Due to my life as a grad student, and my desire to be outside in the sun as much as humanly possible in the summertime, I am often “on the go”. I am always moving (by foot, bus, or bike) from lab to class to meetings to babysitting to barre to grocery store, and finally home. I’m busy and I like it that way! So I pack a million things in my Mary Poppins bag to fulfill any need that may occur throughout the day. Unsurprisingly, my need is often in the form of hunger. For both financial and health reasons, I really avoid buying packaged snacks and meals, so I make sure to pack a variety of food in my giant bag. This summer, I have found I am somewhat limited by things that won’t spoil or melt in the hot sun that I spend much of my time in. And although I have an abundance of snack options, lunches on-the-go are somewhat trickier. I need something portable, filling, quick, completely pre-made, and enjoyed at a lukewarm temperature. This summer wild rice salad completely fits the bill!
This salad is hearty enough to keep me satiated for a few hours and is filled with nutritious and flavorful ingredients. And it tastes good whether it’s straight out of the fridge or has been sitting in my bag for a couple of hours, which is something I’m quite proud of! I was inspired to try a new gluten-free grain salad because about this time last year, I made my favorite summer quinoa salad, which I still love but it’s nice to have a new variation every now and then. Besides, wild rice is a grain that does not get enough attention! It has more antioxidants and protein than any other rice, and is loaded with healthy fiber, minerals, and B vitamins. I like to buy wild rice blends, but it’s delicious on its own as well.
With all the fresh ingredients added, this salad has my favorite balance of sweet, tangy, and earthy, and salty. I just love getting to eat so many of my favorite ingredients (kale, pineapple, avocado) all in one simple dish! It’s the little things in life. 🙂 The walnuts provide extra protein, but you could also add garbanzo beans, chicken, or tofu for an even more substantial meal. Enjoy this salad by itself in the last days of sunshine, or as a side dish at a potluck, or even on your way from one meeting to the next. Here’s to supporting other foodies “on the go”!
Ingredients (serves 6):
- 1 cup dry wild rice or blend (such as Lundberg), cooked as directed
- 2 cups chopped, fresh pineapple
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 avocado, halved and chopped
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 cups torn kale
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 lemon’s juice
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Mix olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, mustard, and salt in a small bowl.
- Toss a spoonful of dressing over the kale and massage until kale is softened a bit.
- Mix all ingredients together with the rest of the dressing. Stir well, coating all.
- Divide into bowls and enjoy immediately or store in large tupperware in the fridge!