Crunchy Brown Rice Salad

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Great for easy summer evenings or brightening up dreary autumn day, this salad makes a hearty meal or beautiful side dish to share with family – quite literally a rainbow salad that looks great served in a big bowl on the table. The blend of the almonds, sesame seeds and brown rice gives a rich, nutty flavour, and works beautifully with the colourful, crunchy cabbage and carrot combination (alliteration queen over here). I also love the creamy taste from mix of avocado and hint of tahini in the salad dressing. As you will probably come to learn, tahini is a staple in my cooking and is used a lot in recipes; from salads, breakfast, baking, and of course, hummus. So if you don’t own a jar of the vitamin-rich stuff, I strongly suggest you invest in one, and if you then find the taste a little strange at first, I advise that you learn to love it sister.

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Crunchy Brown Rice Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup short grain brown rice
1/2 large red cabbage
1-2 large carrots
1 small red onion
1/2 red chilli
2 spring onions
1 avocado
handful fresh coriander, chopped
pinch of fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup almonds, toasted
sprinkle of black/white sesame seeds
black pepper

Dressing:
Juice of 1 small lemon
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp filtered water
1 tsp tamari
black pepper & sea salt

To cook the rice, bring 2 cups of filtered water to the boil, rinse the rice, and place it in a saucepan with sea salt. Cover with a lid, lower the heat and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Once cooked, empty the rice into a bowl and leave to cool.
Dry toast the almonds in a pan until slightly brown and set aside to cool. Once cool, chop into small pieces.
Finely slice the red cabbage and place in a bowl. You could also use a grater or a food processor to chop the cabbage.
Grate the carrot, finely slice the red onion, fresh chilli, spring onions and fresh herbs, and combine with the red cabbage.
Add the diced avocado, chopped almonds, sesame seeds and black pepper.
Combine all the salad dressing ingredients in a small cup or jar and mix together, before pouring onto the salad.


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Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato, Lentil Salad & Tahini Dressing

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This meal is a definite favourite of my mum and I, and although this one is made with sweet potato, the salad is equally delicious with a roasted butternut squash cubes to replace to sweet potato! It’s really easy to prepare and makes a great packed lunch. The tahini dressing is a personal fav – used on pretty much anything – and I obviously used more on my salad than is picture above (did it or the ‘gram).

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Spicy Roasted Sweet Potato, Lentil Salad & Tahini Dressing 
Serves two

The roasted potato:
3 small sweet potatoes
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
pink/sea salt and black pepper
fresh or dried coriander
chopped fresh chilli (optional)
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
A handful of pumpkin or sunflower seeds

The lemon-tahini dressing: (will make enough with some left over…maybe)
3 tbsp tahini
2-4 tbsp filtered water (more if needed)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic glove
Pepper

The rest:
1 cup green lentils
1 small red onion
1 avocado
Fresh coriander
1 tsp sumac
Large handfuls of rocket/arugula
1 cooked beetroot (optional)

Wash, peel and slice the sweet potato into cubes, toss with the spices, salt, pepper, optional coriander and melted coconut oil. Roast in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Once they have been cooking for 30 minutes, chuck in the seeds to toast.

Cook the lentils in 2 cups of water for about 30 minutes on a low heat.

Make the dressing and prepare the rest of the ingredients. Once everything is ready, assemble and drizzle with the tahini dressing – store any left over dressing in the fridge, however, feel free to use it all if you want to and just go by your own judgement.

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