Pesto roast vegetables summer rice salad
A twist on the 80s classic, perfect for a Summer BBQ and perfect for slimming world followers as it's low in syns.
Who doesn’t love a rice salad? I grew up on rice salads during the Summer as we BBQ'd the nights away so it has a real nostalgia for me. I wanted to make one that was super tasty but also low fat. This recipe used shop-bought pesto but of course you can make your own if you prefer. The cheese is an optional extra but it’s very nice without it still. Side note, slow roast tomatoes are absolutely incredible, and still syn free. You can use them in a lot of pasta and rice dishes as well, so double up when roasting them and save some for another recipe!
Serves 2-3 people easily, if excluding the cheese the syns 4.5 syns in total or 1.5 syns per portion if serving 3 people. The cheese can be down as your healthy extra A choice on slimming world, or otherwise it's 6 syns per 30g portion.
3 standard tomatoes, quartered
10 baby tomatoes, halved
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into batons
Half a green pepper, sliced into strips
Half a yellow pepper, sliced into strips
Half a butternut squash, peeled and cut down into one inch cubes
Half a red onion, sliced finely
Salt – a few grinds worth
150g white or brown rice
2 tbsp green pesto
60g mature cheddar, cubed (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to about 180.
2. Spray a baking tray with frylight and add your butternut squash. Allow to cook for 20 minutes before turning. Cook for another 20 minutes and remove from the oven when cooked through. Place to one side
3. Turn your oven heat down to 150 and give it a little time to readjust. Spray another tray with frylight and lay out your tomatoes with the skin down and seeds facing up and add a little salt. Salt helps to dry them out so it’s quite important.
4. You can also oven cook your peppers at the same time, I recommend using yet another tray if you have one available.
5. Allow the tomatoes and peppers to cook for about 60 minutes, do keep an eye on them and reduce the temperature if they’re burning. You may need to turn the peppers but shouldn’t need to with the tomatoes.
6. When the peppers and tomatoes are soft and gooey and smelling delicious, you can add in the onion with the peppers. Cook for a further 10 minutes before removing everything from the oven and setting aside to cool.
7. Meanwhile, cook up your rice as instructed. I recommend around 75g per person but a little more or less is fine.
8. When everything has cooled, mix the rice with the roast veg and add your pesto. If you wish you can also add small cubes of cheese (but remember if you follow slimming world that 30g that’s either 6 syns or a healthy extra).