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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Grilled Pepper, Bacon and Brown Rice Salad with Dill Dressing

Interesting summer salads are key to quell summer boredom. I'm a huge fan of greens and urge you to get them into your daily intake.  But for a little variety try moving away from the world of lettuce and toss in something grilled.

A sticky brown rice mingling with grilled peppers, all coated with bright fresh dill dressing - it's hearty, fresh and delicious with a touch of smokey. A great option that matches anything else you're grilling.

Kiss your salads with a taste of the grill- your guests will thank you for it.

Happy Healthy Tip: Brown rice is high in fiber and selenium - both are very important to keep your colon healthy. The peppers are high in carotenoids which boosts your immune system and your heart. Dill is actually a good source of calcium.

Grilled Pepper, Bacon and Brown Rice Salad 
Dill Vinaigrette 

1 cup brown rice (sticky brown rice preferred)
2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup diced red onions
1/2 cup diced celery
6 strips bacon
1 cup grapes, sliced in half
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dill fronds
1/4 cup white pear balsamic
1/3 cup olive oil (+2tbls)
juice of one orange
12 mini peppers
salt and pepper

Saute half of the onions and celery in a drizzle of olive oil, use the pan you are going to cook the rice in. Add the rice into the pan once the celery and onions have begun to soften. Give the rice a good stir to coat it with the oil, then add in the cups water. Bring the rice to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender. Remove from heat.

In the meantime, chop the bacon into small pieces and cook until done. Set the bacon aside, pour the grease out but don't wipe the pan out. Add the garlic to the pan, saute for just a minute then deglase the pan with the vinegar, using a wooden spoon to scape of any bits from the pan. Add in the orange juice and olive oil. Remove from heat, chop the dill and add in; add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the peppers in half, clean out the seeds. Toss with the final tablespoon of olive oil and grill until just softened.

Add the grilled peppers to the rice, pour on half of the dressing and toss the whole salad together. Top with the remaining dressing and enjoy!

Make the rice and dressing up to a few days ahead of time, add in the grilled peppers on barbecue day.

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