Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A New Recipe for Leftovers!

My cooking ideas so far have been born of necessity, namely needing to find a way to combine or reinvent delicious foods already in my larder. This approach, with economy and creativity in mind, has been one way I have managed to make being vegan easy. There are fewer trips to the supermarket and there is less waste. But economy needn't trump flavor and variety. Here, I only had a cup of cooked brown rice left over, and I wanted to honor its goodness with more goodness.  So, necessity being the mother of invention, this fits the bill. In making this salad, I would encourage you to follow the spirit in which I have invented the recipe. Use whatever you have. If you have a bit of quinoa or barley, try that. If you have mushrooms or leeks, try those. If you have more or less of any ingredient, go on and use it up. Then taste it and adjust the dressing and seasonings accordingly. This is just what I used.

"Second Chance" Brown Rice Salad
1 c. cooked brown rice (mine was cooked in veggie broth)
1/4 c. purple onion, diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
1 carrot, diced small
1/4 c. chopped italian parsley
a small handful black olives, chopped
1/2 avocado, diced small
2 Tbsp. Veganaise
1 Tsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. shoyu
salt and pepper

In olive oil, saute the onion for about 4 minutes, just long enough to lessen its "bite" a bit. Then combine it with the rice, cold from the refrigerator. Allow the onions to cool. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the other ingredients. Once the onions have cooled, add them and the rice to the other ingredients. 

I mixed the dressing in an old jar with a lid. Just combine all the ingredients except the salt and pepper, shake it up and taste it and then season with salt and pepper to taste. If you don't have a jar, you can mix it in a bowl with a whisk. I just like the jar because I prefer to dress the salad lightly and keep the rest of the dressing for a later use. Dress the salad and stir it up.
Serves 4.

I ate the salad plain in a bowl, and then I decided to try some of it wrapped in a sheet of nori. This really changed the flavor, bringing more of a sushi-like flavor which went nicely with the hint of shoyu in the dressing. Such a large amount of seaweed, however, did increase the saltiness a bit, so adjust the seasoning of the dressing if you are planning on eating it this way.  Also, the moisture quickly saturates the nori so just fill the roll right before you eat it. This salad was so healthful and sustaining. Have fun with it!

I took a few shots of some of my garden blossoms that I want to share with you. The flowers are so pretty and looking at them feels like just another way to consume the bounty of the garden!

A zucchini blossom . . .

A chinese longbean blossom . . .

This gorgeous morning glory was not in my garden. I found it along the edge of the woods in my backyard. What a happy surprise! Have a wonderful day!


  1. Cheryl- Your meal looks delicious, and like the kind of food I love! I actually eat these types of things ALL the time for the same reason as use leftover pieces of this and that and have less waste. You dressing sounds yummy!! Oh, and I love to wrap food in nori. So yummy!