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Greek-Style Picnic Salad

Ingredients 

2 cups uncooked brown or white rice
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
8 cups prewashed spinach leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (or black olives)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, OR 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
10 lemon wedges (optional)
Olive oil
1 cup boiling water for soaking sun-dried tomatoes


Directions 

Make Ahead:
Rice: Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt or fat. Cool to room temperature.
Sundried tomatoes: In a bowl, cover sun-dried tomatoes with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Assemble Salad:
1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add garlic and sauté for one minute.
3. Add spinach and sauté another 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat.
4. Combine cooked rice, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach mixture, feta cheese, olives, oregano, salt, pepper, and chickpeas.
5. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Toss gently to coat.
6. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

Makes 10 servings (Serving size: 1 cup)

Nutritional Information Per Serving   
Calories  288
Total fat (2.6 gram saturated fat) 9.5 grams
Protein 10.3 grams
Carbohydrate 41.8 grams
Fiber 4 grams
Sodium 713 mg

Recipe contributed by Dean Dietitian Janice Antoniewicz-Werner RD, CD, MA.