Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keeping My Cool

Although last week’s heat wave has abated somewhat, I am still staying out of the kitchen as much as possible. Unlike the spousal unit, who cleaned and froze twenty three pints of sweet corn last week. Without him, we’d starve.

Having an array of appliances that cook without heating the place up too much is a blessing, and I’m finding that my rice cooker is turning out to be one of my favorites. Rice salads are now a staple in my lunch box. Mine, not his – he’s been pretty much “off” rice since the first Gulf War.

They couldn’t be easier. Cook your rice and toss with a tablespoonful of olive oil. Put it in the refrigerator and stir occasionally to break up clumps. Once the rice is cold, add a couple of the following:

Diced Roma tomatoes
Diced cucumber
Sliced green onions
Hot banana pepper rings
Greek olives
Feta or mozzarella cheese
Parsley (lots of parsley)

Since rice tends to soak up dressing, I pack the additions in a separate container with a strong oil and lemon juice dressing (half oil, half lemon juice, pinch of salt and some garlic) and combine them just before eating.

A combination I saw recently on the wonderful blog Mennonite Girls Can Cook put cold cooked chicken together with artichoke hearts, avocado, roasted red peppers, and a dressing made with lime juice.

Note that this is all vaguely Mediterranean in concept. I’d like to come up with something that tasted Indian -- chickpeas, onions and mushrooms, perhaps, but I’m not sure what I’d use for dressing. Yogurt and garam masala, maybe?


Packrat said...

Your salad sounds good. I'm not a pasta salad fan, but rice wouldn't get soggy.

I'm working on sorting and repacking daughter's stuff. When I find her garbanzo bean recipe, I'll try to remember to send it to you.

I like garbanzo beans with Italian salad dressing or with a little oil, vinegar, and sugar - much like a cold three bean salad.
We love garbanzos, green beans, wax (yellow) beans, and kidney beans with sliced onions and maybe green, red or yellow bell peppers mixed with a dressing of vinegar, water, oil, and a little sugar. Easy, cool, good for you.

Shay said...

I love three bean salad but have you noticed it's hard to find wax beans by themselves anymore? ARound here they're always sold mixed with green, for some reason.

Sam said...

Try adding Korma sauce to the Indian salad. Seeds of Change is the best, I think.