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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Brown Rice Salad

In the next few weeks, I hope to brush up on my food photography, but in the meantime, we're still working with unphotographed food. This salad is one of my quick lunch favorites. First, I'll give you the trick to perfect brown rice, and then the way to make this healthy ingredient a little not-so-healthy, but oh-so-delicious!

Perfect Brown Rice
2 cups brown rice
3 cups water

After rinsing the rice, turn on the heat and bring it to a boil uncovered. As soon as it begins to boil, put the lid on the pot, and drop the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the lid closed for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

I prefer my brown rice with a slight chew so 10 minutes is just right, but if you want it softer, you could leave it for the final steam longer. You can also vary the amount of rice, but the ratio should be 1 rice to 1.5 water.

Brown Rice Salad
6 slices bacon (how can we not love that?!)
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 cup white or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 piece chicken cube
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (sub regular if you don't have it)
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried
3 cups cooked brown rice

Cook the bacon until crisp and browned. Set aside to drain on a paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the grease. Saute the onion in the bacon grease until translucent. Add the vinegar, water, chicken cube, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the rice and crumbled bacon. Cook the rice on low until all the liquid is absorbed. This will take 7-10 minutes. Stir in the dill and cool slightly before serving. At this point, I also like to toss in some cold chopped vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers just to give a cool contrast to the warm salad.

This is a great make ahead salad that keeps well in the fridge, too. It's perfect for days like today when we decide to come home for lunch after church.

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