Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nine to Five Rice Salad

Rice has fed more people over a longer period of time than any other crop. As far back as 2500 B.C. rice has been documented in the history books as a source of food and for tradition as well. Beginning in China and the surrounding areas, its cultivation spread throughout Sri Lanka, and India. It was then passed onto Greece and areas of the Mediterranean. Rice spread throughout Southern Europe and to some of North Africa. From Europe rice was brought to the New World.*

It is this most flexible of grains that I turned to for lunch time inspiration.  I made Spanish rice earlier in the week & decided to make a rice salad from the leftovers. With a tiny bit of imagination you can spin some leftover rice from dinner into a rice salad for lunch the next day. With a few diced veggies, dressing, a bean of some type for extra protein a rice salad can be a wholesome & filling meal.  I love pomegranate seeds & tossed a few of those in my lunch box, some tiny cucumber slices along with a few crackers,  cheese & applesauce.  I am so hoping to eat lunch outside while the weather is still nice here.  

Nine to Five Rice Salad
1 Jalapeno pepper, diced, seeded & finely diced
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 can Garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup Spanish Olives
3 Tbsp fresh Basil, chopped
1 Tbsp Shallot, chopped
2 Cups left over Rice (White, Brown, Spanish rice, or White & wild rice blend)
6 Tbsp Balsamic Vinaigrette (3 Tbsp Olive Oil, 3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar, tsp sugar,
salt & pepper to taste)
Toss all ingredients, chill several hours, garnish with extra basil. At most the prep time takes about 15 minutes for this easy salad.

Spanish Rice
1 1/2 cups rice
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup plain tomato sauce
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 tsp cumino powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 of a medium onion
2 tablespoons oil
4 heaping tablespoons of finely chopped parsley (& or)1/4 cup corn,  (optional)

In a medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add in the fresh garlic and onion. Saute for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add in dry rice. Stir for about 5 minutes until rice becomes a golden brown color.Add in broth and tomato sauce (Slowly into rice, not directly onto hot pan!) Add in the cumin, chili powder & parsley if you're using it. Stir it up and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat to low and cover. Let it simmer for 20 minutes and fluff with a fork. This is the rice I used for the above salad.

*More history of Rice here.


  1. This looks delicious! I'd like to have lunch at your house. Do you know I still have jalapenos coming despite the very cold nights we've been having? I have to try this. Oh, and I LOVE that skull in your banner photo.

  2. Pattie, I am surprised at your Jalapeno luck! That must be the plant you told me about earlier in the season. What a strong variety it must be. Wow! Thank you for your comments!

  3. i love all the lunch box ideas and recipes you have here.I came across your site from the foodieblogroll and I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your site. I hope you could add this Bento widget at the end of this post so we could add you in our list of food bloggers who blogged about bento boxes, Thanks!

  4. This recipe is definitely do-able. I love all of your lunchboxes; they are adorable. I always have a problem packing lunch for work and I end up eating the same thing for days. I love how you always include lots of veggies.