Maybe you’re like me. When someone is hurt, sick, going through a life change (like having a new baby), or otherwise in need, I bring food. I cook because I know that when I’m out of sorts in any way, sometimes dinner (or lunch, or breakfast for that matter) falls to the bottom of my priority list. It’s always a relief to look in the fridge and see a lovingly prepared dish waiting for me.
Oftentimes those dishes are comfort food. Creamy, cheesy pasta casseroles, hearty pot roast, chili, and things like that. Finding comfort in a big bowl of warm, homey food can be perfect. But sometimes—especially when someone is sick or recovering from surgery or from having a baby—lighter, more wholesome foods seem to fit the bill.
Something that can stay in the fridge for up to a week, or—even better still—freezes well, is the only way to go when delivering food to someone. The next few days, I’m going to share some go-to things you can prepare with love and bring to someone who needs a little TLC.
First up is a simple salad that combines whole grain (brown and wild rice), dark leafy greens, bright red peppers, and a sweet-salty dressing to bring it all together. It’s super healthy, mild enough for recovering/sensitive stomachs, and it only gets better as it sits in the fridge. I’d call it just about perfect for a feel-better nosh.
Healing Rice + Vegetable Salad
serves 4 to 6
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups finely chopped kale
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup finely chopped roasted piquillo peppers (or regular red peppers)
2 tablespoons white miso paste
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 cups cooked brown and wild rice mix (about 1 cup uncooked)
Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds. Add kale (be careful! it will splatter if it’s wet) and stir with tongs until it’s coated in the oil. Sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring, until kale is bright green, somewhat wilted, and browned in places, about 4 minutes.
Transfer cooked kale to a large bowl. Add chopped peppers, and stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together miso, mirin, and vinegar until combined. Add rice to the bowl with kale and peppers, stirring very well to combine. Pour dressing over everything, and toss again until everything is coated. Taste, and add salt if you think it needs it. (But it likely won’t because miso is salty!)
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving…overnight is even better. Salad keeps, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 1 week.