This rice salad has the perfect combo of flavors- sweet, savory and protein filled!
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds plus 2 Tbsp, toasted
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice, rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle for the rice water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked applewood salt
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/2 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and evenly spread pumpkin seeds on a bare baking sheet. Bake for about 7 minutes, until lightly toasted. Allow to cool before adding to the salad so that they retain their crunch.
Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized pot, with a tight fitting lid. Add the rice with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of table salt. Cook covered for 15 minutes, or until tender but not splitting. A bit of crunch to the rice is ideal here. Once cooked, divide into two equal amounts.
Add bell pepper to the cooked rice and combine. Allow rice to cool. (Pro-tip: Adding the red bell pepper now allows it to cook slightly but still retain its crunch.)
Add beans, chili powder, applewood salt, lime juice and oil to the rice and bell peppers. Toss gently to combine and place in the fridge.
Once chilled and just before serving, add cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds (reserve some to garnish). Serve with lime wedges and top with the extra toasted pumpkin seeds.