Cook Culinary & Craft Studio

New year, new diet, new course and new & improved rainbow rice salad

Recipe by
20 Minutes
Prep: 10 Minutes | Cook: 10 Minutes | Servings: 8


And no, I am not referring to Survivor SA.

I’ve been on a diet for the past 11 years. I can name them all. I’m always on a diet because I always gain the weight back. Food is both my love and my enemy. While I eat sleep drink food, recipes, courses and flavours I also eat sleep drink FAT. I fret about weight gain and binge and diet between courses. Calories consume me. But then so does the thought of baking with a glass of wine and good music.
Fortunately my weight gain and loss always bounces between 2 and 5 kg. Unfortunately it always bounces.
And so I have embarked on my final diet. Much like an initiative introduced when I was in the corporate world-it’s called BACK TO BASICS.

Back to a time when carrots and butternut where good for you and were not excluded “starches”.
When eating brown rice was admired-not frowned upon (as yet another starch).
A time of grapes, mangos and lychees in abundance. We never heard the term “bad fruit”.

When sardines were a regular commodity and protein was only ever consumed for breakfast and lunch on the occasional weekend.

We never sprayed vinegar on our leaves. We drizzled them with oil. We never bought processed meals or ready-made sauces. We seldom ate take-away, we never heard of cappuccinos and dessert was often fruit salad (ok perhaps I am giving my age away here). There was no fat-free yoghurt. Only full- fat, which we ate with fruit or honey. And we drank tea.

And so I began adding food items to my 2014 detox, not eliminating them.

I gave up the aesthetic goal of looking smaller for being a self-nurturing, mindful eater. I started nourishing my body with food that was not only good for me, it was delicious. Not once did I feel as if I had been banished to the naughty-no-taste-no-cheat dieting corner. I learned to eat smaller portions and I learned not to waste food. I never missed or craved chicken or meat. I’m not skinny, but my goals have changed and I am too busy trying to eat greens every day.

So while dieting and eating plans are rather personal and not everybody shares my views I have to at least kick off the year with a healthy course and show you how liberating it is to make delicious but healthy, wholesome food. Think of it as going to another church. But only for one Sunday.

So my first recipe of 2014 is a tweaked rice salad from 2 years ago. Make it and pack bowls for take-away for lunch. Its crunchy, scrumptious and addictive. And blow me over it’s all legal on my new eating plan!

Details of my upcoming course SKINNY BITCH (along with a Sunset & Seagull coastal table setting and crafts), will be sent out in February. And no, it’s not all vegetarian there is some protein allowed: Not a hunk of beef but a delicious roasted fish! But trust me, you’ll survive. I did.


Rainbow rice salad (8)

Did I mention that this is one of my favourite salads?

  • 2 cups cooked brown organic rice ( do not add salt to the water)
  • 2 cups fresh nectarines, cubed (about 3 med). Alternatively substitute with apple
  • 1 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped (about ½ a packet)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup roasted seed mix (roast sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds) or alternatively use Pouyoukas Shoyu (soya) sunflower seeds.
  • Small bunch of spring onions, chopped (or use the red spring/salad onions from Woolies for colour)


  • 3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce-or Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon medium or mild curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey


  1. Combine salad ingredients then whisk together dressing, add to rice & toss.

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