Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Chicken and Peanuts

I remember when I started my first-ever post-college job. I was an assistant to an animation executive and working out of his house. His current assistant (whom I was replacing) was about 24 years old, and, in my eyes, an incredibly fashionable and chic working woman. 

After two days of reviewing logins, spreadsheets and personality quirks, we sat down for lunch. I started to heat up my then go-to Lean Cuisines, and she pulls out a dish comprised of zucchini, roasted red peppers and brown rice. This simple lunch was so healthy, so craftily prepared at home and so apparently effortless that it immediately became a symbol of adulthood. I didn't even want to eat it, as much as be the person who would make that casually.

Cut to: 2014, and it would appear I have arrived. After a week of honeymoon binging at an all-inclusive Mexican resort, Ryan and I were in need of some food hangover cures. He dug into Cooking Light, and found a recipe for an amazing brown rice salad that utilizes the Amazing Endless Possibilities Costco chicken and bits and pieces of produce you have laying around (the onions and carrots can be substituted for chopped anything). The dressing is a simple sesame lime, and retains its flavor over several days of sitting in tupperware.
Try it out on a weeknight - it cannot be beat. Plus, don't you want to inspire a new generation of cooks?

Sesame Brown Rice Salad with Shredded Chicken and Peanuts



1 cup long-grain brown rice

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced


Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Transfer rice to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Cool. Add chicken, carrot, onions, 2 tablespoons peanuts, 2 teaspoons cilantro, and salt to rice; toss to combine.

Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle oil mixture over rice mixture; toss to combine. Place 1 1/2 cups salad on each of 4 plates. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons remaining peanuts and 1/4 teaspoon remaining cilantro.

Marie Simmons, Cooking Light 

JUNE 2007

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