Here in Texas, the hot summer days can be brutal, so I prefer to keep my weekday lunches light. Nothing too heavy, bulky or any meal where I am forced to crank the oven on and heat up my tiny kitchen. I enjoy simple, easy to make meals that come together in a snap, using what I have on hand or have cooked over the weekends.
And there are always leftovers. On the weekends, my husband takes charge of the grill; I focus on the sides and with our large family sure to pop in, I always make double or even triple of everything. Using my rice maker, I can quickly cook up a triple batch of brown rice; one for our family meal, one to send home with mami, and one to enjoy throughout the week. I place the rice in a food storage container and refrigerate for the week.
Brown rice is extremely versatile and pairs well with any vegetable or fruit - making it perfect for multiple meals. Transform it by adding grilled corn, roasted vegetables, chopped spinach, beans, diced fruit or even shredded chicken, and then douse it in a simple dressing using olive oil, any citrus or fresh juice, and a little salt and pepper. This past weekend I invited a family friend over to enjoy our weekend family dinners. She was kind enough to bring me fresh produce from her garden: sweet tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and bold bell peppers, and I knew these flavors would make a great new brown rice salad combination.
Of course I always have plenty of cilantro on hand and decided to use it to make a light dressing. I roasted the bell peppers, gave everything a quick dice, and then tossed everything into a bowl with a hefty drizzle of cilantro lime dressing. Voila; lunch was served! Eat it cold, warm, or at room temperature, alone or with the protein of your choice. Simple and delicious and it even gets better after sitting in the fridge overnight.