Vegan Peanut Rice Salad: Meal Planning

by simplylife on June 5, 2012

Once a week, I plan our meals.

This usually looks something like this:  I sit down on the couch with the computer on my lap, a sprawl of ripped magazine pages beside me and a short stack of cookbooks that seem particularly appealing that week.

Once I’m situated, I typically start by glancing through recipes I’ve pinned to try.  Then, if I’m feeling neglectful of a particular cookbook, I’ll glance through its pages for additional inspiration.

Finally comes the magazines.  For the past couple years, I’ve been receiving Real Simple and Food Network subscriptions as gifts.  Every month when they arrive, I go through the various recipes with my husband and rip out any pages containing a dish we’d like to try (I used to fold over the pages, but would often go months – years! – without going through them again).  These pages are placed in a pile.

Every week I go through the pages and pull out any recipes that are calling my attention.  Once that recipe is made (thanks to having a blog!), the page goes in the recycling bin.  This keeps that pile from getting too out of control.

There are, however, some recipes that get used almost immediately upon arriving at our doorstep and don’t even make it to “the pile.”  Like this Lemon-Herb Rice Salad I saw in the May edition of Food Network Magazine.  While the ingredients are incredibly simple (think: rice, lemon, carrots), combining them with roasted peanuts and a touch of cilantro adds a whole new dimension to any rice dish I’ve had before.

With a few slight changes, I was able to easily adjust this to fresh ingredients we already had a home.  You can serve this with warm or cool rice, and it makes the perfect lunch leftovers.


Vegan Peanut Rice Salad

by Simply Life

Adapted from Food Network 

Keywords: entree salad side vegetarian vegan rice nuts


  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup julienned carrot
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped salted roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


1. Cook rice according to packaged directions, with juice for 1/2 lemon mixed into rice/water mixture.

2. Meanwhile, make the dressing: in small bowl, combine juice from other 1/2 lemon, lime juice, vinegar, brown sugar and pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together until sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Set aside.

3. Combine rice with carrot, cucumber, peanuts and cilantro. Toss gently with dressing. Serve and enjoy!

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~Do you have a meal planning routine?

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  • Kari

    This looks delicious! And you are so much better than I am with meal planning – I have gone through stages of trying to do so, but they are generally short lived 😛

  • Gina (Candid RD)

    This sounds fantastic! I love peanuts in my meals (or peanut butter, I’ll take either!).

  • Belinda

    I hear ya – I still do love going through cookbooks for fun…..

  • Colleen

    I would LOVE to have a meal planning routine like you do – that’s my goal once Mike and I get settled together in one place! This dish looks great – simple, healthy, and yummy!!

  • Amy B @ Second City Randomness

    The first time I had peanuts in a salad was when a friend had me over for dinner. I thought it was strange and went with it. But LOVED it. Something about that added crunch…

  • Caralyn

    oh yum! that looks so delicious!! i bet the crunchy peanuts are perfect! my meal planning involves standing in front of the fridge hahah!!

  • Rebecca

    I plan my meals around the sale papers that come out on Wednesdays.

  • Bee

    Yum! I love that it’s vegan but not too crazy–sometimes the vegany stuff creeps me out. This looks perfectly balanced, bright, and summery-delicious.

  • Jolene (

    I used to plan meals for the week before grocery shopping on Sunday, but haven’t been doing that lately. I think I am spending more money now that I am not planning as well.

  • Marissa

    This looks so delicious, I wish I had it in a bowl in front of me right now! And you made me laugh out loud with, “sprawl of ripped magazine pages beside me and a short stack of cookbooks” – sounds just like me. 😉

  • Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    I am definitely a meal planner – usually on Sundays but I am totally off schedule from being on vacation and will be doing it tonight!

  • Decocinasytacones

    Another good salad….I like it.

  • Lola Lobato

    Love to eat this for lunch, yummy!!!

  • Lindsey @ Pas de Deux Blog

    I usually choose 1 or 2 recipes per week that I’d really like to try, and then eat leftovers or improvise for the rest of the week. I always plan ahead to have bananas for breakfast and salad supplies for lunches, though! I like your method of looking at Pinterest, cookbooks, and magazines each week!

  • Alyssa (pb and oats)

    I love your routine! I usually just wing it, unless we buy something special.

  • Beth Michelle

    What a perfect light salad. So easy to throw together and delicious!

  • Karriann Graf

    My husband is gonna go nuts for this salad! Thanks for the recipe 😉

    “Spice it Up”

    • Simply Life

      Oh GOOD! 🙂

  • Shannon ~ My Place In The Race

    So refreshing sounding!

  • CJ at Food Stories

    I have a similar routine that is really detailed. If I left all my mags without ripping the pages out, I’d have to have a room just for them … On second thought, I’ve always wanted a library in my house 🙂

    • Simply Life


  • Colleen

    I do something similar – I cut out all of the recipes I like from all of my food magazines and put them in a binder (although I’m very behind on this!). I need to actually look through my book more when I’m planning meals because sometimes I actually forget about it. This one definitely looks like a keeper!

  • Baking Serendipity

    I wish I had more structure when it came to meal planning. I kind of plan as I go along and try to limit myself from grocery store trips mid-week. This salad looks fantastic!

  • teri@managedmacros

    I just love peanuts in dishes!! It really kicks it up a notch, huh? Beautiful pics!!!

    • Simply Life

      Thanks! 🙂

  • Yummychunklet

    I bought my first issue of Real Simple the other day. I may have to get a subscription!

  • Brittany

    Ohhh my word this looks amazing. I love to meal plan. I don’t have a routine, but I find when I do plan it out things go smooth.

  • Mom

    There is not doubt that I would have wanted to make this and enjoy it immediately! It looks so good and I love a crunch in my salads. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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