Because brown rice has a bolder texture than white rice, it works especially well in a salad. This one will survive a day or two in the refrigerator without becoming soggy, and is substantial enough to be served as a main dish on a hot day.
1 1/2 cups freshly cooked brown rice, (that's 1/2 cup uncooked)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-in. chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-in. chunks
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-in. chunks
1 red or green sweet pepper, cut into 1/2-in. chunks
4 green onions, chopped
4 cups fresh spinach, trimmed
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp mustard, (Dijon, if you have it)
1 tbsp olive oil, or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dump the cooked brown rice into a large bowl. If it is still warm from cooking, so much the better. (Don't use cold leftover rice for this - it gets weird and crunchy when refrigerated.)
Combine the zucchini, celery, carrot, red or green pepper and green onions in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave, on high power, for 4 minutes - or until just ever-so-slightly cooked. (Or instead, you can just steam the veggies on the stove for a minute or two.) Add to the rice in the bowl. Have your helpful young assistant toss them together lightly to mix. Then have her add the spinach, tearing it up into smallish pieces by hand. Mix again.
Meanwhile, mix together the dressing ingredients: the chicken broth, lemon juice mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Pour this over the rice and vegetables and stir lightly to combine. Let cool to room temperature (at least) before serving, or refrigerate for up to two days.