Driving up and down the 5 freeway has been a constant in my life. When we lived in Southern California, we would drive up to see family in Northern California and now that I live in Northern California, we are always driving down to see friends in Southern California. For those of you not from California, the 5 freeway is the long stretch of road filled with road stops and fast food connecting the two ends of the state. The other travel options are the picturesque, but slow and windy Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) or the 101 freeway. While I have taken both and highly recommend them for leisurely roadtrips, the bottom line is that the 5 is much faster and when there is a baby or wedding shower to get to, there is a clear winner. I have actually come to look forward to these drives and making my Turkey & Wild Rice salad so that I can enjoy a yummy and healthy meal that is easy to travel with. Keeping this meal ready to go in the car gives us the freedom to eat when we are ready AND keeps the temptation to give into animal fries and a milkshake from In-N-Out at bay!
Turkey & Wild Rice Salad
2 cups of rice
1 rotisserie turkey
2 cups of grapes
1 cup of salted cashews
- Cook two cups of wild rice (or brown rice). You can also use Rice’a’Roni if you would like faster rice with more flavor. I used to do this all of the time because I liked the spices in the flavor packet, but when I cut out processed foods, I discovered that I could enjoy the taste of the rice even more on its own. To make my rice here, I used my rice maker and did 2 cups of rice with 2 1/2 cups of water so that I could put it in and forget about it until it beeped. If you are making rice on a stove top, follow these instructions:
Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in rice and salt and return to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid, 16 to 18 minutes (check only toward the end of cooking time). The rice should be studded with craters, or steam holes, when it is ready.
Remove from heat and let steam, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Slice grapes in half. (If you are rushing, you can throw them in whole, but I enjoy them cut. The moisture from the grapes helps keep the salad from drying out.)
- Shred rotisserie turkey into bite size shreds. (You can cook your own turkey in the oven or crockpot. My grocery store does delicious turkeys for $6 in the deli and I have found this to be a saving grace when I’m trying to make travel plans, prep food, and pack at the same time.)
- Combine rice, shredded turkey, cashews, and grapes in a large bowl. I do this while the rice is still hot. The steam from the rice helps everything stick together. If you are using a particularly grainy rice, its okay to add in a few tablespoons of mayo and stir well. I prefer to skip this step to save on calories and make it more travel friendly.
- Tip: Pack a baggie with extra cashews. Cashews loose their crunch the longer they are packed in the salad. I like to top mine with a few extra ones in the car to enjoy the texture.
I found these great tall round tupperware containers at Target. Their round shape makes it really easy to slide them into bags or into cup holders in the car. They are so great to travel with!