Here in Northern Indiana, where I live, summer has been slow getting here this year.
If that’s not the case for you, then you’ll enjoy this easy, nourishing, and flavorful soaked brown rice salad!
Packed with garden veggies and herbs, it’s quick, easy, and refreshing. Preparing your soaked brown rice ahead of time makes it perfect for when it’s too hot to cook!
You Still Need To Eat When It’s Hot!
Do you lose your appetite in hot weather? I do, sometimes, probably mostly because I just don’t feel like cooking.
Having a few already-prepared things on hand means you can throw this soaked brown rice salad together in a hurry (without breaking a sweat).
Use Fresh Veggies & Herbs From Your Garden
If you’re blessed with a garden and a green thumb, this soaked brown rice salad is the perfect recipe for you!
I am not so blessed. If that’s you, too, perhaps you have a farmer’s market nearby or a generous neighbor.
Either way, using the summer’s bounty to add color, flavor, and nutrients to this easy cold salad recipe just makes sense.
I’ve included my favorite combination of veggies and herbs in the recipe below. Feel free to add your own fresh favorites.
Make It A Side Dish Or A Meal
As written, our Soaked Brown Rice Salad With Garden Veggies makes a nourishing side dish. It’s perfect alongside grilled meats such as chicken breasts (Trim Healthy Mamas, keep reading — I have a special note for you).
You can also add diced, cooked chicken breast right to the salad and make it a one-dish meal. That’s really perfect for super hot, I-don’t-want-to-cook days.
Trim Healthy Mamas, This Soaked Brown Rice Salad Is For You Too!
If you’re following the Trim Healthy Mama Plan, you can enjoy this delicious salad, too.
The vinaigrette dressing contains some fat but not enough to go over the fat grams for an E meal. Be sure to include extra lean protein, such as chicken breast as mentioned above.
The recipe makes 5 generous cups. A 1 to 1 1/2 cup serving would be fine for a side. For a complete meal, enjoy a little more if you’ve added cooked chicken breast or another lean protein to it.
Stock The Freezer With These 2 Healthy Foods For Quick Meals Later On
There are 2 healthy foods I love to keep on hand in my freezer: soaked brown rice (or quinoa) and cooked chicken breast.
This means I have easy options for THM:E meals, hot or cold. Spending a few hours preparing the rice and chicken and packaging in meal-sized portions means work a little one day and easy meals later on.
One tip for you: if you’re cooking rice to refrigerate or freeze for later on, cook it until it is slightly al dente. As this salad sits, the rice softens.
Using an Instant Pot to cook these foods really makes it simple and easy, too. If it’s super hot, you can also plug your pressure cooker in outside to help keep the heat and humidity down a bit in the kitchen.
This cold, refreshing, and nourishing salad recipe is not only flavorful but also versatile. I hope you’ll give it a try this summer with what’s ripening in your garden. Or someone else’s.
It doesn’t matter, right? Just ask first! 😉
Cold Brown Rice Salad With Garden Veggies (THM:E)
When it's too hot to cook, you want something quick and easy for dinner... like this cold brown rice salad with garden veggies. It's quintessentially summer with a refreshing vinaigrette dressing, healthy soaked rice, and fresh vegetables and herbs like cucumber and basil. The best part? You don't even have to break a sweat! It's Trim Healthy Mama-friendly, too!
For the rice:
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
For the garden veggies:
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 1/2 cup green pepper diced
- 1/2 cup cucumber thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes whole
To cook the rice...
Combine rice, water, and acidic medium in a pot.
Cover and leave on the counter for 7 to 8 hours.
When ready to cook, add salt if desired.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover.
Simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, or just until all the water is absorbed and slightly al denté.
When cooked, remove from heat.
Let stand, covered, for 15 minutes.
Let 2 cups of the cooked rice cool for the salad, and package the rest for later.
To make the dressing...
In a small bowl or Mason jar, whisk together the dressing ingredients. For the most flavorful dressing, do this when you start the rice soaking.
Put soaked, cooked, and cooled rice into a mixing bowl along with the veggies and vinaigrette.
Stir well to make sure the whole salad is well coated with the dressing.
Enjoy right away or, for best flavor, refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight. The rice will soften the longer it sits and the salad will be more flavorful, but it's still delicious freshly made.
Keeps for several days in the fridge.
Do You Have Garden Veggies And Herbs To Use In This Soaked Brown Rice Salad? What Will You Add?
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