Healthy lunch recipe: brown rice, asparagus and goat cheese salad

Brown rice is the healthy alternative to white rice. Because it is unrefined – unlike white rice – brown rice still contains whole grains and natural vitamins, fiber, protein, calcium and magnesium, often lost in the refining process of white rice. It has a low glycemic index, meaning it releases energy slowly, allowing you to stay full and energised for longer. Asparagus is also rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as fiber and folate. If this tasty salad wasn’t healthy enough, goats cheese is also low in fat and healthier than other cheeses made from cows milk.

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Serves 6 

1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice

2 tsp salt

2 tsp vinegar or citrus juice

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

2 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 tsp grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons juice

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper


  1. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add rice and salt to water and cook until rice is tender, stirring with a fork occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Drain rice, transfer to a baking paper-lined tray and spread evenly. Drizzle rice with vinegar or citrus juice and let cool.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and arrange evenly in a line, as best you can. Cover and cook for 2-5 minutes until bright green but still crisp. Uncover, increase heat, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until tender and well browned on 1 side (approx. 5 minutes). Using tongs, rotate asparagus spears to ensure all are cooked evenly. Transfer to plate and let cool completely. Cut into 1 inch-long pieces.
  3. Whisk olive oil, shallot, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together in bowl.
  4. Transfer cooled rice to large bowl. Add asparagus, goat cheese, almonds and 3 tablespoons of parsley and dressing; toss to combine. Keep remaining parsley to serve.

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