I’d like to first apologize for the lack of a What I Ate Wednesday post today—between Prom weekend and double AP exams, my hectic schedule simply got the best of me! Instead, I’ll provide you with a quick, simple, and scrumptious salad. How’s that for a compromise?
The Willy Street Co-op, my hippie grocery store of a home-away-from-home, features a tantalizing and overwhelmingly vegan-friendly deli/salad bar/bakery. Behind the deli‘s glass window, there lives little balls of fresh falafels, marinated tofu cakes, giant pickles, and master-crafted sushi from a local Japanese company. Boasting an array of gluten-free, vegan, and even raw sweets, the bakery highlights such delicious treats as “Nothin’ Muffins,” free of animal products and artificial sweeteners, as well as Earth Cafe raw cheesecakes in every flavor. The salad bar (my favorite part) offers healthy whole grain and bean salads, mayonnaise-free coleslaws, spicy roasted sweet potato wedges, and every salad fixing you could imagine, including alfalfa sprouts and mixed bean sprouts, which always find their way into my daily lunchtime salads.
One of the Co-op’s grain salads in particular draws my attention at every visit, and I often partake in a container of their Spinach & Wild Rice Salad, rife with chewy, nutty wild rice, crunchy slivered almonds, refreshing pops of scallion, and silky baby spinach in a tangy Italian vinaigrette. However, after glancing at the surprisingly simple ingredient label, I realized that I could easily concoct a version of this recipe at home for a lower price. With this homemade take on the Co-op’s creation, I can dine at the Willy Street salad bar whenever I want…almost.
Spinach & Wild Rice Salad (Soy Free)
- 1 cup wild rice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh marjoram, finely chopped
- 2 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1-2 cups baby spinach
- 1/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped or slivered
- 3 tbsp scallions, thinly sliced
In a medium saucepan, combine the wild rice and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender yet still toothsome. Fluff with a fork and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, whisk together all the vinaigrette ingredients (oil through mustard) in the bottom of a large serving bowl. Place the cooked rice, spinach, almonds, and scallions in the bowl and toss well to combine. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Comment Provoking Questions: Do you have a neighborhood co-op near you? If so, do you shop there? Do they have a great salad bar/deli?
Until next time, Ali.