Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Brown Rice Salad with Roasted Red Pepper, Olives, & Manchego

Last week yet another study warned of the horrible effects of eating bacon, sausage, red meat, and processed meats. All bad for you. I even read an article that calculated how much of your life you lose each time you eat one slice of bacon. It wasn't so much these articles that made me try a different lunch this week but these articles coupled with my increasing disgust with most lunch meat. I try to stick to turkey (even though I find ham much tastier) but the turkey lunch meat often is wet or has a weird smell or taste or looks wrong. I've tried all sorts of brands, Dietz & Watson, Boars Head, Market District - very rarely was I pleased. But I ate it anyway, lunch after lunch, because it was simple and easy.  
SP was happy when I said I wanted to try one of the Brown Rice Salads from Cook's Illustrated. Not only was I offering to eat brown rice, but he wouldn't have to go to Walmart to buy English muffins (they are $1+ cheaper there than at Giant Eagle and that adds up over a year) and I would get even more vegetable into my diet. So on Sunday we boiled the rice, roasted red peppers, chopped olives and celery and cheese, made the dressing, mixed it up, and on Monday I ate a bowl of Brown Rice Salad with Roasted Red Pepper, Olives, and Manchego for lunch. It looked so pretty and tasty.
SP loves this salad. Me? Not so much. I am surprised because I really like cheese, I really like olives, roasted red pepper is yummy. My problem is the orange zest in the dressing. That's the taste that lingers in my mouth, and not in a good way. This is very, very surprising because I love citrus. I wasn't too thrilled with the oranges SP bought because they weren't orange all over but had some strange brownish greenish tinge and he swore it was just fine and that these were all he could find. But I think they're the problem because there's 2 tsp of zest in the dressing and I think these oranges had weird zest.

So SP is eating the brown rice salad for a couple dinners this week and I'm making grilled cheese for lunch using the bread in the freezer and the last of the huge block of cheddar.

Back to the drawing board for next week's lunch.

*We didn't stir the manchego into the salad because we wanted the salad to last for a week and didn't want the cheese sitting in the salad getting mushy. We have a container of tiny cubes to sprinkle on top each bowlful. That's why you don't see manchego in the photos.

*We roasted the red peppers instead of sauteing them.

Recipe here.

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