You’ll have to forgive me, or rather, let me re-phrase that, I hope you’ll all forgive me. I am having a salad moment (or three or seven).
Ask my kids at any given moment what mom eats, the answer is always the same. Salad. But don’t you worry, because that is where the sameness ends, because when it comes to salads, the chances for finding new and satisfying combos are as limited as your (or my) imagination.
Green Salad. Greek Salad. Bean Salad. Wheat Salad. There are endless grain, bean, nut, veggie, and dressing combos out there and honestly, I do live on salads pretty much 365 days of the year. Today’s salad can (like my last post) be served warm, cold or room temperature, and tastes great days after preparation.
Here, wild rice is cooked and tossed with roasted cubes of butternut squash & more of those wonderful white cannellini beans to make a nutritious and filling meal. Toss it all up with a few herbs & flavoring and you are set.
Less every day grains means a new food to discover. Fewer bread-based lunch ideas means more heart for less heft. Less boring, basic salad dishes means less boredom in your tupperware, so packing a flavor-filled lunch or meal-on-the-go is a joy.
More tasty alternative grains means more variety and spice in your diet (and life). More plant-based hearty proteins means more easy & affordable flavor. More clean simple cooking means more energy to focus elsewhere, so your fuel is ready to fill you as needed.
Wild Rice & Roasted Butternut Squash Salad:
- (1/2) cup dry wild rice
- (1.5) cups water for cooking
- (1) cup cooked cannellini beans (white kidneys)
- (4) cups peeled & chopped butternut squash
- (2) tbsp olive oil for roasting squash
- (1/2) tsp salt for roasting squash
- (3) tbsp mixed chopped herbs: fresh parsley, chives & thyme
- (1) tsp salt
- (2) tbsp olive oil
- (2) tbsp balsamic vinegar
Start by combining the rice and water in a small- medium saucepan. Put the rice up to boil with the lid on and once boiling, turn the heat down and cook, covered for 45-50 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are using a large butternut squash, you might get the right amount of squash simply from the top part (I call it the snout). Simply chop the top piece off the squash and peel it with a veggie peeler. Cube the squash with a sharp knife into 1-1.5 inch cubes.
Toss the squash in a bowl with the salt and oil for roasting, and lay it flat on a rimmed cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, scraping and turning with a flipper at about the 20 minute mark.
While the rice and squash do their magic thing, prepare the beans and chopped herbs and set aside. Once the rice is cooked, drain it in a colander and let sit for a minute or two to cool and drain (it’s okay if the water isn’t all absorbed, the rice should be chewy but cooked). Once the squash is nicely browned and soft-ish remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Combine the rice with the herbs and beans. Add the squash once it cools for 10 minutes or so and toss with the oil, salt & vinegar. Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy!
This salad will keep well in the fridge for well up to a week and also heats up beautifully. I enjoyed it served over chopped romaine hearts with an avocado lovingly piled on top.
It was all my co-workers could do to not attack my lunch bowl, but I did promise I would post the recipe soon.Just in case anyone ever doubts my word 🙂