here is a simple and fast meal that could be eaten alone or with other components. it is especially fast if you are using leftover rice. the flavorings in the dressing could be changed for this salad to go alone with anything. i ate this for dinner with roasted brussel sprouts and sauteed tempeh and had leftovers mixed with some arugula the next day for lunch.
variable warm rice salad
(also good cold)
2 cups cooked rice, warm (i used a mix from trader joes that had brown rice and a few other grains and seeds)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 med-large onion diced
2 cloves garlic sliced thinly
1 cup peas (frozen is best)
1/2 cup canned white kidney beans or other bean
1/4 cup (or more) chopped toasted nuts (walnut or almonds work well)
1/4 cup dried fruit (dried cherries or grapes)
1/4 cup chopped herbs (i used green onions and parsley)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or rice vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey or agave necter
1 tsp soy sauce or tamari (this deepens the flavor but is not detectable)
1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
Heat oil in a deep sautee pan and add the onions. you can also use other vegetables in addition or in place of the onion and the peas. cook the onions until soft and add the garlic and cook for a few more seconds. add the frozen peas and cover and cook until peas are bright green. add the beans beans to heat through and the rice. move the pan off the heat and toss to mix everything. add the dried fruit, toasted nuts, and herbs.
meanwhile, whisk everything for the dressing together. here you can add other flavorings that could take this dish to go with other things you are preparing. add some curry powder for a more indianish type dish or add more soy, chile flakes, and grated ginger for something a bit more asian. toss the rice mixture with the dressing and let it stand for a about 5 minutes to absorb all of the flavorings.