Vegetarian Wild Rice Salad

wild rice

Last week when I went with my 12 year old “up north” I had a wild rice salad at the lodge that I thought was pretty good. I liked the textures, with the chewy wild rice and the crunchy water chestnuts. I wasn’t crazy about the honey mustard dressing, but I loved the addition of grapes. This was a true “midwestern salad”, I’m not afraid to admit. I decided I would try to remake it but with a different dressing and the addition of some other favorite add-ins.

One thing I love about wild rice (which actually isn’t rice at all) is that it has far more nutrients than white rice. In one cup of cooked wild rice, there are 7 grams of protein and 35 grams of carbohydrate, including 3 grams of fiber. It’s lower in calories than white rice and the protein it contains is higher quality because it has more of the essential amino acids.

Here is the recipe I came up with, with the help of a different recipe from my local grocery store chain.

VEGETARIAN WILD RICE SALAD

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked wild rice (about 1 cup uncooked). I like to put some Better Than Bouillon in the water to create more flavor.

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon Fine Herbs (or your choice of favorite dried herbs)

1/3 cup sliced green onion

1 (8 oz can) sliced water chestnuts, drained

salt and pepper to taste

2 cups sliced red seedless grapes

1 cup nuts of your choice (I used a mixture of cashews and sliced almonds)

Instructions:

Make the dressing by mixing the mayonnaise, milk, lemon juice and herbs together in a small bowl.

In a larger bowl, combine In larger bowl, combine wild rice, green onion, water chestnuts, salt and pepper. Stir in mayonnaise mixture until blended. Refrigerate, until cooled. Before serving, fold in grapes and nuts. Take to your next potluck. 

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Good, better, best.

I have an insatiable need to better myself. I get excited by new opportunities to make positive changes, whether in nutrition, fitness, personal growth, or simply how to help our home life run more smoothly. I share this with my friend KC over at WordSavvy. She and I spend a lot of our time comparing ways we are working on improvements.  She has a much better handle on her side of things, and she even has a notebook to keep track. Me, I write little lists and post them in places I think I will spot them, like where I eat breakfast, and in the little nook in our mudroom. I think her way is better because I know she is 100% more on top of it than I am. But being around her helps reinvigorate my passion for this. I sort of consider her my improvement mentor.

Speaking of improvements, I’ve decided this summer that if I want to munch on something, I must start with a fruit or a veggie first (if it’s available). The fridge is stocked with sugar snap peas, blueberries, apples, clementines, baby carrots, mini sweet peppers,  and more. Veggies in particular are wonderful because they are full of vitamins and minerals with very few calories. So you can snack on a cup of sugar snap peas and if you decide you’re still hungry, then proceed to a heartier snack. There seems to be no downside to this. Did you know only 10% of American adults get the recommended amount of fruits and veggies each day? If I sometimes struggle, even knowing how good they are for me, I imagine it’s really difficult for most people. So try this approach maybe? And let me know how it goes. (A good portion of our fellow citizens can’t afford healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, or they live in an area called a nutritional desert, where it’s nearly impossible to shop for such items. If you find yourself with extra fresh produce, or a little extra cash, please consider donating it to your local food shelf.)

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That’s A Wrap for the May Bee (And Why Drinking Coffee Cuts Your Risk of Dying!)

coffee

I came into the May Bee challenge feeling energized and excited about the opportunity to blog every day most days in May. I had felt like I had been slacking on my posts, letting other things edge out my time spent at the computer writing. So I really relished the idea of doing this challenge. And I’m so glad I did! Not only did I learn a lot about the topics I’m interested in, but I also got to share that love with you. So, thanks for coming along on the ride. Maybe I’ll do it again next year.

For my last May Bee post, I want to talk about one of my favorite things in the world — a cup of coffee. If you know me at all you know I relish my coffee with gusto. So I was excited to read this article in The New York Times about how drinking coffee seems to reduce your overall risk of dying. Yay for no dying! As the article states “Coffee drinking was linked to a reduced risk of death from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, neurological diseases and suicide, although not from cancer.” I don’t need any health reasons to drink my two to three cups of coffee a day, but I’m glad to know I don’t have to feel guilty about my habit.

And with that, I bid a fond farewell to May 2017 as I welcome what I hope to be a really fabulous summer for me, and for you. Maybe it’ll be the best one yet.

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Maybe Try Some New Happiness Techniques

Maybe you’re starting your work week after the long holiday weekend feeling not great. Maybe you’re stressed, or sad, or angry, or anxious. It happens to everyone. These are normal emotions that we all have. It’s what we do with them that makes the difference in our happiness levels. 

I just read this article about four things you can do immediately to feel happier. As someone who has researched this topic quite a bit for my wellness writing (and personal interest) I immediately connected with these four rituals

In my opinion, these are simple things you can do every day to help you feel more empowered, in control, and on the right track. 

Maybe give these four rituals a try and see if they work for you? 

Maybe Some Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats For Your Monday

My husband and I have a golf tournament in the morning and it starts pretty early. I am making this Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Oatmeal recipe tonight so that we can have something healthy and hearty in the morning ready to go.  I love crock pot oatmeal because it makes the house smell amazing and there’s something really pampering about having a hot breakfast waiting for you when you wake up. Just drizzle a little honey or maple syrup and heavy cream over the top and you’ll be happy as can be!

Recipe here.

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Maybe A No Bake Treat Recipe For The Weekend

I grew up eating peanut butter balls my mom made that had honey, peanut butter, and I think maybe Rice Krispies. They were so good. I made them a lot for my daughter when she was smaller. As she’s grown older, she’s become a bit of a chocolate fiend. Which is just fine because recent studies have shown eating chocolate regularly lowers your chances of having a heart condition called A Fib (atrial fibrillation).

When I saw these chocolatey energy bites I knew I would need to make them for her. They will also be perfect for my golf bag, when I sometimes need just a bump of energy without too much fuss. They are gluten free and made with only whole food ingredients.  Maybe try them this weekend and let me know what you think! Recipe here.

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Maybe Time To Revisit This Important Post About Body Image

Last year, on this very day, I wrote my most read blog post to date. It was reposted by other bloggers, and my local NPR station did an entire show around it, inviting me on to discuss the topic.  Maybe today I am just as passionate about it as I was last year.

I’m talking about my Bikini Body post, in which Discovery Girls magazine ran a spread detailing how to cover up your “flaws” with a bathing suit. Sounds totally crazy, right? Why would a young girl need to be instructed on how to strategically cover up her “flaws” with geometric shapes and other such nonsense?

If your answer is “this is bull honkey!” then please click the link to read the original post. Share it far and wide. Our poor girls (and to a somewhat lesser extent, boys) are having messages of “you’re not good enough” crammed down their throats by television, magazines and social media at an alarming rate. They are being told their self worth is tied up in their weight and body shape. They are being trained that their #1 concern should be to please others (mostly the opposite sex) above themselves. This is unacceptable, and the only way to help our kids to ignore those harmful messages is to talk with them and help them understand that they have the power to decide for themselves.

Maybe we can’t stop this freight train but we can do our best to help our kids decide not to get on in the first place.

Bikini Body