Friday, June 28, 2013

Bok Choy Brown Rice Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing

Temperatures are warming up across the country which means it's time to switch from soups to salads!  We eat a lot of salads in the summer time and I'm always up for trying new ideas.  I saw this one over at Annie's Eats and knew it was going to be a winner.  Lots of crunch and delicious flavors and even better - my kids loved it too!  There are quite a few steps, but if you cook the rice and chicken ahead of time, it's pretty easy to put together.  Sometimes if I have extra rice from another meal, I'll pop it in the freezer to use for this salad later.  Chicken - same thing.

I also love salads that I can make ahead of time - especially in the summertime when we might be out enjoying the sunshine.  You can easily make this several hours in advance, or even the day before.  I love to get it done while my kids are napping!  This makes great leftovers for lunch the next day too.

(And a tip for shredding chicken that I just learned recently.  I boil it, and then throw it in my food processor with the dough attachment and it shreds it beautifully in seconds.  My friends does the same thing in her Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment and I've heard you can do it in a Bosch too.  It makes it super even and it's nice and fast!  I also use the food processor for grating the carrots and chopping the cilantro.)

Bok Choy Brown Rice Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing

*I haven't been able to find baby bok choy, so I used one regular bok choy.  I use the green leaves and some of the white part, but the rest can be chopped up and used in a stir-fry. 

For the Salad:
4 c. cooked brown rice
1 1/2 c. cooked shredded chicken
1 1/2 c. shredded carrot
3 baby bok choy*, rinsed, trimmed, and thinly sliced
1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro
4 scallions, chopped
1 T. sesame seeds (white or black)

For the Dressing:
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 T. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
2 T. rice vinegar
1 1/2 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 T. sesame oil
1 T. honey
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c. canola oil

To make the salad, combine the brown rice, chicken, shredded carrot, bok choy, peas, cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds in a large bowl.  Toss gently to combine.

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl or liquid measuring cup.  Whisk vigorously until well combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings, accordingly.  Add the dressing to the bowl with the salad, a bit at a time, tossing gently to coat.  Taste and add more dressing as necessary.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Source: Annie's Eats

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