This Basil Pesto Rice Salad recipe is a delicious and healthy dish that's perfect for lunch or dinner. The combination of tender brown rice and red quinoa provides a nutty and satisfying base for the crisp and refreshing rocket salad. The sliced cucumber and lightly grilled vegan harmless chicken add a crunchy texture, while the chopped walnuts and pumpkin seeds add a satisfying crunch.
Basil Pesto Dressing:
- 1 cup Fresh Basil
- ¾ cup Cashews
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- Pinch Salt + Pepper to flavour
- 250g Rocket
- ⅓ Cucumber
- ¼ cup Walnuts
- ¼ cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 200g Harmless Chicken (+ 2 Tbsp Oil for grilling)
- 1 cup Brown Rice
- ¼ cup Red Quinoa
- 2 ½ cups Water (rice cooker)
- Rinse the brown rice and red quinoa in a fine mesh strainer.
- Place the rinsed rice and quinoa in a rice cooker with 2 ½ cups of water.
- Turn on the rice cooker and let it cook until it signals that the rice is done.
- Serve the rice and quinoa as a side dish with the rocket salad and basil pesto dressing.
- Now prepare the Basil Pesto Dressing; rinse and chop the fresh basil leaves.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, cashews, olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- While the Brown rice and quinoa is cooking, prepare the salad: rinse and dry the rocket leaves and place them in a large bowl.
- Add the sliced cucumber, chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and lightly grilled vegan harmless chicken.
- Toss to combine.
- Serve with the basil pesto dressing and enjoy!
Preparing the lightly grilled Harmless Chicken:
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Brush the vegan harmless chicken pieces with oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill.
- Place the vegan harmless chicken on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred and crispy.
- Brush with a little bit more oil if needed.
- Remove from the grill and let cool for a few minutes before adding to the rocket salad mixture.
Note: If you do not have access to a grill, you can also bake the vegan harmless chicken in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 15-20 minutes or until crispy, or pan-fry them in a pan over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side.