School’s out for summer. We’ve left behind the roasty-toasty Dubai summer for a couple of months and have ventured further away from the equator to enjoy a time of long days and (fingers crossed) some balmy temperatures.
We’ve had a week at the IAG Summer Swim Championships (Ireland’s BIG swim competition), where the Page family left with a clutch of PBs (‘Personal Bests’ in case a swim translator is required) + a couple of medals … gold you know. We’re done with early starts and early nights; warm ups and cool downs; PBs and DQs; skins and splits; carb loading and champions’ choices. AND we’re thankful to the M&S Food Hall that was right next door to our hotel – you made a long week feel infinitely tastier and lovelier – especially the Millionaire’s Shortbread … not a champion’s choice I know, but sometimes those little treats make all the difference.
And now we’re looking forward to a few weeks in England. Our holiday wish list includes a more relaxed schedule, a few weeks of no swim training, no packed lunches and a bit more time to hang out with family and friends and perhaps even the weather to enjoy some eating al fresco.
Spontaneous gatherings seem to happen more when the sun is shining and so do those chilling words, “Could you possibly bring a salad?”
“Yes. No problem”, you’re sure to reply (with a big smile on your face) but then you’re likely to jump straight into working out what on earth to take. What do you have in the fridge? What is everyone else bringing? Can I get to the shops? How much time do I have?
It’s the summer – you want to be out enjoying it, not labouring in the kitchen. But also, you need to look like you’ve made an effort and if you can look like you’re terrible clever too – well surely that’s a bonus.
Let me introduce you to this Easy Multi-Coloured Rice Salad – I think you’ll be glad that you met.
Let’s be clear. This is not a fancy salad. This is not a salad falling over itself with fresh, seasonal vegetables. This is an easy peasy, throw it all together side dish that can easily masquerade as a ‘salad’ when you’re in a rush and you’ve got places to be. It will be a welcome addition to any BBQ or summer gathering.
This is a great dish to have in your virtual back pocket to call on in times of need.Click to tweet
And here’s why this dish could be your new best friend –
- No cooking required – Easy is an understatement. Open 3 packets. Pour a kettle of boiling water over some frozen peas. Mix. Serve. Hot or room temperature. Your choice. Some may call this dish ‘cheating’. I call it being resourceful. You decide.
- Quick is not the word – It’ll take you longer to make even the simplest of green salads. And let’s face it NOBODY eats the green salad at a party. Apart from me. And my Mum. And my friend Jaco. OK – I guess there are 3 of us.
- It’s versatile – It’s also a great ‘ricey’ side dish to serve with warm dishes like Chilli con carne or this Lamb, Tomato & Coconut Curry in the cooler months of the year.
- It’s flexible – There are all sorts of easy rices and grains in the supermarket. Just use what you have or can get your hands on. Think about achieving a range of colours and textures and add in some vegetables or herbs for that bit of crunch. Make it your own.
- You can pimp it up too – And if you want to turn this simple side dish into something more fancy (or indeed turn it into a meal in itself), you could include some (or all) of the following –
- It’s certainly a looker – This dish looks seriously pretty and will be a welcome boost of colour in any food spread.
- Leftovers are great – Not all salads are equal when it comes to leftovers. There’s a lot of limp. There’s a lot of soggy. But this Multi-Coloured Rice Salad will be 100% the next day. Just be sure to store it in the fridge.
Of course, if you have plenty of time on your hands and fancy a bit of kitchen time there are as many salads to choose from as there are (hopefully) hours of sunshine. How about this Puy Lentil Salad with Ginger & Chilli or a Roasted Curried Cauliflower Salad or maybe a Courgette, Feta and Mint Salad?
Let’s face it, your friends and family will enjoy all of these salads but I have a feeling that this Easy Multi-Coloured Rice Salad will win the ‘high impact, low effort’ prize hands down …
- 1 x 250g packet Tilda Sundried Tomato Rice
- 1 x 250g packet Tilda Pilau Rice
- 1 x 250g Waitrose LOVE life puy lentils
- 250g frozen peas
- Open both packets of rice and tip them into a large bowl. Combine thoroughly.
- Now open the packet of lentils and empty the contents into a sieve. Run them under the tap and use your fingers to make sure that the lentils are all separated. Tip the drained lentils in with the rice.
- Put the frozen peas into a small bowl and pour boiling water over them until they are covered. Leave for 3 minutes. Drain the peas through the sieve and tip in with the rice and lentils.
- Gently combine everything together and transfer to a serving dish.
- To serve the rice salad hot, cover loosely and warm gently in the microwave until piping hot.