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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wild and Brown Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing

I wouldn't exactly call myself a recreational rider.  Actually, I think that I would like to officially declare myself a cyclist.  I log over 150 miles on my road bike each week, so, yes, I am a cyclist.  However, I'm not so much of a cyclist that I compete in time trials or bike races.  Ironically, I actually think I would fair better in a bike race than in a foot race.  I typically average a 19-25 mph pace on my bike and, depending on weather conditions, I've even witnessed some low 30's.  I can comfortably ride at that pace for anywhere from 30-40 miles.  But, bike races will never be in my future (save for triathlons).  The reason?  I would fall.  I would be the one cyclist who does something so completely stupid that I fall and wipe out 20% of the pack.  Running is still my sport of choice.  And, even though I may have more potential in biking, at least my running falls occur at a much, MUCH slower speed.  I fall enough on my own two legs to realize that I should not be mixed with a large pack of cyclists clipping along at a hefty speed.

I am so terribly clumsy.  In the past week, I have found 4 large bruises that occurred simply because I bump into things.  Perhaps the worst bruise came from the fall I had while walking down our stairs the other night.  It was dark, I was groggy.  Ron was on the couch.  I was coming down the stairs and underestimated where I was.  I missed 2 steps!  TWO!  I was a full foot and a half away from the floor, yet I decided to somehow step, fall and take out another piece of furniture in the process.  The pain was ridiculous!  I landed hard on my left hip and somehow twisted my right knee.  I also scraped the whole underneath of my left elbow.  I don't think Ron knew what to do.  He jumped up and was just in a state of shock because the entire house seemed to move when I fell.  I was crying hysterically, but also laughing hysterically.  I still don't know what happened.

As I was sore the next day, I had more time to spend in the kitchen because I couldn't seem to walk correctly.  I was looking for a summer flavor with hearty ingredients.  I decided on this salad because I had everything on hand.  What an incredible recipe!  The flavors were awesome and I loved the citrus dressing.  I added some cranberries and golden raisins to add a bit more fruity texture.  (I'm lying.  I added them because I was gathering my seeds from a trail mix blend and I was too lazy to take out the dried fruit.)  It ended up tasting delicious and I loved the extra energy boost.

Oh yea.  See that diced bell pepper?  Yep.  You can pretty much assume that anytime a recipe calls for anything diced, part of my finger will be diced in the process.  This recipe was no exception.
Wild and Brown Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing
adapted from Skillet Chronicles
  • 1 cup raw Wild Rice blend, or any mixture of brown rice
  • 1/3 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted almonds, pecans or cashews
  • 1/3 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries and golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook rice according to package directions.  Once cooked, transfer to a medium bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. While the rice is cooking, toast nuts and seeds, if desired, in a small skillet over medium heat.
  3. In a small bowl, mix garlic, ginger, orange zest, sugar, rice vinegar and orange juice for vinaigrette.  Slowly mix in oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add pumpkin seeds, nuts, sunflower seeds, cranberries, raisins, bell pepper and parsley to bowl with rice.  Dress with vinaigrette and serve.

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