This Mediterranean-inspired rice salad with creamy cannellini beans and Hemp Hearts can be served warm or chilled and makes a lovely vegetarian main or a flavorful side. Over 15 grams of plant-based protein per serving.
The weather is cooling down a bit and I know many people gravitate away from salads at this point in the year, but there’s still plenty of salad action happening over here. I’ve been sticking with the #saladeveryday movement, but adding some fall flavors in the mix like cinnamon roasted sweet potato croutons, fresh local apples, roasted pecans and more. It’s been delightful.
Another way I like to transition salads into the fall and winter months is to serve them warm. I have a few examples here on the blog (including this sautéed mediterranean lentil salad) and I’m adding another with this lemony rice salad.
This salad starts with a base of warm white rice and it’s loaded with nutrient-dense ingredients like cannellini beans, green peas and Hemp Hearts. The lemony dressing is rich and flavorful with just the right amount of zest while an extra boost of flavor comes from the raisins, fresh parsley and scallions.
What Are Hemp Hearts?
Hemp hearts, also known as hemp seeds, have a slightly nutty flavor and are packed with nutrients. Here’s why they’re great:
They’re loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
Hemp seeds are also raw, vegan, grain-free and gluten-free… an awesome substitute for grain salads.
Ingredients in Lemony Rice Salad
peas – we’re using frozen peas for this recipe.
long-grain white rice – white rice only takes about 15 minutes to cook so tossing this rice salad together doesn’t take much time at all!
cannellini beans – make sure you drain and rinse them.
olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, ground pepper – instead of an elaborate dressing, we’re using these five items to add a light and refreshing flavor to the salad.
golden raisins – adds a little sweetness.
scallions and parsley – to enhance all of the flavors.
Notes and Substitutions
Protein – The hemp hearts and beans add a good amount of plant-based protein, each serving has over 15 grams! If you’re looking for more protein you could add in some chopped grilled chicken. This grilled rosemary chicken
How to Serve Lemony Rice Salad
This lemony rice salad is lovely served as a vegetarian main (perfect for Meatless Mondays) or as a side dish with your protein of choice.
To store leftovers: The recipe makes a large batch of rice salad so you can easily serve it warm the first time you make it and enjoy it cold thereafter (or reheat it). Just store any leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Cook peas: Add about 4 cups of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the frozen peas and cook until just tender, this should take about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or a strainer to remove peas and transfer them into a large bowl.
Cook rice: Using the same boiling water, add rice and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain rice, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.
Make dressing: In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper.
Combine ingredients: Add the Hemp Hearts, cooked rice, beans, raisins, scallions, parsley, lemon zest, and dressing to the large bowl and stir gently to mix.
Serve: Serve warm or cold with extra scallions, parsley and Hemp Hearts as a garnish.
Protein – The hemp hearts and beans add a good amount of plant based protein, each serving has over 15 grams! If you're looking for more protein you could add in some chopped grilled chicken. This grilled rosemary chickenAvocado
Serving: 1/4 of recipeCalories: 575kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 16gFat: 24gFiber: 9gSugar: 12g