Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad

Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

I try to get all of my grocery shopping done on Friday night on my way home from work. I love grocery shopping, but if I don’t try to squeeze it in between 5pm and dinner my first glass of wine on a Friday, it takes up too much of my Saturday or Sunday. I hem and haw over what to cook for lunch and dinner for week, what to make for the blog, furiously flipping through cookbooks, Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Cooks Illustrated, Pinterest and by the time I’m out the door, half of Saturday is gone and I’m starving.

Friday night grocery shopping doesn’t necessarily mean my decision making is easier, but it forces me to commit ahead of my old schedule. Last week, I decided to buy ingredients for a “Chinese salad” because 1. more salads and 2. Chinese New Year. The new South End Whole Foods has TWO AISLES of bulk bins and when I spotted bulk black rice (aka forbidden rice), I had a salad vision and went with it.

Orange and Almond Black Rice Salad with soy ginger vinaigrette is full of flavor and texture. If you’re like me and need a break from all the heavy winter foods, this salad will be satisfying. It’s filling, but full of light and crunchy veggies, like cabbage, snap peas and scallions. Isabel has been encouraging me to make these sesame clusters for a while now, and I regret not having made them sooner. Along with the roasted almonds, the sesame clusters give the salad another dimension, making it heartier and more filling than most, perfect as a main dish.

Orange + Almond Black Rice Salad | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

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Sweet Potato, Kale and Almond Salad

Sweet Potato, Kale and Almond SaladSweet potatoes, kale and almonds are three of those staple items that I always have on hand, especially at this time of year. Although I like to have salad for dinner most nights, when it gets freezing (it was 20 degrees in Boston this morning) I hate the idea of eating something cold. Enter warm sweet potato, kale and almond salad.

 

Roasted sweet potatoes and almonds are full of fall flavor. Kale is lightly braised so that it is warm but retains much of it’s raw nutritional value. Mustard, lemon and maple syrup add a sweet and sour tang that becomes more like a sauce rather than a cold dressing. The sweet potatoes add the comforting carbs and the almonds add the roasted crunch.

 

Finally, the apple and cheese combination; you can’t go wrong with sweet and savory. When I was living in London, Josh (kind of) came around to the whole fruit and cheese thing too. One night we went to St. John Bread and Wine, a farm to table restaurant across from Spitalfields Market, and I decided to order the Eccles Cake and Lancashire cheese for dessert. He hated it. What the f*&# is this? And then something happened. When we got back to my apartment, he wanted more. Although the Eccles Cake and cheese is not something we can recreate every day, this salad is. Cheap, simple, nutritious and seasonally appropriate. To add more substance to the meal, try with a side of  Vegan Gluten Free Cornbread. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Real Simple

Sweet Potato, Kale and Almond Salad Ingredients

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