*Updated* Spinach Pecan Brown Rice Salad with Feta makes a healthy weekday lunch or a hearty salad for a weekend picnic. An easy, make ahead salad. Vegan Option + GF
This past weekend was the weekend for things breaking.
Being responsible for fixing things when they break is one of the simple pleasures of being a homeowner (rolls eyes). The fact that maintenance seems to never stop, there’s always a project to be done.
Fortunately Rob loves tinkering, fixing and maintaining. He’s a skilled handyman and looks quite handsome in his tool belt ;) .
Friday afternoon the grinder pump alarm sounded as I was stepping out of the shower. I denied what I was hearing, but then quickly faced reality. I let out a long nooooooooooo! I’d heard this alarm years before when the entire pump had to be replaced. It’s a loud alarm that tells us if we don’t stop running water or flushing toilets, sewage may back up into the house.
A lovely thought.
Needless to say, this was something Rob left to the professionals. It was after hours and they couldn’t make it out until the next morning.
Good for us, I had this salad on hand and we settled in to watch Cooked, by Michael Pollan. I’d been wanting to see it, and had just restarted our Netflix subscription. Have you seen it?
I’m not sure I agree with what Pollan says about vegetarianism or plant and domestic animal partnerships, but one thing we both agree on is how we’ve collectively lost touch with where our food comes from, and the people who grow it.
Our modern society is all about convenience. But convenience comes at a cost, not only to our food system, but also to our health and the health of our planet. It’s all connected.
After the first episode of Cooked, we were hooked and ready to watch the second. Then we lost audio. Attempting to fix it proved unsuccessful. We decided to call it a day.
Saturday was much better. After a trip charge of $200 (weekend fees, ya know) and a quick pump repair of $125, we were back in business (ahem).
Then we were off to the farmers market where the veggies and fruit are so beautifully abundant right now. Staying focused is sometimes a challenge.
During Summer salads are a daily habit simply because the market is full of beautiful greens. I love salads that hold well in the fridge for days, so I can make it once and eat on it the rest of the week. Talk about convenient.
This recipe was one of my earliest on the blog and one I make over and over again. The photography needed an update, and our CSA had a bounty of spinach. It was time.
The audio is fixed now, and I’m looking forward to the next episode of Cooked.
I’d love to know your thoughts on Pollan’s Cooked, if you’ve seen it, in the comments below.
Spinach Pecan Brown Rice Salad
For the Salad:
- 1 C Short Grain Brown Rice 210g
- 2 C Water
- 3/4 C Pecans halves 90g
- 1 C Green Bell Pepper, diced (1 large) 130g
- 3/4 C Black or Green Olives, whole then sliced 126g
- 1/4 C Purple Onion, small dice 40g
- 2 C Fresh Spinach, chopped into bite size pieces 80g
- 1/2 C Feta Cheese, crumbled (optional) 80g
- 1/4 C Parsley, chopped 6g
For the Dressing:
- Zest of one Lemon
- 3-4 Tbs Lemon Juice, adjust to taste
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt + more to taste
Combine the brown rice and water in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Stir once, put the lid on and cook on low for about 30 minutes. Let rice sit uncovered for 5 minutes, stir again, then spread it out on to a parchment lined sheet pan to cool in the freezer for at least 1/2 hour. The rice can be made one day ahead and chilled overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F. Toast the pecans for 13-14 minutes, or until fragrant and slightly darker. Set aside to cool. Chop into small pieces.
Combine the rice, pecans, bell pepper, olives, onion, spinach, feta and parsley. Set aside.
To make the dressing, squeeze the lemon juice and zest into a bowl, whisk in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.
For best flavor, chill for at least 1/2 an hour then serve. Store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Inspired by Skagit Valley Co-Op