This wild rice and kale salad is hearty, healthy and super tasty. It's chock full of flavor from the citrus infused vinaigrette and pecans. It checks all the boxes with sweet, savory and crunchy ingredients. Plus this recipe is high in nutrition. It's full of fiber, vitamin C and protein. Not to mention, it's zesty!
I love wild rice. It is perfect for salads because it doesn't get mushy. Even when dressed this rice holds it's integrity. Wild Rice does take a while to cook and cool. I have not added that into the recipe time because I like to cook a big batch of rice at the beginning of the week to use in various recipes. Wild rice is ideal for this purpose as it is not as sticky as white rice and is very versatile. In this Winter salad, wild rice really shines.
I love roasted cauliflower. It adds more "meat" to this Wild Rice and Kale Salad. This cauliflower is simply roasted with garlic, salt and smoked paprika. These smoky flavors are compatible with sweet mandarin oranges. Chickpeas, my favorite source of plant-based protein compliment the chewy wild rice. The cucumbers level up the water content and cabbage and kale raise the crunch factor. This salad is very well balanced in texture.
For dressing this Wild Rice and Kale salad I employed some of my favorite products. I used Wild Groves Meyer Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Mikan Mandarin Balsamic Vinegar to really bump up the citrus flavors. To buy these products at a 20% discount, use code Betterfood20 at checkout here. Wild Groves is a partner of mine and I get compensated for my endorsement. Their products are flavorful and of superior quality. I highly recommend them.
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WILD RICE SALAD
- 1 sheet pan
- 2 cups wild rice cooked and cooled
- 1 ½ cups cabbage shredded
- 1 ½ cups kale chopped
- 2 mandarins peeled and chopped
- 2 persian cucumbers quarted and chopped small
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes halves
- ½ cup pecans
- 15 oz can chickpeas drained
- 2 cups roasted cauliflower
- ¼ tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 lemon squeezed (Use 2 lemons if using regular oil and white balsamic for dressing)
- 2 cups Cauliflower Florets
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp 3 tbsp Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Or Regular olive oil
- 3 tbsp Mikan Mandarin Balsamic Or White Balsamic
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ bunch cilantro
- Put all ingredients in a large bowl and Mix together to coat with dressing, lemon and seasoning. Finish with black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400
- Toss cauliflower in a bowl with oil, salt, garlic and smoked paprika
- Lay seasoned cauli on a sheet pan and bake for 15 mins
- Pull out, flip and bake 10 more mins. Let cool then add to salad.
- Add oil, vinegar and cilantro to a blender and blend until smooth then add to the bowl of salad and toss to coat.