It’s sometimes nice to experiment with new ingredients. I’ve been craving a new salad recipe with substance, so this vegan red rice salad came at the perfect time!
I find that if I base it around leafy greens, it’s just not substantial enough to make it a main course. Michael and I are both big eaters so a green salad with some form of protein just won’t cut it.
It’s also quite common to combine tomato and cucumber with wild rice to make a delicious salad recipe. I wanted to step it up a notch and add more protein with the chickpeas, healthy fats with the dressing, and crunch with the walnuts.
The hero of this recipe is still the red rice. It adds a unique chewy texture and taste that’s hard to describe.
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Where do you buy red rice?
I found the red rice a few months ago in the supermarket and wanted to try it. I’d never cooked with it before, and I thought that it would be interesting as a base for a cold salad.
I’ve also managed to spot it at my local bulk store so will be buying it from there in the future. I think I’ll always have some on hand, especially over the summer months when you feel like a cold salad that is filling and full of flavour.
If you’re interested in buying red rice, check out your local supermarket or bulk foods store. If you still can’t find it, usually Asian grocers will stock it. Last resort would be to source your red rice online.
Why use red rice?
I’ve chosen to use red rice because it has a wonderful earthy and nutty flavour. The rice also doesn’t go too soft which you can find with white rice and some brown rice varieties. It probably resembles black rice the most in terms of its cooking instructions and texture.
I can see this rice being used in a lot of Asian-style desserts. I think I’ll experiment with this at some stage. Would you like to see a dessert recipe using red rice?
Substitutes for the tahini dressing.
If you don’t like tahini or don’t have it on hand, you can easily swap it out for a different dressing. It’s quite a versatile salad.
You could do a simple olive oil, garlic and herb dressing (just make sure you make heaps) or a chilli mayo style dressing. And of course, you could always whip up a peanut or almond butter sauce with some lemon and tamari. The options here are pretty endless.
This vegan red rice salad is efficient to make!
This salad is incredibly easy to make. Red rice is similar to black rice in that it takes a little longer to cook (about 40 mins) than white or brown rice.
Luckily though, your salad and dressing will only take you 5-10 mins to prepare while your rice is cooking.
You can quickly run out of things to do once you get things started, as you stand around waiting for the rice to cook. So it might be worth setting a timer to ensure you don’t overcook your rice if you decide to step away from the kitchen briefly.