Spiced Chicken, Spinach & Brown Rice Salad

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 4

Served hot or cold, this salad is a great way to use up leftover cooked chicken. With all the herbs and veggies, this salad is filled with vibrant colours making it look as appetizing as it tastes! Cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin are all known for rich but intense flavours, so keep an eye out while cooking if you’re new to them. Crushing these spices just before cooking also ensures that you’re maximizing the flavour potential.


2 cups (500 mL) cooked chicken, shredded
2 tsp (10 mL) canola oil
2 cloves garlic, whole
1 cinnamon stick(s)
4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted, dry roasted cashews
1 cup (250 mL) brown basmati rice
1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) saffron
2 cups (500 mL) water
4 cups (1 L) baby spinach, fresh
2 tbsp (30 mL) cilantro, fresh, minced
1 cup (250 mL) red onion(s), halved, sliced
3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice, fresh
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil


1 Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium size pot with a lid. Add the garlic, cinnamon stick, crushed green cardamom pods and cumin seed. Once the spices start to perfume the kitchen you may discard them (or keep them in for a stronger flavour).
2 Chop the cashews and add to oil. Gently brown. Stir to avoid burning. Add the rice and mix in to coat the rice well. Add the turmeric and salt and stir them in. Add the water and the saffron threads and bring it to a simmer. Once simmering, put the lid on and turn the heat down to low. Cook the rice for the length of time specified on the package.
3 Turn the heat off and leave the rice to sit for 10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff up the rice. Spread the rice out onto a platter to cool.
4 Once cooled, transfer the rice into a large bowl. Add the cooked shredded chicken, spinach, minced cilantro, sliced onion, fresh lime juice, olive oil and mix well.
5 To serve, heap a generous portion of the rice salad onto a serving plate. Garnish with a few slices of red onion and some whole cashews (optional).