I've started feeling like I'm in a bit of a cooking rut this summer. I seem to just be making the same (wonderful, nonetheless) meals over and over. That's saying something too, since I had three weeks of not really cooking smack dab in the middle of the summer.
Maybe it's the multitude of eggplant, peppers, and summer squash that brings about the cooking doldrums. Maybe I'm just a little bit lazier this summer (that could be the case, because its been a really enjoyable summer...). However, I was ready for some new inspiration.
I have a list of potential cookbooks I'd like, but I've learned, I have limited real estate for cookbooks. I would like to find cookbooks that I cook many recipes from and that are different than the recipes I'm already using. Plus, the recipes need to be heavy on vegetables and not so heavy on meat.
Jerusalem has been a great match for that, but I needed more. So, I went to the public library.
This recipe is from one of my library cookbooks. It's a great Sunday afternoon meal, perfect for taking to the pool and eating there. It didn't use eggplant or summer squash, which was a disadvantage, but frankly, I'm tired of both those.
We all loved it, except for M. J was thrilled that it was vegetarian--that boy's deciding he's not a big fan of meat. I'll definitely make this again (and just let M fend for herself for supper. She's 8. She can handle that).
This originally called for fresh tomatoes, of which I had none. I omitted them and didn't miss them at all. I also didn't really measure the vegetables, just eyeballed it. This is the kind of recipe where you can do that without many negative effects (however, please, measure your spices). This reminded me of a curry dish, minus the meat or sauce.
Serves 4- 6.
Curried Rice Salad
adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special
1 c uncooked brown rice
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 c water
1 c celery, diced
1 c sweet peppers, diced
1 c apples, diced
1/2 c currants or raisins
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c lemon juice
1 T brown sugar
1 T fresh ginger root, grated
1 1 /2 t cumin
1 t curry powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t coriander
1/4 t cardamom
salt to taste
Greek plain yogurt
cashews, toasted and chopped
mango, diced (optional)
In a saucepan, combine the rice with the turmeric, 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t salt, and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Meanwhile, combine the vegetables in a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, ginger root, cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, coriander, and cardamom. Pour it over the vegetables and fruit and salt to taste.
Cool the rice for 15 minutes, then toss it with the vegetables and dressing.
Serve room temperature or cold, garnishing with yogurt, cashews, and mangoes, as desired.