Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Brown rice salad and school holidays

So our holidays come to an end.  Back to work, back to school tomorrow.  I leave you will a fine brown rice salad and some memories of the holidays.  First the salad which I got from my mum who got it from my sister who got it from a colleague.  Frankly I am not sure where it originated (though am happy to be told).  However it is indeed good enough to have done the rounds.

The recipe I was given used curry powder and cumin for spices but I changed these to smoked paprika and mustard.  Otherwise my version was pretty close.  And I was pretty confident when I first made it because I had eaten it a few times and loved it.

It was not quite all smooth sailing.  On the night I made it, here seemed a bit too much dressing and too much lime.  I seasoned it very well.  When I spoke to my mum she said it had been too wet only once and she has made it a few times.  I wondered if this was because my limes were quite large.

However by the next night all the flavours had settled down and the dressing had been absorbed.  I loved it.  Which is just as well because there was a lot of it.
According to my photos it lasted me at least 4 nights but I know I had it for lunch a few times too.  At the end of the week I was a bit tired of it, which is why I was serving it with ravioli for some change.  But I did really love it.  Lots of crunch from the slivered almonds (which I forgot to toast), soft comfort from the legumes, and sweetness from the dried cranberries. 

The salad seemed to be the salad of the holidays given that I also had it at our Ocean Grove beach house when my mum made it and I think she might have given me some another time but can't remember when.  So here are some of the things we did on the holidays with a few random moments:

Jumping waves at the beach.  Eating out at cafes. Taking Sylvia into my workplace.  Climbing an old dredger with my brother in Maldon.  Sleepovers.  Swimming at the pool.  Starting Sylvia's 1000 piece jigsaw.  Enjoying modern artwork at Triennial at the NGV  Celebrating my parents wedding anniversary.  Watching Shadow cat slinking under the couch during thunderstorms.  Sitting in the hot tub at the holiday house.  Tidying the house.  Watching the tennis on tv.  Eating birthday cakes.  Helping a friend hacksaw blinds to fit her windows.  Getting my bike repaired.  Updating my MS Office on my computer.  Watching Gavin and Stacey sitcom.  Shopping.  Reading Harry Potter (6) aloud to Sylvia during the day.  Making sure Buzzy Bee was at Sylvia's side.

My niece came to our place for a sleepover and had quite a busy time.

We went into the city to wander through the trippy light tunnels of Arboria (a luminaria by Architects of the Air from the UK - see above photo).  Before going in I thought I would feed them with some sushi in Fed Square.  However when I stood to shoo the feral seagulls away one of them sailed past and took my tofu teriyaki handroll out of my hand.

When we got home, she then came with us to the vet because our cat Shadow had arrived home late the previous night and we noticed he was a bleeding a bit.  The vet said all his claws were broken as if he had run them along bitumen or concrete such as tumbling away from a car.  We don't know what happened but it gave Shadow quite a shock.

Lastly a couple of random notes:

  • I got to the cinema a lot of times during my 5 weeks holidays - making up for months without a cinema visit.  I saw Star Wars: the Last Jedi, Paddington 2, Wonder, Darkest Hour and Dunkirk.  The oddest one was when we saw Wonder.  We arrived late and were told there was only one seat left.  I said Sylvia and I could share it.  Oddly enough it was a Gold Class cinema (though not Gold Class prices) so we had a roomier seat than usual.  It is not quite as easy to share a seat with Sylvia as it used to be but we managed it.
  • I did not post anything for the recent Australia Day.  There has been a groundswell of opposition to celebrating Australia Day on 26 January that culminated in an Invasion Day parade on the day.  I wish I had gone along but didn't manage it.  After listening to the debate, I have decided that our current Australia Day hurts our Indigenous communities too much and so I consciously decided not to celebrate in any way.
  • Before the holiday I was keeping an eye on how many posts I had posted on my blog.  I had this crazy idea I would reach 2000 posts before the end of the year.  Then I just got stupidly busy and gave up.  Over the holiday I somehow did my 2000th post on my blog without noticing it.  This is blog post 2008, but once back at work I expect my posting to slow down again!
  • I enjoyed watching the Australian Open.  As usual I watch it sporadically on the telly and watch it more towards the end.  There is something quite soothing about watching the professional tennis players thwack the ball to and fro.  I really enjoyed watching the Mens Singles Final between Federer and Cillic.  I let Sylvia watch a little so I asked who she was barracking for.  She replied, "the ball".

More rice salads on Green Gourmet Giraffe:

Asparagus, artichoke and wild rice salad (gf, v)
Bill’s broccoli rice salad (gf, v)
Brown rice salad (gf, v)
Mexican rice salad (gf, v)
Sushi rice salad (gf, v)

Brown Rice Salad with legumes and almonds
Serves heaps - perhaps 8-10

3 cups cooked brown rice
400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400g tin lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dried cranberries or chopped raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 bunch of parsley or coriander, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped

juice of 3-4 limes
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp honey
2 tsp seeded mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika

Mix all salad ingredients.  Lightly whisk together dressing and pour over salad.  Toss until mixed.  Keeps for about a week in the fridge.

NOTES: I think I cooked 1 1/2 cups of raw brown rice in 2 1/4 cups of water for 20-30 minutes.  When I added the dressing it was really wet but the next day it was great.  I put 4 limes in but they were big limes, so I had amended the recipe to be 3-4 depending on size.  I used 2-3 spring onions finely sliced instead of red onion.

On the Stereo:
Black is the Colour: Cara Dillon


  1. "The ball" LOL, kids are too funny! The brown rice salad looks fabulous, I will have to try it when the weather gets warmer in this hemisphere. Your salad and veggie bowls look so good.

  2. What a busy time you have had - but a good time, too, it sounds like. I'm glad you could unwind after your busy 2017. Good luck for the return to school and work now.

    This rice salad sounds delicious and it is full of things I like, so I'm sure I'd enjoy it over a week too.

  3. Love the sound of this rice salad. Sounds as if you had a wonderful time at Ocean Grove, and Buzzy Bee is so cute.

  4. Barracking for the ball! I laughed at my desk.

    A belated congratulations on your 2000th post. :)

  5. This Rice salad looks amazing!!! thanks for sharing

  6. I can see how the dressing would work well the next day as rice can really dry out in the fridge and this would plump it right back up! :D

  7. I have bookmarked this salad to make one day!

    (And hello!)

  8. I completely appreciate your decision for not posting anything for Australia Day. There certainly is a lot of reflection of what its really means to different people, and yes you are right currently the way Australia Day is celebrated hurts the Indigenous communities and shows them little respect, so i applaud your decision.

    Congratulations also on achieving your 2000th blog post, I can see how you missed it though - you have been busy.

  9. Wow! You had very eventful holidays. Sounds like you kept a good balance between busy, fun and downtime, which is always good.
    Is that your bike in the one picture? It's so cute!
    And the light tunnels look very cool.
    I would like to see the movie Wonder - I just finished the book not too long ago and really enjoyed it.
    The rice salad sounds good, I look forward to trying it for work lunches =)

    1. Hi Kimmy - that is actually a picture of a bike on a street wall - it does look very realistic - and so cute I wish it was my bike!

  10. Happy 2000th - that's a total worth celebrating. It sounds like a gorgeous, relaxing five weeks. I bet it felt like it went by in a flash! I made a brown rice salad of yours before, and really enjoyed it - no wonder this one's been passed around a lot. It's going to get passed on over the internet to a whole lot of new people now - I wonder where it'll end up?!


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