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Apr 11, 2018 3:52 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Enjoy Nutrient Rich Rice And Grains

Forbidden Rice, mango, bok choy and coconut curried dressing.  JANEEN SARLIN
Apr 23, 2018 11:04 AM

Grains and rice are not just carbohydrate sides to go with protein and vegetables; they also showcase myriad vegetables and fruits to create an entrée. These entrées are perfect alternative dishes to offer on the menu at your next buffet dinner or for a picnic. (It will be picnic season very soon!)

Did you know Forbidden Rice has the same amount of antioxidant anthocyanin as blueberries? It has a nutty, mild flavor with a texture similar to that of short-grain brown rice. When cooked, the black turns a deep rich purple hue. Because of the dark color, forbidden rice makes vibrant veggies show off their flashy colors when mixed together with red pepper, mango, bok choy and Thai basil.

Adding protein-packed quinoa and chickpeas to crunchy chopped escarole—a slightly bitter leafy green that’s often overlooked when it comes to making a salad—gives this dish tons of vitamin A, fiber, calcium, iron and vitamin C. I like escarole, a member of the chicory family like frisèe and endive, because it has about three times the nutritional value of iceberg lettuce and it stays crisp after adding the dressing.

Bon appétit!

Forbidden Rice Salad With Mango, Bok Choy And Coconut Curry Dressing
(Serves 5-6)

For the salad:

1 cup forbidden rice, uncooked

2 cups water

1 cup cashews or hazelnuts, toasted

3 to 4 small baby bok choy chopped into bite size pieces—about 3 cups

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1 mango, peeled and diced

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced thin

About 3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil, cilantro, or mint, plus leaves for garnish

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

For the dressing:

1/2 cup coconut milk (full fat)

2 limes, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice plus lime wedges for garnish

1 and 1/2 tablespoons Tamari

1/2 teaspoon curry powder (preferably Hot Madras)

1 teaspoon freshly grated garlic, or more to taste

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, or more to taste

Pinch or two red pepper flakes or Sriracha chili if desired

About 1 to 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup

To prepare:

Rinse the black rice well and drain.

In a medium saucepan over high heat add the water and the rice and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the rice to a bowl, cool completely, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Make the dressing:

In a mini chop or small bowl with a whisk, add the coconut milk, lime juice, Tamari, curry powder, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes or Sriracha, and honey and whisk or blend until the mixture is thoroughly blended.

Add half of the dressing to the rice and stir to mix in. Cover and reserve the remaining dressing in the refrigerator until ready to prepare the salad. Whisk again before using.

Meanwhile in a dry skillet over moderate-high heat, toast the nuts until fragrant and golden, about 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside to cool and roughly chop, leaving a few whole for garnish.

To prepare the salad, add chopped bok choy, bell pepper, green onions, Thai basil, and sesame seeds and toss well. Add more dressing over the salad as needed and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Serve at once or refrigerate until serving time. If serving later, bring the salad to room temperature at least 30 minutes before.

Just before serving, add mango, toss, add a little more dressing, and garnish with sesame seeds, Thai basil, and lime wedges.

Quinoa And Escarole Salad Mediterranean Style
(Serves 4)

1 and 1/4 cups cooked quinoa

1, 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

About 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon whole grained mustard

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano or about 2 teaspoons Greek oregano

Fistful of flat parsley leaves, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 large head escarole, washed and chopped

1 small to medium English cucumber, sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 pint grape tomatoes

About 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

About 10 Kalamata olives, halved

To prepare:

Spread chickpeas evenly on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Gently rub them until they are dry, removing the skins that peel away. Sprinkle the chickpeas with cumin and salt.

Coat the bottom of the large skillet over medium heat with oil. Add chickpeas and cook, stirring often until toasted and slightly crisp about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, mustard, oregano, parsley, and pepper together in a small bowl, drizzle in enough olive oil to create an emulsion. In a large mixing bowl, combine the quinoa, escarole, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, feta and olives. Add just enough dressing to coat the greens, and toss well.

Divide the salad among four bowls and top with toasted chickpeas, sesame seeds, olives, and serve.

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