Monday, 16 September 2013

Summer Grain Salads

There is nothing like a flavorsome bowl full of soft and silky grains, crisp greens, soft cheese and sweet fruits. If you enjoy fresh tortellini to couscous salads, you sure will be amazed with the nourishing experience grain salads can offer you.

The textures are just very enjoyable and the blend of mild and wild flavors of nature soaks your salad into everything. Whether it is just a simple heap of greens or a more colorful mix of your favorite fruits, indulge your family with great salad recipes. So if during winter you've made soups and stews to warm everyone, this summer, do the same with refreshing grain salads.

Chicken and Wild Rice
6-ounce of wild rice
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken 
1 cup green grapes, quartered
½ cup toasted almonds, crushed
1/2 cup light mayonnaise 
Kosher salt and pepper

Cook wild rice. In a large bowl, put together cooked rice, chicken, grapes, almonds, and mayonnaise. Mix well. Season generously with salt and pepper; adjust to your desired taste. Serve warm or chill if desired.

Brown Rice with Apples, Walnuts, and Cherries
1 cup brown rice
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 red apple, cut into pea-size
1/4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 bunch of chives, chopped finely

For the dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Cook the rice in about two cups of simmering water until tender. Allow to cool. Combine peas, apple, cherries, walnuts, chives, and cooled rice in a large bowl. Whisk together ingredients for the dressing and stir into the rice mixture. Make sure all the ingredients are coated. Garnish with extra chives and sesame seeds. Serve.

While you're free to mix up greens including a selection of herbs like fresh chopped parsley, basil or mint, or even chive flowers, the secret to a more flavorsome salad is not to try to see how many ingredients can be jumbled together; the lesser ingredients the better.

Try not soaking your greens in the dressing. For best results, have your lettuces thoroughly washed and chilled first before slicing. Don't soak them in water, either, as soaking can leech minerals and vitamins from them and reduce their food value. As soon as you're done cutting, combine all ingredients right away, toss gently then serve with your favorite salad dressing.

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