Rice salad with roasted beets and sweet potatoes

This sweet and nourishing salad is fall's ultimate comfort food. 

Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1 cup long grain rice, picked and washed
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size cubes
- 6 small-medium beets, peeled and cut into bite size cubes
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup/honey, or more, to taste
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- a pinch of Himalayan/sea salt

Cover the rice with plenty of water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until 'al dente'. Drain the rice using a colander and run it quickly under cold water, then allow to drain completely. Place the sweet potatoes and the beets on separate oiled baking sheets, toss with 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil each and roast at 375F for 25 minutes or until fork tender. In a large bowl, gently combine the rice with the beets, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds and remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Enjoy!

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