Try this light, refreshing rice salad for your next cook-out! It whips up in minutes, and is chock-full of smoky grilled veggies, soft feta cheese, and crunchy pistachios.
Looking for something a little different to bring to your 4th of July barbecue this year? I have an excellent suggestion: This salad.
And surprise, surprise, it’s HEALTHY! So you can eat 3 bowlfuls of it and not have smidge of guilt.
Seriously though, this salad is SO good for you. It’s made with brown rice, instead of white rice; and it’s loaded with tons of grilled veggies, crunchy pistachios (sorry, I couldn’t fit that in the title) and feta cheese.
Lots and lotsa feta. Simply because I’m a feta cheese-freak.
Totally obsessed with the stuff. I could devote an entire blog post to talk about my love for feta, but let’s talk about this salad, which I’m pretty sure is the real reason you’re here.
I’ll be honest and say that I’m not too big on rice. I tolerate it, but it’s not really my first choice for dinner. Hand me pasta and I’m a happy girl, but rice? Boredom city usually…
Not anymore. I have made it a personal goal of mine, to make rice fun and delicious at the same time. Simply because rice is SO good for you and is also super-filling which is definitely a plus on those crazy-busy summer days we all have.
I’m a bonafide salad-freak especially this time of year, so it’s pretty obvious what I did next. I whipped up a KILLER ‘dang-good rice salad.
Spell check totally just corrected the word “bonafide” to “boneheaded”. Whaaaa??! Hey, that’s offensive!
For real though, guys. You’ve gotta try this salad this summer! It’s super-simple, whips up in minutes and it’s COLD which is about the only temp I will take my food these days.
In other news, it is so hot and humid here.
This recipe makes a huge-ish batch of salad, so you’ll probably end up having more than enough for dinner and some leftover for lunch the next day!
Toasted pistachios are an optional addition to this salad, but I LOVED the extra crunch they gave it. Also, I just kind of love pistachios. 😀
This salad is an ideal side dish for any vegetarian, but if you wanna make this salad an entire meal, just throw in some cooked chicken!
I like grilling ‘up some chicken at the same time I’m grilling the veggies for this salad. Sometimes I’ll slice ’em up and throw them in the mix for an easy, fast, AND lighter dinner.
Bring this rice salad to your next cook-out and watch it disappear.
Tell the hamburgers and the spare ribs to watch out, because this salad just might steal the show. 😀
- 2 medium zucchini, halved
- 2 large sweet peppers, halved and seeded
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 7 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Brush halved zucchini and peppers with olive oil and cook on grill, turning occasionally until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer veggies to a cutting board to cool. Once veggies are cooled, thinly slice. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, spinach, feta cheese, pistachios, and grilled veggies. Set aside while you prepare the dressing.
- For the dressing, place all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake a few times until dressing is smooth.
- Pour dressing over rice salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate salad 30 minutes before serving.
You’ll love my other summer salads!