|Before the Cherries were added|
This past weekend I had my graduation party. We spent some time planning out the menu – pasta salad, Ceaser Salad, Goat Cheese and Spinach Salad, Shredded Carrot with Scallions and Peas over Mixed Greens , Italian Sausage with onions and peppers, hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit salad, and a cake. We needed another starchy side dish, and neither of us being big fans of potato salad (too much mayonnaise for my taste), I remembered a dish I had at my friend Lauren’s house at a recent dinner party. It was delicious, I remember loving the side dish she made, quinoa with brown rice cumin and vegetables. I adapted her recipe a bit, as the original one calls for black rice, and I added more garlic and brown rice, in addition to the black rice.
It was a hit at the party and it tasted even better the day after! I’m not sure why but my guess is that the spices and flavors had more time to infuse into the rice and quinoa.
The recipe below serves 8 but I personally think it is enough for at least 10 or 12 people as a side dish. It can be served either cold or warm. I think it would taste great with tomatoes, avocados or cucumbers added to it, or maybe even sweet potato or butternut squash in the winter time, served warm.
Recipe Adapted from Bon Apetit
- 1/2 cup short-grain black rice
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups water or vegetable/chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (or chives)
- 2 teaspoons basil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
At the store last week I noticed, for the first time, black rice. I can honestly say I’ve never seen this before and it struck me as such an unusual thing. But, after doing a little research I learned so much about this versatile and HEALTHY rice. I was so intrigued by what I learned about black rice…
Black Rice, also known as forbidden rice is considered to be both food and medicine in China. It is black in color and turns deep purple when cooked because it is rich in antioxidants. It contains 18 different amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene and many other important vitamins. In China, black rice is claimed to be good for the kidney, stomach and liver (these claims have not been verified), as well as provide many health benefits – prevention of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and heart attacks. I am sure this grain will become very popular soon in the US; it’ll be the next ”big thing” in the near future. We went from white rice to brown rice and now to black rice? It could happen.
I was so fascinated by all I had just read and I started searching for recipes, and found so many that looked interesting! Next weekend for my graduation party I plan on making Cumin-Scented Quinoa and Black Rice or Black Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing. Tonight I decided on Black Rice with Sweet Potatoes.
Black rice has a mild but distinct flavor. I found it to be somewhat nutty and sweet at the same time, and slightly chewier than brown rice, but very tasty.
Basic rule for cooking black rice, 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
- 3/4 cups Chinese Black Rice
- 1.5 cups Water
- 3/4 teaspoon Salt (optional)
- pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup Scallions, (1 bunch)
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Minced (or ginger powder if you realize you forgot to buy fresh ginger)
- 1 Sweet Potato, Large (12-14 oz), diced
- Rinse rice under cold water before cooking.
- In a sauce pan, bring rice, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook rice, covered until tender and most of the water is absorbed (about 35 minutes).
- Let rice stand, covered, off the heat for 10 minutes.
- While the rice is cooking, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Saute scallions, ginger, and sweet potato, stirring until well coated (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium/medium-low and add the rest of the salt (if using, I omit salt, always) and pepper to taste.
- Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 12 minutes.
- Add the rice and toss gently to combine
I haven’t had tabouli in years! I was so excited when I came across this recipe from Nature’s Path.
This salad is perfect for summer (or winter or spring or fall :), it’s so refreshing. It combines classic tabbouleh ingredients but substitutes puffed brown rice for traditional bulgur or couscous. Red cabbage isn’t a traditional ingredient in tabouli its adds a little crunch and color to the salad.
- 3 cups Red Cabbage, finely chopped
- 3 cups unsweetened Rice Puffs*
- 1 1/2 cups Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped
- 1 cup Parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
- Zest of 1 lemon
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage, puffed rice cereal, mint, and parsley.
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and lemon zest.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
- Add more lemon juice if needed.
*be sure to use the unsweetened variety of puffed rice cereal.
1 spaghetti Squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 whole medium onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup carrots
1 ½ cups broccoli
1 ½ cups cauliflower
2 cups pasta or marinara sauce
1-2 tablespoons basil or parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
Black pepper to taste
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cups parmesan cheese
* I microwave it because it’s faster and easier.
One of my best friends introduced me to quinoa last year, and I absolutely love it! Quinoa contains more protien (16g, some varieties have more) than any other grain and is a great source of fiber (7g per serving)- which I need as part of my high fiber diet. It is also high in magnesium and iron, and is 100% gulten-free. Quinoa is light and easy to digest. It’s not heavy like many other grains and can be used in a variety of dishes. My favorite is this recipe from Cooking Light, which I’ve altered just a little to better satisfy my love of cinnamon and apples. This recipe makes 4 servings (1 cup per serving).
– 1 cup quinoa
– 2 teaspoons olive oil
– 3/4 cup chopped onion
– 3/4 cup finelly diced carrots
– 1 garlic clove, minced
– 1 cup chicken broth (vegetarian version: vegetable broth)
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnaom
– 2 cups diced unpeeled apples
– 1/4 cup slivered almonds
– 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
This recipe required me to rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve, in a large bowl and rub the grains together for 30 seconds before cooking. I always skip this step…
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic. Sautee for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender and carrots begin to brown.
Stir in broth, water, quinoa and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a forl.
While the quinoa is simmering, in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add the apple and sautee for 7 minutes, until apple begins to brown. Add apple, almonds and pepper to quinoa and toss to combine. Serve warm.
This is also great cold over spinach salads!
The original recipe calls for 2 cups of vegetable broth, but I used half chicken broth and half water. In my recipe I also added 1/4 teaspoon more cinnamon, 1/2 more apples and 1 tablespoon extra almonds and I think it tasted better this way than the first time I made the original recipe.