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Meatless Monday: Moosewood Cookbook’s Harvest Rice Salad

October 6, 2011

You can find the recipe here:

I’ve been working on a continuing education course on the book “The China Study”  by a very well respected nutrition researcher, T. Colin Campbell. His work is astonishing. We know that there is a link between meat intake and chronic disease, but Dr. Campbell was actually able to start and stop the growth of cancer in the lab by changing the amount of dietary protein given to mice. In addition, we just found out that some of our family members have gone Vegan since reading his book.

Over the course of my career, I’ve attended many alternative health conferences featuring guest speakers who have shared their stories of beating cancer through a vegan diet. As a student, I did a rotation on a heart disease study that advocated  the Dean Ornish Diet–vegetarian with fat free dairy to reverse the devastation that a diet high in fat and animal protein causes in our bodies.  It makes total sense to me…even though it’s a difficult change to make.  So, I hauled out the cookbooks again and looked for recipes that would be appealing to my carnivorous hubs and hungry kids.

Monday night, we made Harvest Rice Salad from the Moosewood Collective Daily Special cookbook.  It is a satisfying vegan recipe to recommend to friends and family. I chose this one after  Jeremy remarked “this one looks good” when he saw it in a pile of recipes that I was considering.

The salad was bright and interesting with chewy brown and wild rice, rich toasted pecans, and a burst of fresh citrus flavor from  orange juice and zest. The dried fruits added a touch of sweetness to this dish and I look forward to mixing up the recipe in the future by trying different combinations.

To make preparation easy, I recommend reading the entire recipe first. There are multiple steps that happen at once. Start by preparing the rice mixture and while that is simmering, soak the dried fruits and prepare the salad dressing. Next, toast the pecans and chop the parsley and scallions. Allow the cooked rice to cool for ten minutes before adding the dressing and remaining ingredients, then let it sit for half an hour to allow the flavors to blend.

We enjoyed it with fresh steamed green beans and a chopped salad with red pears and light bleu cheese dressing. You could easily make this entire menu vegan by substituting an oil and vinegar dressing. You will want to choose something savory to offset the sweetness in the salad.
We’re still a long way from giving up meat entirely in our home, but we’re decreasing it every chance we get. Fruits, Vegetables, and Whole Grains are nutritious and disease fighting foods. Even by decreasing meat to 1/4 of your plate can make a difference.
Question: What are your favorite Vegetarian Cookbooks?  I’d love to hear about them….
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz permalink
    October 7, 2011 1:59 pm

    I’d love to hear your opinions and suggestions for protein substitutes. I feel like the more I read, the less I “should” eat. This person says soy is bad and that person says dairy is bad. What does that leave us with… beans and nuts? And are soy and dairy really bad? (I really don’t think I want to live a dairy-free life!)

    One of my co-workers and his wife experimented with a vegan diet earlier this year. They bought the “Happy Herbivore” cookbook after I sent him a link to her site. I think the other book they used was “Appetite for Reduction”, but I’m not totally sure. He let me borrow the books, and to be honest, the photocopies of the recipes I wanted to try are still in my “try someday” pile. But there were a lot of good options!

    I personally love trolling the ‘net for recipes because I find the cook’s and commenter’s suggestions so helpful.

    And, pears and bleu cheese… YUM!

  2. October 12, 2011 6:12 pm

    The Enchanted Broccoli Forest rank high on the list, and I used to use Laurel’s Kitchen quite a lot. Recently, though, I’ve been primarily using “ethnic” cookbooks and pulling out recipes that are easy to veg (leave out fo the pork in a black bean soup, or the lardons off a green lentil salad). Mostly I look for recipes that feature legumes or nuts and vegetables. It’s easy enough to serve that over or with a grain or potato.

    I love beans and nuts. Dairy and soy are only bad if your GI system doesn’t like them, but many Western vegetarians depend on them too heavily. (BTW, I prefer organic dairy and organic soy, if at all possible.)


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