Adapted from a recipe in a magazine read so long ago I can’t remember which one, this mega healthy salad will stave off hunger for hours. The whole grains in brown rice, combined with the protein in the chicken, digest slowly so you’ll feel fuller, longer. And it’s unbelievably tasty, I might add. It even gets better overnight, as the dressing spreads its deliciousness throughout the ingredients.
It does take about 45 minutes to make so be patient — it’s seriously worth it. Or make it on Sunday and take this for lunch for two days. You can make this vegetarian by eliminating the chicken and adding another can of chickpeas.
Serve with a tart Sauvignon Blanc or a round, fuller-bodied Chenin Blanc.
Cold Brown Rice Salad with Chicken, Feta and Mint
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, plus a splash more if you like tartness
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lime rind, grated
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie works well), chopped
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed and drained
1 cup red or orange pepper, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
2/3 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (can substitute cilantro for the mint)
- Place the cooked brown rice in a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add sliced garlic and reduce heat to medium heat. Cook and stir about 30-45 seconds or until garlic starts to brown around the edges. Remove from heat and add the oil and garlic to the rice. Stir well.
- For the dressing, in a small bowl, combine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, lime rind, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir well with a whisk. Stir into the rice.
- Add chicken and all remaining ingredients to the rice. Toss to mix well.