done, turn off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner, covered.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small mixing bowl, toss the sweet potato chunks with olive oil. Spread out onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until tender. Let both cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked rice & sweet potato with the greens, parsley, onion, & chickpeas. At this point, you can put the salad in a covered container in the fridge.
- At serving time, toss the salad with some of the dressing (to taste--I used about 1/3 cup) and top with toasted pecans.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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Here are some other bloggers who’ll be participating in #orangeinspiration this week: