If you don’t know it yet, I’m a HUGE Top Chef fan.  Hence me having all of their cookbooks!  However, there is always something in the recipe that I don’t quite agree with (probably because I’m SO picky) so I tweak it a little bit so I will eat it, and this is inspired from the Top Chef: The Quickfire Cookbook – Antonia’s Rice Salad with Seared Skirt Steak.

To prepare the salad I filled a large salad bowl with my favorites: baby spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes, & thinly sliced onion (you can have as much or as little of this stuff as you want; it’s your base).  Then to it, I usually add any leftover meat we have such as grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp and I cut it into strips.  Next, pick your favorite Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice packet (I LOVE the Garden Vegetable or Rice Pilaf, but John prefers the Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, Long Grain & Wild Rice, 8.8-Ounce Pouches (Pack of 12); all of them work well!)  and cook in the microwave for 90 seconds and then pour into the salad bowl.  The last part is the BEST.  The magic is in the homemade dressing that you pour on top of all the yummy goodness in the salad bowl.  You will need:

 

-3 tbsp rice vinegar (red wine vinegar works nicely too)

-1/4 tsp salt

-1/2 tsp sugar

-1/3 cup canola oil

-1 bunch of chopped cilantro

You’ll whisk the 1st four ingredients to combine and then stir in the cilantro.  Once that is made, pour it and mix everything together in the salad bowl.  This is such a FAST and easy recipe, this is in my rotation usually once a week too!!  Here’s the outcome using steak: