This easy brown rice citrus salad offers a pleasing blend of flavors and textures - a great side dish, but hearty enough for a meal!
My daughter has been fighting a cold and asked me to make her something “healthy” for dinner. This usually means a big green salad but we needed to go grocery shopping. We were out of fresh greens. What to do, what to do…
I took a quick inventory of our kitchen. A nearly overripe pineapple sat on the counter. One lone orange rested in the fruit bowl. Half a cucumber was dying a slow death in the vegetable crisper - but fortunately it was accompanied by another with a little more life left in it. What could I do with these ingredients?
I decided to make a grain salad. I opted for short grain brown rice, but quinoa or another type of grain could also work.
If I followed my own advice and had some cooked grains on hand, this brown rice citrus salad could have been ready in minutes. I had to wait for the rice to cook, but that gave me time to chop the fruit and veggies. I ultimately decided to combine:
- brown rice
- garbanzo beans
- teriyaki sauce
Grain salads are great. They make a hearty meal and it’s easy to mix and match different ingredients. I thought teriyaki sauce would enhance the citrus flavors in this combo, but I encourage you experiment with what you have!
Brown Rice Citrus Salad
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 large orange peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
- 2 cups fresh 1 inch pineapple chunks
- 1 large cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped into ½ inch chunks
- ½ large red onion diced
- 1 15.5 oz can low sodium garbanzo beans chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ¼ cup Teriyaki Sauce
- Combine rice and water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. (Or cook rice in a rice cooker - follow manufacturer’s instructions - and skip to step 4.)
- Reduce heat and simmer with cover vented for 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover fully and allow cooked rice to sit for 10 minutes.
- While rice is cooking, prep orange, pineapple, cucumber and onion.
- Combine orange, pineapple, cucumber, onion, chickpeas and cashews in a large mixing bowl and stir in Teriyaki Sauce.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for later (1-2 days) - best served at room temperature.
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.