Sunday, 20 May 2012

Brown Rice Salad with Grilled Fish

So yesterday was Food Revolution day. Me and my roommates celebrated by eating burgers. And going to see The Avengers. It was just as good the second time I saw it. My roommates hadn't seen it before, and they hadn't seen any of the previous movies, but they loved it too. I love taking people to movies I love and finding out they love them to.

They had also never watched or read any of the Harry Potter books/movies!!! This is like a total crime in my books. As I can't force them to read anything, I decided to force them to watch the movies. We have watched the first five so far - four and five we watched on Friday night (wild teenagers we are). It's so exciting for me to see them enjoying them, as I can honestly say that without Harry I would have spent my whole life believing that true friends didn't exist - I was a rather lonely child and the message I took away from Harry was that if you make real friends, they will do anything for you. It took me a while to find those friends - but I believed because of Harry. I also kind of credit Rowling for making me believe I can be an author - maybe not yet, but someday. There was never a time when I doubted that I wanted to spend the rest of my life writing, and I believe that it was because of books like Harry that I fell in love with reading and writing.

So they like Harry - and I love it, and spend half the movie explaining what the books have left out. I know the books and the movies practically by heart - I was the first person in my town to get the books since the third one was released, and probably the first to finish them - I read reaaalllyyyy quickly - the Hunger Games took me nine hours to read them all, and I can easily read the entire Harry series in 6 days.

So here are some of my favourite books - and yes, they are all nerdy ones:
- Harry Potter
- The Hunger Games
- The 'Ink' trilogy by Cornelia Funke
- His Dark Materials trilogy
- Lord of The Rings
- Jasper Fforde's 'Shades of Grey' and probably the rest of the trilogy when released
- Rivers of London/Moon over Soho series by Ben Aaronovitch
- Terra Incognita trilogy by Kevin Anderson
- The Book Thief
- The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
- Chrestomanci Series by Dianna Wynne Jones
- Pure Dead Series by Debi Gliori
- Trixie Beldon series
- Anything by Enid Blyton - Famous Five, Wishing Chair, Faraway Tree and short stories
- Angels and Demons
- Brave New World
- Animal Farm
- Karin Slaughter's crime books
- To Kill A Mockingbird
- Some of Shakespeare's plays - particularly Midsummer Night's Dream (NOT Romeo and Juliet)

Well I'd say that's about it, but if that's just my list of absolute favourites and not the list of books I would recommend, then I think it's safe to say I'm not remotely discriminatory in what I read or like. Or I just read good books.

What do you guys like to read? Any of these your favourites we can bond over?

Now onto the actual point of this blog post - the food. This is a very simple, healthy and delicious dinner. It is great if you've had a heavy week or weekend, like I had and you need something simple yet delicious to get you started again. Best of all, it's an original recipe.

Level of Difficulty: Quite easy and extraordinary healthy
Average Cost: $
Main Ingredients: Brown rice, sweet potato, pumpkin, apple
Occasion: Dinner and lunch – I made this for me and had one serving for dinner and the next for lunch – works both cold and hot!

Serves 2

What you need:
-          1 cup brown rice
-          1 sweet potato
-          ½ butternut squash or regular pumpkin – mine was a 1kg butternut squash
-          1 tbsp olive oil
-          Your choice of spices – I used Masterfood Vegetable Sprinkles, rosemary and thyme
-          1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
-          1 tbsp brown sugar
-          1 tbsp lemon juice
-          ¼ cup nuts – I used flaked almonds, but hazelnuts would work too
-          2-3 tbsp honey
-          1 tsp wholegrain mustard
-          ½ - 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
-          2 white fish fillets – I used halibut

What to do:

Boil the rice for 30 – 40 minutes in slightly salted water. I like my rice soft and fluffy, but if you prefer your rice slightly grainier, boil for less time until desired texture is reached.

Dice the sweet potato and pumpkin – the size is up to you but I prefer bite sized vegetables. Place the veggies in a bowl and add oil and your choice of spices – I recommend rosemary and thyme at the least. Place a lid on the bowl and shake until veggies are evenly coated in oil and spices. Add salt and pepper if you wish. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until the veggies are golden and crunchy.

Add the diced apple, brown sugar and lemon juice to a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently and well. The brown sugar and lemon juice will be absorbed by the apple. It may sizzle a little, but don’t worry. Cook until the apples are brown and soft – they shouldn’t be falling apart, but they should be soft and juicy. If you do this step here, the apples will be finished cooking at the same time as the rice and veggies.

Quickly toast the nuts – I just added a tsp of olive oil to a saucepan and added the nuts until they were slightly toasted. Does not take long – you can do this last or simply skip this step and add in untoasted nuts.

Mix the honey, wholegrain mustard, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix together well. Leave to sit for a little bit. Add more olive oil if the mixture is too thick and not runny enough. Add more honey if the mixture tastes too mustardy and want it sweeter – I prefer a very sweet taste with this dish – it works very well with the dish.

At this time, the rice, veggies and apple should still be cooking and the dressing should be mixed. Therefore, you can cook the fish now or wait until later.

I prefer to coat the fish in lemon juice and sea salt. Grill the fish for approximately four minutes on each side – I used a grill which does both sides at once so it took about four minutes in total for each fish.

Once the fish is cooked, place it to one side. In a bowl, combine the rice, apples and pumpkin and stir well together. Divide onto two plates and top with fish.


  1. I can't believe your friends have never read/watched the HP books and movies! This is just not okayyy in my book haha.. jk of course :) I am just as obsessed and a fan of them as you are Bec! I reread the series each summer and it's just so enjoyable. Also love the hunger games of course, I have only read the series twice, but I am sure I will again soon!
    Great recipe too, I have been super into fish lately and this would be a tasty recipe to try!

  2. I love the hunger games trilogy, enid blyton, to kill a mockingbird and trixie beldon!

    I don't eat fish (veggo), but the salad sounds nice :)

    Warm salads are good in colder times like it is at the moment in brisvegas!

    1. Oh wow! Someone else who has read Trixie Beldon!! This is an exciting day for me! haha. I know - it's so cold in Brisbane at the moment!! It's so weird, it went from being summer to winter in like two days!! :)