This Indian-inspired rice-based salad is a delicious healthy choice for the take-to-work lunches you’re enjoying this fall. Using instant rice shortens the cooking time so that it can be ready in less than 30 minutes.
For the dressing (makes about 3/4 cup):
- 1 small minced garlic clove
- 1/2 cup each fresh orange juice and extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of sea salt
For the spice mixture (you may have some leftover):
- 1/2 tsp each curry powder and turmeric
- 1/4 tsp each ground coriander, cumin and granulated garlic
For the rest:
- 400g uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup uncooked brown or wild rice (I used Minute Rice, hence the short cooking time)
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups celery, diced
- 1 large red apple, cored and diced (I like Honeycrisp or Pink Lady)
- 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
- 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, or add them all to a mason jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together the spices.
One at a time, brush some olive oil onto the chicken breast and rub a few pinches of the spice mixture into each. Lay them on the lined baking sheet or dish.
Sprinkle the chicken with freshly ground black pepper and roast for about 25 minutes or until no longer pink inside.
Meanwhile, prepare the rice on the stove in the broth. Once fully cooked, drain any excess liquid and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the 1/2 tsp of the leftover spice mixture.
Chop the celery and apple as directed. Combine them in the large bowl with the rice and all remaining ingredients.
Once the chicken is cooked, chop it into bite-sized cubes. Mix it into the rest of the salad, along with some of the dressing (you decide how much!) stirring well to combine.
Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes (or overnight if possible) to allow flavours to intensify.
Serve as-is, or on top of greens for a larger meal. Leftover dressing may be served on the side if desired.