Brown rice is soooo good for you! It’s a whole grain, fibrous, gluten free, makes you feel full faster, and can reduce blood clots!
So what’s not to like?
Well….in my opinion it can just be a little plain. As a result, there are too many times when, deciding between making a meal with white or brown rice, I gravitate towards the white rice. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. !!!
One night a few weeks ago, I fought my tendency to reach for white rice. I took a gamble and cooked some brown rice, one thing led to another, and this delicious recipe came about!
Wow you guys, this brown rice salad is so good! And it is so good because of the brown rice. It just matches perfectly with every component of this summery salad, from the tomatoes to the avocado to the creamy dressing.
My family and I just love this dish, and have enjoyed it at least once a week since that magical night in the kitchen that I decided to give brown rice a chance.
What I love most about this brown rice salad:
It’s fast—if you cook your rice while you prepare the other ingredients, this meal can be ready in under 45 minutes!
It’s summer in a bowl.
It’s vegan AND gluten free.
Oh yeah, and it makes great leftovers for lunch the next day.
Make this delicious brown rice salad tonight! If you do, I bet it won’t be long before you make it again. (:
Brown Rice Summer Salad with Avocado and Tomato
For the rice and veggies:
- 1.5 cups long-grain brown rice, dry (I prefer brown basmati rice)
- 3 cups water, (For cooking the rice, I prefer to use my rice cooker)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
For the dressing:
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- ½ sea salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 14 oz can chickpeas, drained
- 1 avocado, diced to ½ to ¾ inch pieces
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
Cook the rice
- Get the brown rice cooking before you do anything else! That way it will be ready by the time you have prepared all the other meal elements. I like to make brown rice in my rice cooker, but feel free to use the stovetop or whatever your preferred rice-cooking method is.
Cook the onion and garlic
- In a large skillet add 2 Tbsp olive oil, and cook the garlic, onion, and ½ tsp sea salt over medium heat for 3 minutes. The onion will start to sizzle.
- Now turn the heat down to medium low, and cook the onion for another 5 minutes. While the onion cooks, you can halve your tomatoes.
Add the tomatoes
- Now add your tomatoes, 1/8 tsp pepper, the remaining ½ tsp sea salt, and the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet with the onion/garlic mixture. Turn the heat back up to medium, and cook the tomatoes for 3 minutes, until they begin to release their juices.
- Turn the heat down to low, and let the tomatoes, onion, and garlic cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, until the tomatoes have mostly broken down, but have still retained a bit of shape.
Make the dressing
- While the tomatoes cook, make the dressing. Simply whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Whisk until the dressing emulsifies. You will know when it happens! All the ingredients will just really come together and make a beautiful, thick liquid.
Put it all together
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked brown rice and drained chickpeas.
- Carefully spoon all of the onion/garlic/tomato mixture over the rice. Get all those delicious juices in there too! Use a spatula to fold the ingredients into the rice.
- Now pour the dressing over the top of the brown rice salad, and fold the dressing in as well. The brown rice will just soak it up beautifully! I think the dressing recipe makes the perfect amount of dressing, and I just pour all of it over the brown rice salad, but feel free to start with less and add more to preference.
- Once the dressing is incorporated, fold in the avocado and the parsley.
- Taste, adjust salt to preference, then serve!
- This salad is a great meal all on its own, or pair it with some Gardein or similar meat substitute. We love to have this salad with the Kroger brand breaded meat substitute patties. The crunch from the breaded patty goes great with the textures in this brown rice salad!