Wild Rice & Chickpea Salad (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Seems lately grains have gotten a bad wrap in the press.  I do agree that some people tend to do better on a lower grain diet, especially gluten containing grains, but not everyone needs to toss out their whole grains just yet.  They can be a great source of fiber, prebiotics, protein, B vitamins, and trace minerals.  The problem may lie more in the fact that most of our grains come from refined, processed and genetically modified sources.  The quantity in which we eat them tend to be a problem as well.

A whole grain salad like this, paired with a veggie makes a great meal!  Or bring it as a side to your next BBQ.  The chickpeas add protein and the nuts add some healthy fat, keeping you full and satisfied.  And of course, I wouldn’t recommend it if it didn’t taste great.  The tangy dressing is balanced by the sweetness of the raisins and the nuts provide a little crunch.  Now the only problem is keeping yourself from eating it all in one sitting!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 cup uncooked brown and wild rice mix
  • 2 cups rinsed and drained canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Preparation

  1. Bring broth to a boil. Add rice, cover and simmer for approximately 45 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Spoon rice into a medium bowl. Add chickpeas, raisins, and green onions.
  2. Combine vinegar and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Pour over rice mixture; toss well. Cover; chill 2 hours. Stir in basil and almonds.
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