You could make this sweet and tangy black rice veggie salad with brown rice, but it would not be nearly as pretty or nutritious.
I discovered black rice on Pinterest. The dark grain is also known as "forbidden rice." I was intrigued by the name and the color. A bit of research revealed black rice offers the most protein, fiber, and antioxidants compared to other varieties. But it had me at "forbidden."
The black grains are just so darn pretty. I can understand why it was once reserved for Chinese royalty. But color and nutrition aside, it's not so different from brown rice.
I use the same grain : water ratio and cooking time I use for brown rice, and it comes out perfect. Here are the settings I use with my Instant Pot:
- 2 cups black rice (use the measuring cup provided with the Instant Pot)
- 2 ½ cups water
- 25 minutes high-pressure cook time
- 25 minutes natural release (wait until the float valve releases before you open the pot)
These settings will produce about 5-6 cups of cooked rice.
Black Rice Veggie Salad
You might expect a fancy recipe for such an exotic ingredient. However, this black rice veggie salad (like most of my recipes) was born out of what I had in the fridge. It's quick and easy and includes simple ingredients.
- Red onion
- Baby carrots
- Baby kale
- Kidney beans
The combination offers a beautiful array of colors. I especially enjoy the tone of the red kidney beans against the black rice.
The flavors and textures also mix well. A sweet, tangy applesauce vinaigrette (adapted from forksoverknives.com) pulls the salad together nicely.
This basic recipe offers many possibilities. You could substitute my homemade teriyaki sauce for the vinaigrette and replace the raisins with slivered almonds. Or you could use my easy peanut sauce and swap out the raisins for peanuts - and maybe add some diced avocado. Or…
Black Rice Veggie Salad
- 6 Tbsp. unsweetened natural apple sauce
- 3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 ½ tsp. spicy mustard (I use Nathan's Famous Deli Style Mustard)
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ground black pepper to taste
- 5-6 cups cooked black rice
- ½ red onion chopped (optional)
- 1 cucumber peeled and seeded, chopped
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 2 cups baby kale or other dark leafy green
- 15 oz canned low sodium kidney beans rinsed and drained (or about 2 cups cooked beans)
- ¾ cup raisins
- Add vinaigrette ingredients to an immersion blender cup and blend until well mixed.
- Add chopped onion and cucumber to a large mixing bowl.
- Place carrots in a food processor fitted with an S blade and pulse until carrots are coarsely minced, then scrape them into the mixing bowl.
- Place baby kale in the food processor and pulse until it is coarsely minced, then scrape it into the mixing bowl.
- Add kidney beans, raisins and ½ of applesauce vinaigrette to mixing bowl and stir to blend.
- Add rice and remaining applesauce vinaigrette and stir until completely mixed.
- Serve salad chilled or at room temperature. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.
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