My friend Dee Dee is test-driving Veganism with impressive results. She feels better: she claims she has more energy and is sleeping better. Her matchless complexion glows even more, her eyes sparkle, and she seems to be very fit. So, in an effort to support her, and maybe go so far as to emulate her a bit, here is a Vegan-friendly rice dish that is easy to make, delicious to eat, and very handy for things like brown bagging it to work as well as entertaining since it can be made well ahead of time and assembled quickly. The nutty flavor of the wild rice makes a nice contrast to the lemon and garlic vinaigrette, accented by the crunchy vegetables. Toasted pine nuts complete the dish with their own musky flavor.
Dee Dee reminded me that vegans, “don’t eat anything with eyes,” which is an excellent way to remember the dos and don’ts of that lifestyle. Grains, therefore, play a big part in their diet, particularly those grains high in protein such as quinoa. Feel free to adapt this recipe to the grain of your choice. If you are into eating things with eyes, this dish is a marvelous accompaniment to poultry, meat, fish, or just on its own with a little feta cheese cut up in it.
Wild rice is easy to find in Moscow: it is available at most supermarkets, at the markets, and at the wonderful Indian Spice shops. Store it in a vacuum-sealed container after you open the packet.
Wild rice cooks longer than shorter-grained rice and requires more water. The yield is high: one cup of dried wild rice produces between 3 and 4 cups of cooked rice. Use a ratio of 1:5 rice and water, and allow for at least 45 minutes to simmer. Rice is done when the kernels have “popped” open, revealing their white insides. Wild rice is chewier than short grain white rice.
Serve, and enjoy!
Have you tried a “no eyes” diet? What were your impressions?