Meatless Monday: Autumn Rice Salad

By: Lauren Miyashiro
Related To:

Halloween festivities started this weekend, and the candy limitations I set for myself proved fruitless. I’m powerless when it comes to Snickers and Butterfingers, especially when they’re deemed more acceptable than usual in honor of the spooky holiday. So to counteract all the chocolate, I’ll be cooking myself a balanced Meatless Monday dinner tonight. On the menu: Autumn Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and Pecans -- no dessert.

Quick-cooking rice makes this a speedy weeknight dinner, so you'll have more time to enjoy (or dread) some scary movies. I imagine quinoa would work well here too, but for now that’s just a theory. Cranberries and pecans give the whole dish the classic fall flavor, and the contrast between the nutty sesame oil and tangy rice vinegar makes for a lovely dressing. The dates and honey do add a bit of sweetness, but not overwhelmingly so, and certainly nothing in comparison to the massive amounts of candy I’ll be consuming once again this Thursday.

Autumn Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and Pecans

1 cup quick-cooking white, brown and wild rice blend, such as Rice Select Royal Blend

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Asian dark sesame oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup whole pitted and chopped dates (about 8 dates)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped scallions
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice and return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Spread out the rice on a baking sheet and let cool 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, honey and sesame oil in a large bowl. Stir in the rice, cranberries, dates, parsley, scallions and pecans and toss well to coat.

More Meatless Dinner Ideas:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Meatless Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash

You've probably been seeing a lot of recipes for butternut squash lately, and for good reason. It's rich, creamy and sweet, making it hard to believe that it's healthy-- good source of fiber, low in fat, high in antioxidant-rich vitamin C kind of healthy.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

The great news is that most side dishes are either meatless or can be made without meat very easily (and just as deliciously).

Meatless Monday: Stuffed Artichokes

Make meatless stuffed artichokes for an easy Thanksgiving side or vegetarian main.

Meatless Monday: Parsnip and Apple Tarte Tatin

Put a savory spin on a classic tarte tatin with parsnip-apple tarte tatin for Meatless Monday.

Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Cheesy Kale, Sausage and Rice Casserole

Casseroles = love, comfort, coziness, and simplicity. Having a good casserole in your hip pocket will make you the hit of your friends and neighbors!

Every Day We’re Brusselin’: 4 Craveable Brussels Sprout Salads

Get easy brussels sprouts salad recipes perfect for a fall meal on Cooking Channel.

Fall Fest: Top In Season Thanksgiving Sides

With one week to go until Thanksgiving, plan on cooking these seasonal recipes that turn market-fresh produce into delicious sides for turkey day.

Healthiest Thanksgiving Sides

Get maximum flavor and enjoyment out of Thanksgiving without getting overly stuffed by incorporating lots of nonstarchy vegetables into side dishes.

On TV

Unwrapped 2.0

9:30am | 8:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

10am | 9c

Unwrapped 2.0

10:30am | 9:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

11:30am | 10:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

12:30pm | 11:30c

Food: Fact or Fiction?

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

3:30pm | 2:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

4:30pm | 3:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

5:30pm | 4:30c

Man Fire Food

6:30pm | 5:30c

Man Fire Food

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Man's Greatest Food

8pm | 7c

Man Fire Food

9:30pm | 8:30c

Cheap Eats

10:30pm | 9:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Man Fire Food

1am | 12c

Man Fire Food

1:30am | 12:30c

Cheap Eats

2:30am | 1:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Sundays 8|7c

Pick a Side!

The Snackdown

In our new animated series, we debate the most-pressing food matters of our time, like is cereal a soup?

So Much Pretty Food Here