Oh, good heavens, California. Fall is a week from next Tuesday. We get it.
The temperature on my patio was an inviting 102 this evening. We’ve dropped down significantly since then:
Yay, right? I’m not sure what to say about Sunday being 96 but having a “RealFeel” of 98. Hmm.
But wait, there’s more! (And keep reading, because it takes a minute, but this one’s a sincere Yay!)
When I was running errands the other day, I stopped by Target to grab a few things. I always take a quick tour of the grocery area. It’s a habit I have because it’s not easy to grocery shop here. Going to the store is something of a crap shoot around here. I mean, it would be if “crap shoot” meant staring at shelves thinking, “Aww, crap. Shoot!” because more often than not, something I anticipated I could find isn’t even known by the store’s employees.
This happened recently when I sent my husband to a major grocery store looking for “Beyond Meat.” Everyone’s been talking about this product for about two years, but vegan food is a rarity in our grocery stores. Still, I’d heard that other stores in this chain carried it; I assumed that meant the store in my city would.
Nope. Soon enough I got the text, “They don’t even know what that means.”
Ugh. Crap. Shoot.
I wasn’t feeling good about what I’d find at Target because they’d been clearancing vegan food items the last time I was there. I rounded the corner of the aisle, steadying myself for the total elimination of the vegan section. What I found instead was:
Angels sang. The people wept. I almost cried myself. I did whisper, “Target, I love you.”
It’s okay. I’ve lived here for over ten years. Even if people heard me, they’re used to me by now. Well, more or less.
Tonight, studying my package of Beyond Meat Grilled Strips, I considered my options. My mom sent me an email last week with a recipe for Curried Chicken Rice Salad (Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast, Oxmoor House, 2009) and a note that read: “Will need tweaking. I really, really love this. Make lots, the guys will gobble it.”
And it’s served cold. Perfect!
Curried… and Beyond! Rice Salad
- 3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 container vanilla soy yogurt
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 package Beyond Chicken Grilled Strips
- 1 small bunch chopped celery, chopped
- 1 red apple, chopped
- ¼ cup craisins
- Romaine lettuce
Prepare your rice and chill. If you are preparing it right before dinner, prepare the rice first and place it in the freezer while you do the rest of the steps. It’s easier, and cooler, if you prepare it ahead and store it in the fridge until you’re ready for it.
Prepare the grilled strips as directed. Dice them into small pieces.
Chop the celery and apple. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, curry powder, and salt. Add the grilled strips, celery, and apple and mix well to coat. Add the rice and mix completely.
Serve on a bed of lettuce.
The vanilla yogurt and the curry give this such a subtle flavor boost. Sometimes curry is a bit much for me, but I loved what the addition of the vegan vanilla yogurt did for the dish. It was exactly what we needed to cool down and unwind into the weekend.
Our furry, four-legged kids are sprawled out on the floor, nodding off in the warm evening breeze. After this, I’m ready to pack it in for the night, too. Thankfully, the kitchen stayed cool and clean up was simple.
This dish is an all-star summer salad. If you’re experiencing a late summer heat wave like we are, you really need to try it. Even my husband, after surveying me warily as I added the curry, looked surprised as he said, “This is actually really, really good!”
Just like Mom said!