Monday, January 4, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Brown Rice Salad with Spinach and Tomatoes

Mix these all together and you have our next recipe!  It's a pretty short list of flavor packed ingredients, many of which you probably have in your pantry already!!

    I don't know about you, but this girl has been feeling not-so-skinny in my skinny jeans.  I like to blame it on the holidays, but I don't know if anyone counts Columbus Day as the start of the holiday season.  Know what I mean?  
    I know there are people who do not like the idea of new year resolutions, but I find it the perfect time to reassess the the goals I would like to see myself accomplish.  This year, I would like to commit to healthier living through committed exercise and healthy eating.  I have my first personal training session with my personal trainer, Bojan, tomorrow since the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  I have started taking ibuprofen now just to prepare myself for the pain I'm going to be in on Wednesday morning!!  Despite the initial shock of the rigorous routine he takes me through, I find that when completed, I love the feeling of accomplishment I feel after we complete our sessions.  Goal one - check.
    As for healthier eating, I am very much looking forward to getting on a healthy cooking and eating routine.  Tax season is almost upon us, so before I know it, my time to create complex meals will be nonexistent, so I have to find recipes that are simple to make, complex in flavor to make me feel like we're still eating tasty dishes, and can be partially prepared ahead of time.  A typical tax season Sunday in our house consists of creating a healthy menu for the week, making a grocery run to the commissary, and chopping all of the ingredients necessary to prepare dinner for the next five nights.  It may sound tedious, but I find it so relaxing and reassuring to know that dinner will be an adventure and not a chore after a long day at work.
    The thing I struggle with the most in regard to healthy eating is planning for lunchtime.  Sitting at my desk for twelve hours a day during tax season can be so tedious that I often find myself wanting to run out for a quick lunch at one of our downtown eateries.  On the days when I bring my lunch, I find that by the time it comes to eating the same half turkey sandwich on wheat with a side of grapes and an apple, I would rather just order take-out.  So I have decided to approach lunch with the same creativity that I approach dinner.  The recipe featured today is the perfect example.  It serves four, but I could easily cut the recipe in half and bring it to lunch twice in one week.  As any good southerner would, I LOVE rice, and brown rice is a good healthy grain, so this recipe really grabbed my attention.  The combination of the tomatoes, spinach, and cucumber is to my liking and will provide the bulk I need to feel full during an extra long day.  The additions of the salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, garlic, and dill should provide just the right amount of flavor to make this dish something I'll be craving by noon.  As a tip, I use kosher salt because I like the texture it provides, especially for veggies that can sometimes lack any real crunch after they have been cooked down.  I hope this dish will ensure you that you can indeed lighten things up a bit in this new year without having to stick to a veggie only diet!

Brown Rice Salad with Spinach and Tomatoes
Serves Four

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (you can cook in veggie or chicken stock to add flavor, but you may want to eliminate the additional salt)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
In a large bowl, whisk together oil vinegar, dill, garlic, and sugar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add rice, cucumber, spinach, and tomatoes.  Toss to combine.


  1. sounds yummy! I really need to jump back on my healthy wagon because my skinny jeans no longer button:) oh lawd:)and since I have decided to start cooking this year, I'll have to give this a try! oh and guess who else will be at the game on the 16th!!!!!!!!!!!!! See ya at Lucy's!!!!

  2. Ahhhh!!! Melanie - that is so exciting that you'll be at the game. After going to the divisional game in 2006 versus the Eagles, I simply cannot wait to be in that stadium.

    I'm excited to see how your cooking challenge comes along. I loved reading about your at home Italian feast. We'll have to try that sometime soon.

    GO Saints!



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