This Brown Rice and Sweet Potato Salad is a super yummy Fall side dish that is simple enough for a weeknight meal AND special enough for your Holiday table. Impossible you say! Oh, it’s possible…. read on! It was inspired by my recent trip to Chicago where I got to live out my dreams of competing on a cooking show.
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Shaw’s. O Organics® is available at Shaw’s . Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Have you ever pretended you were on Chopped and run around your kitchen like crazy grabbing ingredients to make a dish you had to come up with on the spot? I haven’t, but I always thought it would be fun. Well, I had the opportunity to do just that in a culinary school kitchen while I was in Chicago!
I’ll admit at first it was a little overwhelming looking around this huge kitchen filled with so many amazing O Organics products and a rainbow of fresh produce. It’s funny to think back about all of us food bloggers scurrying around that kitchen trying to be polite while at the same time pushing our way through to make sure we got the ingredients we wanted.
Since we only had about 30 minutes I decided to make a rice salad featuring O Organics fully cooked brown rice, chopped almonds, dried cranberries and as many fresh veggies and herbs as I could grab. I made a simple lemon vinaigrette to bring it all together and “bam” I had a delicious and colorful dish!
After that challenge we took our creations to another room to photograph them for our blogs. I had never been in a room full of so many other food bloggers and it was super fun to watch the lengths they will go to in order to get a good photograph. Think standing on chairs, moving tables, using aprons as bounce cards to reflect the light… it’s no easy task to get gorgeous food shots. And everyone was working together to help each other out. It definitely takes a food blogging village!
So on my flight home my head was swimming with all the memories of this very fun event… all the great O Organics products I was introduced to (make sure to check your local Albertsons family store to see what’s available in your area) and all of the amazing people I was able to meet.
To recap all of this awesomeness I decided to create a Fall spin on my rice salad. That’s how I came up with this yummy Brown Rice and Sweet Potato Salad!
It’s great because it’s totally doable for a weeknight meal and pairs well with any protein, but it’s special enough to hold court at your Holiday table. The nuttiness of the brown rice with the creaminess of the roasted sweet potato are accented by a delicious orange honey dressing. I also threw in some toasted pecans for depth and crunch, a few dried cranberries for a sweet burst of flavor and parsley for freshness and color.
This side dish looks and smells like Holiday in a bowl! AND it can be eaten warm, at room temperature or cold straight out of the fridge (which is what I did for lunch yesterday;) So don’t miss out on trying this yummy and versatile dish. You’ll be so happy that you did!!Print
This Brown Rice and Sweet Potato Salad was inspired by a dish I made recently at an Organics for All event in Chicago sponsored by Shaw’s. It’s great because it’s totally doable for a weeknight dinner, but it’s special enough to hold court at your Holiday table!
- 1 cup O Organics brown basmati rice
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 1 large orange, 1 teaspoon zest and 1/3 cup juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or pure maple syrup, dark or amber
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped and preferably toasted
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cook brown basmati rice according to instructions on packaging.
- Meanwhile, toss sweet potato with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until coated. Spread out in a single layer onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until tender and darkened in spots, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk orange zest and juice, vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, the shallot and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil until well combined.
- Re-whisk the dressing to combine then add warm rice, pecans, cranberries and parsley to the orange juice mixture and gently stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 3/4 cups
- Calories: 249
- Sugar: 11 g
- Sodium: 437 mg
- Fat: 13 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 34 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 3 g