Wait for it….
I used to be a vegetarian.
Breath. Hard to believe right? Now that I am the one nibbling on beef liver, adding bacon to everything, and loving myself some rare grass fed steak, it’s hard to imagine there was a time when I wouldn’t touch meat. I thought I was being as healthy as possible. I thought I was doing my part to save the planet.
Man, have I learned a lot. THIS book was pretty life-changing for me. I know what I know and do what I do now because of the same passions that drove me to vegetarianism all those years ago, but I come to the table with a lot more education, experience, and pure joy (did I mention I love steak?). Yes, I love steak, but I also love and appreciate the animals that provide that meat (like Luna over there). I know where each meal comes from. I know the importance of shaking the hand of the farmer that raised my food. And I am passionate about helping others take small steps to do the same.
I could go on for pages on this subject, but I will save that for another post. The purpose of this post? To share with you a recipe that is born from my vegetarian days. A recipe inspired by a much simpler rendition that my husband (then boyfriend) and I used to eat at least twice a week. I’ve changed an old version up to bring you more nutrient density, more flavor, and more yum.
This salad takes me back to those days because it is a meatless dish that can stand alone. But it also calls to mind all that I have learned (especially when paired with finger lickin’ crispy chicken or a giant grass fed steak). It’s loaded with energy dense sweet potato, fig, and wild rice (read more HERE about why I love wild rice). Plus, it’s got more of my favorites: wild arugula, fresh goat cheese, and a delicious, super simple homemade dressing. You can even get your daily dose of bone broth in.
It’s really a winner, so without further ado, I bring to you our new favorite slightly warm, always delicious Arugula, Sweet Potato, and Wile Rice Salad. A perfect hearty summer meal (even all on its own). Yum!
Arugula, Sweet Potato, and Wild Rice Salad (GF, NF)
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1 cup of wild rice
- enough water for soaking
- 3 cups of filtered water (or bone broth for more flavor and nutrient density)
- 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup ghee, tallow, or coconut oil
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups wild arugula
- 1 cup dry organic figs
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1/2 cup pure extra virgin olive oil
- 3 TB organic balsamic vinegar
- 1 TB raw, local honey
WHAT YOU DO:
- pour rice in a bowl and cover with water to soak for at least 1 hour (I’ve left them all day before)
- drain and rinse your rice (get rid of the soaking water) and bring to a simmer in 3 cups water or broth
- set heat to low, cover, and let cook for about 45 minutes, until liquid has been soaked up (follow instructions on your rice package, if you go with a different brand)
- in the meantime, set your oven to 400F, cut your sweet potato into small cubes, coat with cooking fat, sea salt and pepper, and roast until crispy and tender (about 15-20 minutes)
- while your potatoes roast, put arugula in a large salad bowl, and add diced figs and goat cheese
- whisk together your olive oil, vinegar, and honey
- once the cooking is done, add warm rice and sweet potato to your salad, pour on the dressing, and toss so the arugula wilts a bit and your cheese gets melty
- serve warm and ENJOY!
We had ours with my finger lickin’ crispy chicken. Yum! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!