The challenge for January was to come up with a soup or salad featuring one of our favorite staples, rice. Plenty of inspiring entries this month to tickle your palate. Please do cast your vote in the comment section or via email. Neither my entry nor Jacqueline's is eligible for voting.
Our first entry is from Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe. Despite computer problems, she has come up with this most inspiring Vegetarian Sushi Rice Salad. Combined here is sushi rice, ginger infused cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, carrot, red capsicum, snow peas, cucumber, spring onions, asparagus, tofu, avocado, nori and sesame seeds. Other vegetables can be substituted according to your preference. Such a nourishing dish. (Melbourne, Australia)
Next up is Janet of The Taste Space with a lovely Apple, Lentil and Wild Rice Salad. Wild rice adds a nutty compliment to lentils, shallots, apple and carrot. Then this salad is dressed with cumin, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Surely this dish will impress your dinner guests. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Megha of Live to Eat enters her hearty English Winter Soup. A meal in a bowl, arborio rice is cooked up with potatoes, peas, garlic, nutmeg and parsley. Garnished with sliced hard boiled eggs and served with toast, this soup is just the thing to help with the winter chills. (India)
Eleanor of Brownieville Girl offers up this tempting Mushroom and Chestnut Soup. I never can resist mushrooms and in this soup they are complimented by onion, chestnut puree and risotto rice. A perfect way to start the new year with healthy eating habits in mind. (Ireland)
Helen of Fuss Free Flavours serves up a delightful Red Rice and Italianesque Vegetable Salad. This pretty salad is made with wild rice, broccoli, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes and dressed with olive oil, soy sauce and lemon juice. Helen took this to a picnic at her dance club and I am sure everyone there enjoyed this fulfilling salad. (West London, UK)
My submission this month is a refreshing Curried Rice and Fruit Salad with Fresh Mango Dressing. Basmati rice is cooked with shallots, garlic, homemade curry powder and ginger and then combined with apples, pineapple, coconut, dried apricots, mint and cilantro and dressed with fresh mango chutney, lemon juice, sesame oil and honey. My friends were pleased with this dish. (London, Ontario, Canada)
Mango Cheeks of Allotment2kitchen presents a flavourful Parsnip and Wild Rice Soup. This creamy soup is made with wild rice, onion, garlic, parsnips, turmeric, curry powder, vegetable stock and fresh coriander. Good for you and tasty too. (West of Scotland, UK)
Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes cooked up a Potato, Leek and Spinach Soup with Rice which she describes as thick and stew-like. I am sure this combination of basmati rice, onion, garlic, leeks, potatoes, cumin, vegetable stock and baby spinach would be hard to resist. (Scotland, UK)
Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf serves up a warming and silky bowl of Thai Inspired Pumpkin, Rice and Coconut Milk Soup. Rice is combined with pumpkin, turmeric, fresh chilies, ginger, lemon grass, shallots and coconut milk. An inspired dish indeed. (Bangalore, India)
Valerie of City Life Eats offers up an inventive and appetizing Non-Traditional Insalata di Riso. This tempting dish is made up of brown rice, peas, grapeseed oil, tofu, tamari, turmeric, curry powder, carrots, artichoke hearts, green pepper, parsley, red onion, lemon juice and red wine vinegar. Served with shredded romaine, this salad is sure to stimulate your appetite. (Washington, DC, USA)
Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook submits a mouthwatering Shiruko - Japanese Mochi and Azuki Bean Dessert Soup. This inspired dish is made with azuki beans, a wee bit of sugar, and topped with kirimochi (hard rectangular rice cakes) cooked in a waffle iron, and a bit of mugwort. Certainly this dish would warm and comfort the soul. Definitely worth a trip to a Japanese market. (New York, USA)
Our final entry is from Kevin of Closet Cooking. This elegant Mushroom and Leek Wild Rice Salad combines wild rice, a mixture of mushrooms, leeks, garlic, thyme and roasted chestnuts and is dressed with a balsamic viniagrette. Kevin served this on a bed of arugula and shaped the salad with ramekins. I know I could not resist this fine dish. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Jacqueline will be hosting the February edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the beginning of the month for the theme.