It’s rare these days that I eat a lot of grains. I’ve just found, personally, that I feel a whole lot better with less grains and more leafy veg and proteins to keep me satiated.
There is one exception: wild rice. Wild rice, it should be noted, isn’t a rice at all. It’s a grass. (And gluten-free!)
You’re tried it right?
I have mostly positive things to say, but the one negative I’ll throw out there right up front, and that is that it takes longer to cook than most other gluten-free whole grains. That being said, soak it for a few hours or even cook it and freeze for later use and that little hiccup in the wild rice love melts away.
It can go by other names such as “water oats,” “Canada rice” because it’s the only grain native to North America, primarily in lakes and riverbeds in and around Minnesota and central Canada. Though now most of North America’s supply is cultivated in California.
And so, why so I give this grain a culinary nutrition gold star of approval?
Health Benefits of Wild Rice
- Protein Powered: Wild rice contains twice the protein of brown rice.
- Anti-oxidant Rich: It contains up to 30 times more anti-oxidants than white rice (though one can argue this is a useless fact as white is pretty devoid of nutrients in general)
- Fiber-tastic: This grass is a fiber powerhouse that will help keep our bowels moving to the beat of regularity.
- Mineral Delights: Wild rice is a rich source of folate, phosphorus and zinc.
- Energy producing: Rich in the B-vitamins, this grain-like grass will keep those mitochondria wheels spinning.
How To Prepare Wild Rice
- Measure out desired amount and soak for 4-6 hours. (Note, rice volume will double from dry to cooked).
- Rinse thoroughly in a sieve until water runs clear.
- For cooking, use 1 part rice to three parts water
- Bring water a boil, stir in soaked wild rice reduce heat and simmer, covered 40-45 minutes or just until kernels puff open.
- Uncover and fluff with a fork and simmer an additional five minutes.
- Drain off any excess liquid.
Ready for this awesome Wild Rice Protein Power Salad?
What I love about making salads with wild rice is that the rice lends a naturally nutty flavour but compared with some other gluten-free whole grains, is generally rather mild in flavour. I will sometimes add onion or garlic to the rice while it’s cooking but often just add chopped raw goodies to the mix with my choice of protein.
I typically keep the flavouring simple with lemon juice, flax oil and sea salt but will occasionally whip out my salad dressing mixology skills and go-to own. Mostly though, I typically keep these salads simple. I’ll batch prep two cups of wild rice at the beginning of the week and mix into salads or add to soups through the week.
Without further ado, here is this version of my Wild Rice Protein Power Salad
Serves: 4-6 servings
- 2 cups cooked wild rice (prepared as outlined above)
- ½ cup grated carrot
- 1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped
- 14 oz grilled chicken or sautéed organic tofu
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp flax oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Prepare all ingredients as outlined.
- Toss in large mixing bowl and serve at room at room temperature.
- Will keep in the fridge for 3 days.
Looking for more spring salad inspiration? Check out one of these seasonal recipes!
Crunchy Thai Quinoa Salad
Chickpea Cucumber Salad
Spring Inspired Detox Salad
Hot Detox Beet Bop Salad
Shred Into Spring Salad
Zesty Apple Fennel Salad
Spring Asparagus & Spinach Salad
Sour Cabbage & Fennel Salad
Dandelion Citrus Salad
Tuscan Kale & Apple Salad
Sweet Potato Arugula Quinoa Salad