Coronation Rice Salad

dairy-free, egg-free coronation rice salad

I don’t know about you, but for us June and early July heralds peak picnic and barbecue season. It’s a quick succession of one outdoor event after another, fingers crossed for good weather (always the bane of outdoor plans in England) for Sport’s day this Friday which would be unusual for this summer!

So, I’m on a mission to perk up our picnics with some exciting additions, as I find picnics can be particularly challenging with a restricted diet. There’s none of that ‘oh I just pop into M&S and get a whole picnic spread to take to sports day!’ it’s more a case of what can I cobble together at 7am with minimal fuss and which will happily sit around in a sweaty picnic basket until lunch time – quite a tall order there!

Salads are obviously a good way of pepping up your picnic, but clearly it has to be robust and not based on delicate and easily wiltable leaves. This rather moreish coronation rice salad is based upon one I learnt at Le Cordon Bleu but with all the excessive calories and cream transformed into a light but creamy spiced dairy-free rice salad. Call it a rice based riff on the classic and ever popular coronation chicken salad.

Feel free to add in suitable extras to make more of a meal of it – blanched almonds work really well if you can tolerate them, and I particularly like mini raw cauliflower florets for an added bit of interest. If you eat chicken, some freshly shredded roast chicken would work extremely well with the rice and curry flavours.

vegan curried rice salad

Coronation Rice Salad

(Dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free, dairy-free curried rice salad

serves 4

1/3 cup egg-free mayo such as Veganaise or mayola

1/4 cup mango chutney

1 tsp mild curry powder

squeeze of lemon juice

seasoning, to taste

1 cup cooked basmati rice

1/4 cup raisins

2 spring onions, finely sliced

1/2 cup frozen peas, cooked through and then cooled

1/4 cup blanched almonds [optional]

handful of parsley, finely chopped

  1. Mix together the mayo, mango chutney, curry powder and lemon juice. Taste and season as desired.
  2. Stir in the other ingredients and garnish with the parsley.
  3. Serve.

vegan coronation rice salad


Mexican Rice and Beans Salad


The sun is shining and it’s starting to feel a little warmer – yippee! After the long dark, cold months there suddenly light and colour, oh what joy! I was intending on cooking another hearty vegetable soup for lunch but the sun’s warming rays made me quickly shelve that idea. What we needed was some vibrancy and colour; some freshness and zing to match the weather.

So a quick rummage in the larder later and I had the ingredients I needed for this wonderfully zingy and alive rice and bean salad, which also handily continued the Mexican theme that started with pinto bean soup the other day.

The vegetables add jewels of colour and flavour and the lime makes the dish zing. Wonderful eaten on the day, this salad also keeps well for a couple of days. For me, however, its best use is as the base of a delicious taco salad (pictured below): rice and beans salad combined with fresh salsa, lettuce, avocado, dairy-free soured cream and topped with crunchy tortilla chips and coriander – divine!


Mexican Rice and Beans Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)


serves at least 4

  • 1 cup of rice, cooked
  • 1/2 tin of beans, ideally borlotti or pinto
  • 1/2 tin sweetcorn
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped into small dice
  • Juice of 1 1/2 limes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp chipotle Tabasco sauce, or 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

– Whisk together the lime, oil and salt (and chipotle sauce, if using)
– Pour over the other ingredients and mix well


Red, Gold and Green Rice Salad


My packed lunch/picnic struggle continues. We have our staples of my vegetarian sausage rolls, crudités, cookies or muffins and usually resort to sandwiches and crisps. Standard picnic fare but oh so yawn-worthy! Sometimes the girls like a pasta salad but they’re more likely to enjoy the salad veg when not combined into a satisfying bowlful.

This rice salad is unchallenging to the young palate and contains none of the odd ingredients adults can be fond of, but also transports well and fills up tummies without resorting to yet more sandwiches!

It may seem like a lot of vinegar to oil, but the rice sucks up flavour so readily that you need as much tang as possible.

Red, Gold and Green Rice Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)


makes 1 bowlful

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tin sweetcorn, drained
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1 small handful of parsley

– Cook the rice
– Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and garlic in the serving bowl
– Tip in the hot cooked rice and mix well to coat the grains in the dressing
– Cover and leave to cool
– Once at room temperature add the other ingredients and mix well
– Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.




Spanish Style Rice Salad

We had a little tub of rice and butterbean salad from Marks & Spencer for lunch last week, and unlike lots of pre-prepared salad tubs, it was pretty tasty. Tasty enough to consider recreating it in fact! The rice is infused with smoked paprika and a zingy sherry vinegar dressing, giving that underlying Spanish feel. Then sliced green Spanish olives, roasted red peppers, butterbeans and parsley are stirred through… how very simple, and most Spanish.

Spanish Style Rice Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free. gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)


serves at least 4

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 lt vegetable stock
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1/2 jar chargrilled red peppers in oil, drained
  • 200g tin of Spanish green olives, sliced
  • 1/2 tin of butterbeans, brained
  • Handful of parsley, finely chopped

For the dressing:

  • 1 1/2 tbsps sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 tbsps oil, from the jar of red peppers
  • Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

– Cook the rice in plenty of vegetable stock flavoured with the smoked paprika drain
– Stir in the spring onions, red peppers, olives and butterbeans.
–  Mix together the dressing
– Pour over the rice and thoroughly mix
– Taste and adjust the seasoning
– Sprinkle with the parsley and serve


Confetti Rice Salad

I adore salads, but my kids don’t seem to share my love. So here’s a tasty rice salad to try and tempt them. Not too complex whilst being packed full of tasty vegetables and flavour. It was quite a success, and would also work perfectly in a buffet, with a BBQ, on a picnic, a simple lunch or side. Fresh, colourful rice salad – what’s not to like?

Confetti Rice Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)


serves at least 4

  • 200g rice, cooked and cooled to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cider/white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn
  • 1 handful coriander, roughly chopped

–  Stir the vinegar, oil and salt into the rice.

– Mix in all the other ingredients.

– Serve (that was easy!)


Warm Rice and Mexican Bean Salad

This was the salad we had to accompany our Opening Ceremony BBQ. In my experience ‘the veggie’ always does rather badly at BBQs….. Almost always an after-thought, and then there’s the issue of meaty/fishy BBQ grills….. This is also very much the case for anyone with allergies, let’s hope the unsafe marinade doesn’t drip onto the safe grill area.

A stunning salad can always cheer up the proceedings and bring to life the sad almost burnt veggie skewer. This little beauty of a salad is a mexican style meal in a bowl…. And I guarantee you’ll eat better than those tucking into the frazzled BBQ offerings!

Warm Rice and Mexican Bean Salad (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves 4

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tin borlotti beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsps chipotle chilli paste
  • 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • handful of coriander, chopped

– Cook the rice and place in a bowl.

– Heat some oil in a saucepan, add the garlic and chipotle puree and gently cook out.

– Add the beans, honey and vinegar. Cook until the beans are nicely warmed through. Check the seasoning and pour over the rice in the serving bowl.

– Make the salsa of avocado, spring onion, lime juice, coriander and seasoning. Taste.

– Scatter over the beans and eat straight away.