This Mediterranean brown rice salad is ideal either as a healthy side or a light lunch. The tahini dressing (from sesame seeds) adds more health benefits.
Are you searching for an easy and healthy dish to help you get through the week? This brown rice salad with lemon – tahini dressing can be a tasty side or a light lunch that will keep you saturated until dinner.
I like to make a large batch, enough for 2-3 days (I just keep it refrigerated all the time) and combine it with fish, chicken, lentils, or tofu (for when I want a vegan meal) just to add some extra protein and to make it more satiating.
Vegetables are generally considered to have a detoxifying effect on our body, mostly due to their alkaline character.
Also, the brown rice in this salad has more fiber and nutrients than regular rice, the cucumber has a mild diuretic action and helps to soothe constipation, the parsley, the lemon juice, and the peppers are all foods rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and other phytonutrients, while tahini provides healthy fats, amino acids, and some plant-based protein.
Can I use something else instead of brown rice?
Of course! Buckwheat and quinoa are great (and gluten-free) options for this salad. Regular, white rice or basmati will also work, though the fiber content will be less. Also, barley and bulgur or pearl wheat will also work, though they may take longer to cook.
- This recipe uses parboiled brown rice since it’s easy and quick to prepare.
- Add some ground turmeric to the lemon – tahini dressing for more health benefits and a nice color.
- Ground cumin can lose its power when stored for a long time. If your cumin is not very fresh you may have to increase the quantity.
- You can peel the cucumber or use it with the flesh
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And a light dessert: Low fat yogurt panna cotta
Healthy Mediterranean brown rice salad (vegan)
For the salad:
- 1.5 cups (250 g) parboiled brown rice
- 2 persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber, chopped)
- 2 green onions (chopped)
- 1 cup fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- ½ cup (80 g) pitted and sliced olives
For the lemon – tahini dressing:
- ⅓ cup (80 g) tahini
- 2 tablespoons (26 g) olive oil (extra virgin)
- 4 tablespoons (60 g) lemon juice (freshly squeezed )
- 3 tablespoons (45 g) water (you may need more)
- 0.5 teaspoon fine salt
- 0.5 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder (or 1 minced garlic clove, optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Cook the brown rice according to the directions of the packadging.
- Make the salad:Transfer the cooked rice and the rest of the salad ingredients to a large salad bowl and toss to combine.
- Make the dressing:Transfer the tahini, the olive oil, 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of the water to a small bowl or jar and mix with a spoon until creamy. Add the salt, the pepper, the garlic and the cumin. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt according to your taste. Add more water until you get a thinner, pourable consistency.
- Pour the dressing over the rice salad and serve.
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