I’ve been experimenting a lot with different varieties of grains and rices, and black rice is my new favorite thing. Black rice is actually an heirloom variety of rice, and it is typically sold “unmilled” which means the fiber-rich black husks are not removed.
This also preserves the bold color of the rice, which when cooked is a beautiful purple or burgundy color. This color contributes to the nutritional value of the rice. It’s high in the antioxidant, anthocyanin, which is also found in blueberries. In fact, according to a study presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), "one spoonful of black rice bran contains moreanthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries. Black rice also offers more fiber and vitamin E but less sugar." My Black Rice Salad is high in fiber, antioxidants, and is a great side dish to broiled salmon or shrimp.
SERVING SIZE: 1 ½ CUPS
PREP TIME: 20 Minutes
COOK TIME: 30 Minutes
1 cup black rice
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ cubes
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup shelled frozen edamame, thawed
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare a small baking sheet with foil. Spray sheet with cooking spray. Evenly spread sweet potato cubes on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and let cool.
2.While sweet potato is baking, prepare rice. Prepare rice according to package directions. This should take about 20-30 minutes and yield about 3-4 cups of cooked rice. Cool rice once cooked.
3.Prepare dressing: combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
4.Combine rice, sweet potatoes, edamame, chopped red pepper and green onion. Add prepared dressing and cilantro and mix well. You can serve immediately or make ahead and store in refrigerator for later.