Spartan CEO and founder Joe De Sena has been thriving on a whole-food plant-based diet since the 1970s, which is why he created Spartan's 14-day whole-food meal challenge. On a recent episode of the Spartan Up! podcast, Joe interviewed Dr. Alan Desmond, a medical doctor and gut microbiome expert, about his mission to help people optimize their health with one simple solution: eating more plants.
He's given us five great recipes that are packed with the diversity of whole plants, the dietary fiber, and the healthy protein that you need to crush the Spartan whole-food cleanse and smash that next Spartan race. Each of these recipes is featured in Dr. Desmond's new book, The Plant-Based Diet Revolution: 28 Days to a Happier Gut and a Healthier You.
Today's recipe is a plant-powered wild rice super salad.
Wild Rice Super Salad
This is a big salad with a lot of components, but it’s worth the effort. Alongside the nuts and seeds, the wild rice brings plenty of protein to this dish. You can cook it ahead of time as long as you cool it quickly after cooking and keep it in the fridge.
Prep and cook time: 45 minutes
Plant score: 11
Fiber per serving: 15 grams
Protein per serving: 22 grams
What You Need
1 cup of wild rice, rinsed
¼ head of red cabbage, very finely shredded
½ of a small red onion, finely sliced
2 beetroot, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and very finely sliced
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
½ tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 apple, cored and diced
1 large handful of radicchio or other bitter leaves, roughly torn
⅓ cup of toasted and chopped hazelnuts or walnuts
Ground allspice, to taste
Small handful of fresh dill, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
⅓ cup of mixed seeds (poppy, pumpkin, and sesame are ideal)
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
How to Make It
1. Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add the rice and bring it to a simmer. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes until tender, topping with a little more water if and when needed. (Note that wild rice, unlike white rice, has a chewy bite to it when cooked.) When ready, cool in a sieve under cold running water, then set aside to drain.
2. While the rice cooks, combine the cabbage, onion, beetroot, and fennel in a large bowl and stir in the vinegar, mustard, and a pinch of salt. Set aside to soften.
3. Add the cooled rice to the cabbage mixture along with the apple, radicchio, hazelnuts, allspice, and dill. Add the olive oil and a twist of pepper before mixing well.
4. Divide the salad between two bowls and finish with a scattering of mixed seeds.
For a Warm Salad:
Oven roast the beetroots in wedges for about one hour. Add the fennel, cabbage, and shallots for the last 20 minutes, and stir them through the just-cooked rice before adding everything else for the final mix.
This recipe was originally published in Dr. Alan Desmond's book, The Plant-Based Diet Revolution: 28 Days to a Happier Gut and a Healthier You, featuring 80 vegan recipes by Bob Andrew and published by Yellow Kite. Photos are credited to Dan Jones.