Orange-Pistachio Wild Rice Salad

As hinted before in our last quinoa post we made a favorite recipe of ours with our large amount of excess oranges we had on hand… for some reason?   Anyhow, this combination of nutty delicious wild rice and crunchy pistachios, with fresh basil and oranges, is truly unique and so so satisfying it is hard to call it a salad, yet here it is.  This is so easy to make for a busy work week, just cook the rice while you are watching a movie on the weekend, or while you enjoy dinner tonight in anticipation of a ‘salad’ tomorrow.  If you do cook it after work, it will take 1 hour for the rice to cook and 1 hour ( minimum) for it to cool.  If you want to, you can serve it warm ( heck we have!), I found that the oil in the dressing doesn’t work as well in that application however- so drizzle a bit on top before eating and then add some in the next day when it all as cooled off.  This keeps very well for 5-6 days, and is super portable for lunches ( no micro action needed!), and it is filling enough to be called dinner- you can’t lose with this salad!!  What is your go-to salad dish?  Do you make your own salad dressings?  Let us know!
Orange-Pistachio Wild Rice Salad

adapted from Ellie Kreiger So Easy
 
6 servings
 
Ingredients

2/3 cup brown rice
2/3 cup wild rice
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 oranges, peel and pith removed, segmented and sliced (about 2/3 cup)
10 large basil leaves, sliced into ribbons (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

For the dressing:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:
Combine brown rice, wild rice and chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all water is evaporated and rice is fully cooked, about 45 to 55 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely, or overnight.

When rice is cool, add orange slices, basil, red onion, pistachios and orange zest; mix to incorporate.

For the dressing:

Combine the red wine vinegar, olive oil, orange juice, mustard, honey and salt in a metal bowl and whisk to incorporate.

Pour over rice mixture and toss to incorporate.

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Spur of the Moment Orange Chicken with Veggie Quinoa

This may be pretty dorky, but- don’t you just LOVE when you can throw a bunch of random stuff together… that you’ve got hanging around the kitchen…. and make it in to a really really good meal?  Well, we are dorks because we certainly do, enjoy it- literally! 
Obviously you won’t make this recipe having the exact same happenstance of ingredients on hand… unless you made fish tacos Sunday, Quinoa Cakes Saturday, and are planning to make Wild Rice with Pistachio and Oranges ( coming soon!).    The inspiration, other then what we had to use, came from a craving for Chinese Orange Chicken- but no desire for the unhappy belly afterwards.
We had a good 2.5 cups of cooked quinoa ready to go ( rather then rice- perfect!), lots of oranges to spare ( mmm juicy orange and zest), cilantro/ red cabbage/ corn/ red onion and some thawed chicken breasts just ready to either waste away sadly or be magically transformed into this super high protein, ingredient efficient, tasty AND healthy spin on a Chinese meal.  We even had leftovers to take for lunch today- yep, we are cool!  Without further adue- here’s how we made this:
Ingredients::
4- 4 ounce chicken breasts, trimmed and sliced into 1″ strips

Sauce+ Marinade Chicken

Juice and Zest from 2 oranges
scant* 1/4 cup Teryaki Sauce
1 small dash Toasted Sesame Oil
1 large dash Fish Sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder 
Quinoa
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup reserved sauce/ marinade
1/2 orange, juiced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2.5 cups cooked quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
Method::

In a medium bowl, whisk together all marinade ingredients, reserve about 1/4 cup, set aside. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper and garlic powder, then place the chicken strips in to the bowl of marinade and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile:

In a 10-12″ pan, heat oil over medium heat till hot.  Add onion, cook for 3-4 minutes till translucent and fragrant.  Add in the corn, cabbage, cilantro, tomatoes and stir to combine, 2 minutes.  Add in 1/2 cup wine and reduce by half.  Add in the quinoa, toss well, adding in marinade, orange juices and water to coat the mixture.  If it’s too dry, add more water.  Heat through, about 3 minutes longer.  Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

To cook the chicken, heat another 8-10″ pan over medium high heat with a small dash of oil.  When the pan is hot, add in all the marinade and chicken from your bowl.  Cook tossing often for about 7-8 minutes, till juices run clear and chicken is cooked through completely.  Serve on a bed of Quinoa and top with extra cilantro.

Garden Herb Lentil Salad


Need ideas for an easy salad to take to work with you? This one travels and keeps well, it is also packed with great benefits like fiber, protein, and vitamins A & C. It’s also a great way to use all those herbs taking over your garden- fresh mint, basil and parsley make this a refreshing and delicious meal (or side dish) serve warm or cold!

1 cup lentils
3 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup tomatoes (cherry of plum), halved of diced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 cup fresh chocolate mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lentils by put the them in a pot with the water, bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer with the lid on an angle for about 20 minutes. You want them to be tender but keep there shape and no be exploding all over. Drain the extra water from the pot and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, medium/ high heat. Toss in the red onion, cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the flame and then add in the spinach, toss for about 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and herbs. toss to combine. Then add in the lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.

We divided this up in to 4 servings in to-go containers to bring for lunches or use as a side later in the week. It keeps well for about 3-4 days.

photos coming soon