No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

For the Birds!

Our fridge is on the fritz. Every few days the freezer freezes up and the fridge stops cooling. I have to place a space heater in the freezer to thaw it out so that the fridge can get cool again. It's beyond irritating. And the landlord has been here a billion times, and the last four times he's said, "Well, let's try this one more time, and if this doesn't work we'll just have to get you a new fridge."
Enough already! Just get us the new fridge!
My lettuce keeps wilting before I get a chance to use it all up, my milk keeps know the drill. But imagine it happening weekly! My grocery budget can't keep up with this pace. So in an attempt to salvage some fresh produce that we just acquired from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, google it if you aren't familiar with the term), I made a nice, big chopped veggie salad, mixed it with some brown rice, poured garlic vinaigrette all over it, and made The Wifester and I a super-delicious, fantastically nutritious meal. I'm warning you, though, you may grow feathers after eating this dish. Seriously, the pic doesn't show it well, but there's so many seeds in this shit, you'll think you can fly when you get through with it! Feel free to add/omit any that you like/don't like.

That said, here's the cast of characters for this one:

Chopped Summer Veggies Salad

2 yellow squash
2 zucchini
1 medium Vidalia onion
3 large tomatoes
1/2 lb. white mushrooms
1 hand full of tender green beans that I had frozen after washing and trimming
1 sweet red bell pepper
1 sweet yellow bell pepper
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 bunch kale
Fresh sweet basil
Fresh cilantro
A LOT* of chia seeds
A LOT* of sesame seeds
A LOT* of flax seed meal
A LOT* of sunflower seeds
*use as much or as little as you like

Honey Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing
(this home-made recipe is great, but you can also use a store bought one if you are pressed for time)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp honey
3 cloves garlic, roasted whole, then minced


First things first, I whipped up the vinaigrette so that the flavors could meld together while I worked on the rest of this dish. Make it, set it aside, and continue on-

Next, I boiled my brown rice. I like to do the big pot of water method rather than the 2 parts water to 1 part rice method. For me, the rice stays fluffy and doesn't get all sticky or mushy with the big pot of water method, and I like it like that. Not sticky and mushy, I like it fluffy. Just so we're being clear. If you aren't familiar with that method, just use a much bigger pot than your rice will fill. Fill it with water, bring it to a boil, throw in your rice and let it boil for 20 minutes or so until the rice is tender, then strain out all the water by pouring the pot of rice into your colander. Fluffy, tender, non-mushy rice every time.
Okay, back to the recipe:
While the rice is boiling, I washed and chopped all of my veggies. Tossed them into a large bowl with the cilantro and basil, and then poured my vinaigrette all over it all. Cover this and refrigerate until the rice is ready to join the party.

When the rice is done cooking, strain it in the colander, then run cold water over it, stirring it gently until it is all cooled. Add this to your bowl of veggies, stir well, making sure the rice is completely coated with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. I also squeezed a bit more lemon over all. Cover, return to fridge to chill. The longer it chills, the better it tastes. Just remember to stir it up occasionally to ensure even coating of the dressing. Since my fridge was not chilling very well, I threw this in the freezer for about 1/2 hour before serving.

Come to think of it, a bit of sweet corn shaved into this would be pretty fantastic, so would a few well rinsed black beans. Go ahead, make it your own!

I served this salad along with some Quinoa Veggie Patties, and The Wifester was quite the happy camper!

I know, I know, I keep promising the recipe for the Quinoa Veggie Patties...Stay tuned, that recipe will hopefully make its way to this blog tomorrow! Meanwhile, take a look at my super-silly, tremendously cute, spring loaded Sally Sue

I just can't get enough of that face!

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