Hot on the outside, cool on the inside – cold rice salad brings down the temps

About a month ago I bought two 10 lb bags of Royal basmati rice at Cash and Carry for a little over $8/bag. I worried that the price was too good to be true, but I found it was very high quality rice, easy to cook, fills the house with that wonderful popcorn smell, and my family loves it.

I need a lot of rice on hand because I’ve been cooking extra for my dog, Biscuit, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. The vet said she needed to eat a higher grain diet, so I shifted the proportions in the wet food I’d always made for her, adding more rice and barley and less chicken. She loves it, she looks great, and we’re saving a lot of money over the canned stuff.

Since then I found that Cash and Carry always sells Royal pretty cheap, I didn’t need to grab the last two bags off the shelf like an Argentine food riot. But, I’m a hoarder by nature – I have the storage space, I keep big jars for dry goods like that.   Furthermore, we use it – we’ve eaten almost half the first bag already.

About twice a week I make a batch of dog food, I cook two cups of dry rice, and when it’s done (to perfection!), I let it sit a few minutes, then I use a fork to take a couple of cups of cooked rice off the top for us to eat. I end up with three to four cups, a good portion for two to four people.

At first we ate it stir fried with meat and vegetables and lo mein noodles. Lots of stir fry. Stir fry is so quick. We use soy sauce, or once in a while we get some fancy sauce in a jar. That’s a good quick meal for a hot evening.

But wouldn’t you rather have something cold, already waiting for you? Rice makes a good salad.

A nice treat, chilling in the fridge.

A nice treat, chilling in the fridge.

I found this recipe online – there were many, all different.  This one called for simple ingredients that I usually keep on hand – carrots, sweet peppers, green onions, cilantro, cucumbers – and a couple of things I don’t usually have laying around – fresh lime and roasted sesame seed oil.

These last two will be staples around here in future.  The simple dressing was incredibly fragrant – for one cup of cooked rice, just four teaspoons of vegetable or olive oil, a teaspoon of sesame oil, and two tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice, whisked together and then tossed over the ensemble.  Here it’s ready to go, but I’d chill it for at least an hour before serving, it’s just so refreshing.

This recipe also called for cooked, shredded chicken. We had already decided to grill our chicken, so it worked out a little different, but what a combo.

I had almost four cups of cooked rice, so adjusted the recipe accordingly, and made ALOT. So there it was today when we came in from the yard at 11 am, ready to get out of the heat. A nice little oasis of cool.




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