I am always looking for healthy, easy salads to throw together after work or bring for lunch that are break from just some lettuce and dressing.
When I visited my boss and her new baby the other week her mom made us a great brown rice salad with feta, it was delicious! So I decided to give it a try at home, with a few additions/subtractions and whatever vegetables I had in the fridge/freezer.
One thing that makes this super easy to throw together is the use of pre-cooked frozen rice that you simply steam in the microwave. The rice turns out great, just as if you perfectly cooked it on the stove, without all the time, mess and potential for overcooking, burning, etc.
To get started, I microwaved the shelled frozen edamame and prepped all the other veggies, tossing them in a large bowl.
Next, prepare the brown rice according to the package directions in the microwave. While the rice is cooking, it should probably take about 4 minutes, whisk together the dressing. I used some olive oil, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, basil paste and garlic.
Carefully take the brown rice out of the microwave, it will be hot, and add to the bowl with the veggies. Mix together, add the feta, and mix again.
If you plan on eating the salad all at once/serving at a party, add the dressing and mix well. If you are making the salad ahead or dividing into smaller portions for meals, keep the dressing in a separate container and add as you go. This will make the salad last longer and ensure it doesn’t go bad!
This is definitely a salad I will recreate again and again. Maybe with different vegetables, or a different type of cheese, but it is great salad to toss together one night and use for the week!
Brown Rice Salad with Feta
1 package microwave steamed brown rice (2 cups cooked)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium cucumber, diced
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame
3.5 ounces reduced-fat feta
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsps lemon juice, fresh
2 tbsps water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp basil herb blend (I used Gourmet Gardens)
salt to taste
If using frozen edamame, prepare according to package directions
Combine prepped tomatoes, red onion, snow peas, cucumber and edamame in a large bowl
Cook brown rice according to package directions in the microwave
In a small bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, water, olive oil, garlic, salt and basil blend
Whisk until combined
Add rice to large bowl, mix
Add feta to bowl, mix
Add dressing and stir together if serving/eating all at once, or divide into containers for lunch, keeping the dressing separate
Yields 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups salad, 1 1/2 tbsps dressing)