Chef Diane Brown offers us this easy brown rice salad for winter and spring featuring the finest seasonal produce, most of which is aphrodisiac.
A cold rice salad for winter and spring
Most brown rice salads are served cold, in summer as a chilled side dish. But this kale rice salad recipe is meant to be made with late winter and spring produce. And, in fact, you don’t have to serve this salad cold. This recipe for brown rice salad is delicious served at room temperature or even slightly warm.
Some surprising health benefits of this vegan whole grain salad recipe
The benefits of this whole grain salad include some of the season’s best aphrodisiac ingredients. Think brown rice can’t work its way into a sexy dish? Think again! Golden beets are high in several nutrients beneficial to your sexual health. (They may even help men who suffer from erectile dysfunction. Yes, we’re talking about beetroot here.)
And in this beet and rice salad, the beneficial effects of beets are combine with kale, which is one of the 10 Best Foods for Women’s Sexual Health. It should be noted that garlic, citrus, leeks and even the brown rice have benefits that can also support your sexual health.
Choosing a rice for this healthy rice salad recipe
You can make this spring salad with just brown rice. Or you can add a variety of texture by using a rice blend. Diane uses a rice blend from Trader Joe’s that has brown rice, black barley and radish seeds, but you could use a blend of wild rice and brown rice as well. If you are a quinoa fan, you can try it with a blend of quinoa and brown rice.
Notes on the brown rice salad dressing
The dressing calls for orange juice. It is important to use the juice of a freshly squeezed orange, such as a Navel orange. Do not use juice from a carton to make this citrus salad dressing. The salad can be tossed with the dressing just before serving. But the rice benefits from sitting in the dressing for a little while before serving, to absorb some of the sweet tang.
The brown rice kale salad is great as a side but also works well as a light supper or vegetarian lunch. (The recipe is actually vegan-friendly.) Pack it for a spring picnic and make some romance happen!
Brown Rice Salad with Leeks, Golden Beets and Kale
- 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 3 leeks white and light greens sections, cut into rings, well washed
- 4 garlic cloves peeled and sliced
- 1 cup brown rice or brown rice mixture (wild rice, red quinoa, barley)
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- tsp salt plus salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 head kale tough ribs removed, leaves cut into small pieces
- 3 golden beets washed and trimmed, roasted in foil packet, cut into slices
- 1 orange zested and juiced
- 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- In a saucepan, heat olive oil to a shimmer over medium-high heat.
- Cook leeks and garlic until tender while stirring, about 5 minutes.
- Add rice and stir with oil and leek mixture, allowing to slightly toast the rice, for about 2 minutes.
- Add stock and salt, stir, then cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked but slightly firm.
- Cool and fluff with a fork.
- In a skillet, heat another tablespoon of olive oil, and cook kale until bright green.
- Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine orange zest and juice, vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and olive oil. Whisk to combine.
- Mix the kale with the rice, beets and dressing. Season with salt and pepper, serve or hold in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
For more of Diane’s healthy, seasonal recipes, visit her Family Farm Box blog.
Like this recipe, pin it on Pinterest!
This story was originally published in May of 2012, updated in 2021.
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