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The Family Dinner Recipe: Curried Brown Rice Salad

Breastcancer.org is proud to present recipes from The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt (Grand Central Life & Style, 2010). Laurie is a very special friend and champion of Breastcancer.org. We’re pleased to share Laurie and Kirstin’s delicious, healthy recipes as part of Think Pink, Live Green!

[Editor's Note: If you have been diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer and are concerned about eating soy, feel free to leave it out or modify the recipe using your favorite substitution.]

Here’s a curried brown rice salad — tart and sweet, crunchy and chewy, all in one bite. Yes, I hear you, you are saying, “Loooook at all those ingredients.” And I am saying it right back at ya, “Look at all those ingredients!” (I sound more excited.)

Chewy healthy brown rice! Delicious Indian aromatics! Crunchy veggies and beautiful sweet-tangy fruit! All in one dish! One dish you can have tonight, and put in lunch boxes tomorrow, and maybe even have a little more later as a snack. Yes! Go on, you can change it to fit your mood. Add carrots, remove the cabbage, throw in some grapes, its all good. Now aren’t you excited too?

You need:

3 cups short-grained brown rice
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium-sized red onion, diced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced or grated
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons mild (or spicy) Indian curry
10 ounces pressed seasoned tofu (or extra firm tofu), diced
½ English cucumber, deseeded and chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries or cherries, chopped
1 cup sliced cabbage (red, green, or Brussels), chopped
½ cup almonds (or your favorite nut), toasted and chopped
1 lime, the zest and juice
A handful of fresh herbs like mint, basil, or cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

To make 8-10 servings (enough for today and tomorrow’s lunch, too):

Fill a big pot of water and salt it. Throw in the rice and boil it like pasta until al-dente, 30-40 minutes. Drain and rinse well with cold water.

Heat up a large skillet and drizzle in enough oil to cover the bottom. When hot, let the onions, garlic, and ginger join the sizzle until golden. Add the tofu for a moment, then the curry, stir and turn off the stove. Your kitchen should be smelling pretty wonderful by now.

In a large bowl, toss the rice, tofu mixture, and the remaining ingredients until all mixed up (if you are doing this in advance, which only makes it better, save the herbs and nuts until the last minute). Taste the salad for seasonings, make it as sweet, spicy, or tart as your family likes.

Decorate a large bowl or platter with a few extra cabbage leaves, and pile the salad high atop.

Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt

Laurie David is an author and producer who works on a variety of environmental, food, and agricultural issues. Her most recent book, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time, is an inspirational, practical, and green guide to the vital family dinner ritual and how to accomplish it in today’s busy world. Laurie was a producer on the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth and the HBO documentary Too Hot NOT to Handle, and executive produced the TBS comedy special Earth to America! She also authored the bestselling book Stop Global Warming: The Solution is You! and co-authored The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming. A regular blogger on the Huffington Post, Laurie has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. She was named a 2006 Glamour Woman of the Year and has been profiled in People, Glamour, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Elle, Wired, House & Garden, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair. Kirstin Uhrenholdt grew up on a fruit-farm in Denmark, pickin’ n’ pruning and making pie. She then, by a stroke of good luck, ended up on a cargo ship to Greenland, doing among other things a lot of dishes, a lot — more than you can imagine. She escaped and became a beer wench in Appenzelle, Switzerland, where they speak a language no one understands. Eventually she landed in L.A. where, lo and behold, she was kidnapped by some actors, some heavy rockers, and some kosher people. Presently she is living happily ever after.

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