Monday, September 9, 2013

Mango Monday: Mango-Cucumber Rice Salad with Lime & Scallion Vinaigrette

Monday is a great day for a salad, isn't it? The weekend has us fresh and ready to go. It's the beginning of a new week. We're still looking on the bright side of things, and the work/school blues haven't quite kicked in yet...Yeah, Monday is a great day for a tasty, refreshing salad.

This combination of mango, cucumber, and rice can be mixed together in a cinch, and the Lime & Scallion Vinaigrette is just as simple. You can also make a big batch, keep it chilled in the refrigerator, and enjoy it all week long! The flavors pair well with seared fish, grilled or sauteed shrimp, and even your standard rotisserie chicken. It's incredibly easy to turn this salad into a complete meal!




For the rice, I love to use a medley. The different grains offer a nice variety of textures and colors. (Salads need to look interesting, too!) To prepare it, I simply toast the rice in butter (or olive oil) in a small saucepan, then I add the water and a bit of sea salt. It simmers away on low heat for about 30 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed. After 10 minutes of "standing" time, I just fluff the rice with a fork and set it aside to cool.

I have a lot of fitness-savvy friends that do "meal prep" at the beginning of the week. If that's your kind of routine, now would be a good occasion to break out the brown rice that you made ahead of time!


Next, dice up the mango and cucumber.


The dressing is a blend of freshly squeezed lime juice, peanut oil, and chopped scallions, seasoned with a little sea salt and black pepper. For a spicy Mexican twist, you could add cilantro and jalapeno. Or, for an Asian twist, throw in some Sriracha or sesame oil. You can always adjust the dressing to fit the other dishes that you're serving the salad with and to fit the theme of your meal!


Once all of the ingredients are ready, throw them into a bowl together.

Pour the dressing right over the top, then gently toss to coat.

I love the sweetness of the mango with the tart vinaigrette! The cucumber brings a fresh crunch to the dish, and the rice adds a hearty bite. This would be delicious with a pan-seared filet of mahi mahi or grilled shrimp skewers! (Though, I ate it by itself and almost devoured the whole serving bowl...)  If you're looking for a bright, refreshing, and yummy salad, try this recipe! It's good for you ;)



Mango & Cucumber Rice Salad (Serves 4)

Print Recipe
Ingredients:
1 tbsp Unsalted Butter or Olive Oil
1/2 cup Uncooked Rice (Recommended: Medley of medium grain, white basmati, red, & quick-cook wild)
9 oz Water
1 Ripe Mango (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
1/2 Cucumber (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
2 tbsp Finely Chopped Scallions
3 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
Zest from 1 Lime
1 1/2 tbsp Peanut Oil
1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter or heat the olive oil. Add the rice, stir to coat, and slightly toast the grains. Then, pour in the water, season with a 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt, and stir to combine. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, and reduce the heat to low. Cook the rice according to the times listed on its packaging (approximately 30-35 minutes). After turning off the heat, let the rice stand covered, for about 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork, then set aside to cool.
  2. To prepare the mango and cucumber, peel the skins, remove the seeds, and dice.
  3. To make the dressing, add the scallions, lime juice, peanut oil, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk to combine evenly.
  4. Once the rice has cooled, add it to a large bowl. Add the mangoes and cucumbers, then pour the dressing right over the top. Gently toss all of the ingredients together.
  5. Serve with seared fish, grilled shrimp, or even chicken! Enjoy!

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