Brown bag lunches can be a charged issue in our home. I want them to be healthy and tasty, he wants them to be … well… a certain way. Desi is one of those guys who will eat at his desk every single day. So, according to him, the food has to be such that he can eat with a fork while he types with the other hand. It can’t be anything spillable because he’s not going to be looking at the food, see? He has eyes only for the computer screen.
So sandwiches are usually out. Too messy, according to Mr. Persnickety. And so is anything that, heaven forbid, might require a knife too. Which leaves me with a narrow range of foods I can cook, like pastas, biryanis, pilafs or risottos.
Yesterday, I had no more than 30 minutes to cook up a brown bag lunch that met both of our needs and that’s when I came up with a delicious idea for a brown rice salad with dill. Dill and rice are a winning flavor combination, and the nutty brown rice is a perfect foil for the assertive dill. To bring these two delicious ingredients together, I made a dressing that would combine some typical salad dressing ingredients with warm Indian spices.
I put some brown rice in the rice cooker while I went out to walk Opie and by the time I got back it was ready and waiting for me. After that all I had to do was chop up a couple of veggies, bloom some spices and blend them with the other dressing ingredients, and within minutes I had a delicious and extremely nutritious meal on my hands that no fussy eater could turn their nose up at.
It’s the weekend, friends, so I’m going to stop now so you can go on and enjoy yours. But here’s to healthy meals and fun weekends, and may this one last forever!
- ¾ cup brown rice, cooked
- 2 cups green beans or haricot vert, cut into one-inch pieces. You can use frozen.
- 1 cup button or crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups frozen or canned lima beans (use any other bean as a substitute. Chickpeas or red kidney beans would be great in this)
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 cup fresh dill, thick stems removed, leaves chopped
- Dressing Ingredients:
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 dry red chillies
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Juice of one large orange
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 10 cashew nuts
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Salt to taste
- Make the dressing:
- Heat 1 tsp of the coconut oil and add the coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Saute for about two minutes over medium-high heat until they start to turn color. Remove to a blender.
- Add to the blender the red chillies, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, cashew nuts and salt and ground black pepper.
- Blend until the dressing is smooth and creamy.
- Make the rice:
- In a saucepan, heat the oil and add the onions with some salt and ground black pepper. Saute over medium-high heat for about five minutes or until the onions are translucent but not turning color. Add the mushrooms, green beans and lima beans and mix well.
- Let the vegetables cook about 5 minutes or until the beans are tender but not mushy.
- Add the cooked brown rice, dill, and the salad dressing. Mix everything well together. Turn off heat.
- Serve warm or cold.