Thursday, February 6, 2014

Greek Rice Salad

I realize it's been a month (more!) since I've posted. However, Christmas, sickness, work, and the multiple snow days have hindered my ability to cook, take photos, edit photos, and post any recipes. It's a long and involved process, you see. This recipe for Greek Rice Salad is one of my favorites. It's refreshing and easy to make. And it stores well so you can eat it all week long. It is vegetarian but not vegan, although it can be adapted easily.

I have also started a new "diet," which has me cooking things a little differently than I'm used to (I will expand in another post). I've started eating a completely plant-based diet with no added oils or artificial ingredients. Basically, I'm eating no animal product at all like a vegan. But I'm taking it one step further and not cooking with oil or butter, not eating anything processed or prepared other than canned tomatoes and beans, and using only natural sweeteners such as maple syrup and dates. It's the Forks Over Knives way.

Why am I doing this? First and foremost, I need to lose weight. And I don't want to starve. This way of eating allows you to eat until full (which I'm still learning how to do) and not count calories. Secondly, I do believe it's a very healthy way to eat. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, animals are treated horribly and the less I contribute to that the better.

That being said, I miss my cheese. So I can't say I'll do this forever. But for right now, it's working for me.

Greek Rice Salad

1-1/2 c. instant brown rice
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
8 oz. feta, crumbled
10.5 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
7 oz. jar Kalamata olives, pitted and rough chopped
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 T. oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
salt & pepper

Cook brown rice according to package directions.  Cool.

Toss cooked rice, cucumber, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.

In a 2-cup measuring cup, whisk the oil, vinegar, oregano, and garlic.  Season with salt & pepper.  Pour over rice mixture and toss.  Season to taste.  Serve at room temperature or cold.

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