I thought I'd center this week's recipes around my new favorite food - black rice, aka Forbidden Rice.
Now, if you find yourself in the rice aisle at Whole Foods, you'll be overwhelmed by just how many different varieties of rice there are (who knew?!!). But I first read about black rice a couple of months ago, and of course, the fact that it's healthier than brown rice even made it shoot to the top of my grocery list.
How healthy? If you compare it cup for cup to brown rice, they are fairly similar in nutrition, until you get to the phytochemical content. Just like you've heard for years - opt for the food with more vibrant and/or darker colors. In this case, the black rice. A spoonful of cooked black rice actually has more anthocyanin than a spoonful of blueberries. Crazy huh. So, when you're looking for a carb side for your meal, and rice is on your mind, you might grab black rice to add some variety and extra phytochemicals to your diet.
And actually, I love the texture and flavor way more than I do brown rice. Black rice doesn't mush up when you cook it (think: the opposite of risotto rice), it keeps its chewy texture, and it has an almost nutty flavor. I like to swap out the water for low-sodium broth when I cook it, but I've made it with water and seasoned later, and we loved it. And later this week, I'm posting a recipe for rice pudding made with leftover cooked black rice. Yummmmm....
And, obviously, this recipe isn't vegan. I tried veganism for a couple of weeks, and because I can't eat soy, it was a huge struggle to keep from being too low on protein. I'd find myself standing in front of my pantry cupboard, craving beef jerky and nigiri sushi. I only crave those when my body needs protein. Loading up on legumes made me gassy and bloated and so did eating a lot of nuts. So, I decided that veganism wasn't a good choice for my body. I also have issues with being very sensitive to my blood sugar levels, and when I went vegan, I found myself eating way too many carbs in order to keep feeling full.
These days, my diet more closely resembles Paleo. I'm certainly not full Paleo with this rice recipe here, but because I already don't eat dairy or soy, and because I'm restricting the sugar and gluten in my diet, I'm pretty close already. We'll see where this takes me; I listen to my body to see if I'm getting what I need. For now, I'm head over heels for Forbidden Rice. Sounds très risque, doesn't it :)
Asian Salmon in Parchment
adapted from Get Off Your Tush and Cook
2 wild salmon filets
fresh veggies like: baby bok choy, snap peas, shitake mushrooms, bell pepper
3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. minced ginger or ginger paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice from half an orange
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. red chili garlic paste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients and set aside.
Cut two large rectangles of parchment paper, each about 16" in length. Fold in half lengthwise to make a crease, open the parchment, and place veggies in center of one side. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Top with one salmon filet and drizzle another 2 tablespoons of sauce over the top. Fold the parchment back over the salmon and veggies, and fold the sides and then top of parchment over to form a pocket. Repeat for second salmon filet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven to rest for 5 minutes. Carefully cut a slit in the parchment and serve with Forbidden Rice. Serves 2.
Sesame Cilantro Forbidden Rice
adapted from Get Off Your Tush and Cook
1/2 c. Forbidden black rice
3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro
Add rice, water, and salt to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir sesame oil and cilantro into cooked rice. Makes 1 1/2 cups.