I'm always looking for recipe ideas, ones that are relatively quick and easy, can be made ahead of time and then stored in the fridge. Breakfast is easy. I can manage, yogurt and granola, eggs, toast with avocado, smoothies, etc. - the easiest meal of the day. During lunch, I'm usually cooking for the blog, often eating very well, tasting, adding ingredients, making twice, leaving me plenty full by the afternoon. It's the evening meal that I have most issues with. I'm so exhausted by the end of the day, that I'll usually just heat up a veggie burger, pull together a sandwich, boil some water for Ramen noodles. On the days where I have an extra ration of energy to use, I will prepare something fancy like poached cod with an aged cheddar and fennel salad, risotto, or homemade pasta - but lately, this is rare. I find that the shorter winter days have the ability to steel my gusto relatively early on in the day, leaving me with only a few desires - sleep, read, and watch tv.
Yesterday I found myself browsing on the internet, nothing important (as usual). Just pictures of beaches and warm places. Sometimes I feel a bit reassured of what's to come, by simply staring at pictures of sun. I'm planning a trip in March to Ixtapa, Mexico, and I am literally counting down the days. Me and a friend are going to spend a few nights at a spa, unwinding and de-stressing - something very important to us. With two common themes in my life right now, the pursuit of sun and quick meals, I thought this salad to be the perfect balance. Indonesia, a beautiful and exotic place, warm and lush. This salad is light and fresh, yet hearty and comforting. The citrus flavors, combined with the savory oils, drizzled over sweet and crunchy peppers, earthy cashews, and sharp green onions. It's exotic, warm, and reminds me of hot sunny days and travel.
I love to make this salad ahead of time and then store in the fridge for a week. The flavors tend to intensify the longer it's left to marinate. I can usually get a few meals out of this dish. Sometimes I pair it with a few leafy greens and veggies on the side, and other times I curl up on the couch with a big bowl and a glass of wine. It's perfect for lunch, dinner, or breakfast if your feeling adventurous. This dish is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and healthy fats - just the bit of rejuvenation we all need right now.
INDONESIAN RICE SALAD RECIPE
1 cup long grain brown rice, dry
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup raisins
1 cup raw cashews, chopped
1 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp white wine, dry or cooking
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp hot sauce - Tabasco, Sriracha, etc.
Wash and rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water for a minute, removing any small debris, skins, etc. Place the rice and 2 1/4 cups of cold water into a rice cooker. If you do not have a rice cooker, bring the rice and water to boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
Once the rice has cooked, fluff it with a fork, transfer to a large bowl, and place it into the refrigerator to cool while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Chop the cashews, pepper, and scallions and set to the side.
Add the dressing ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake.
Remove the rice from the fridge. Add the raisins, chopped cashews, chopped yellow pepper, and scallions. Set aside some of the scallions for garnish.
Pour the dressing over the salad and combine with a spoon. Cover with Saran wrap and place into the fridge for an hour to cool. Serve cool.
Can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge.