Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Forbidden Rice & Grilled Sweet Potato Salad

Forbidden Rice or otherwise known as Black Rice is a powerhouse packed nutrient and mineral filled heirloom rice that's been my little secret. This nutty deep purple rice was once eaten only by the ancient emperors of China and were banned from the common people.

That's right - this rice is filled with phytonutrients that provide antioxidants, iron, amino acides and minerals important to human health. A food scientist recently said that a spoonful of black rice contains more health promotion anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries, with less sugar, more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants. So if berries are used to boost health then why not black rice? Anthocyanin antioxidants are what gives fruits and vegetables their beautiful colors and what makes blackberries black and blueberries blue. They are a class of flavonoid antioxidants that protect many body systems such as the brain and nervous system.

And according to scientists they claim that the single most important dietary change for most people would be to replace fatty foods with foods that are rich in complex carbs such as sweet potatoes. They are ranked number one in ALL VEGETABLES and for good reason. The sweet potato is loaded with fiber, has natural sugars and complex carbs, protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C and if you eat the skin it has more fiber than oatmeal. Benefits out the wazoo and they are only about 150 calories.

The other night I made some Forbidden Rice for dinner and had some left over in the fridge. I needed a quick lunch so I peeled and sliced a sweet potato, flipped on the grill and cooked them for about 5 minutes on each side, just until they were cooked through but still had a little bite for texture. Then tossed it in a dressing while it was still warm to soak up the flavors and served it with this this nutty black rice. It was a winning combination and the presentation and color combination with something worthy of a formal dinner!

I've made this grilled sweet potato salad millions of times and everyone goes nuts over it. Now I need to make this for my next dinner party and show my friends that eating vegan is not only healthy but also interesting, easy and beautiful. I hope you enjoy...

Forbidden Rice
Cook according to package directions. (For best results for this salad, let rice cool completely before using in this salad.)
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad
1 Large Sweet Potato, Peeled and Sliced
2 Oz Red Onion, Sliced
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
Squeeze of 1/2 Lime
1/2 Cup Grapeseed Oil
Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
Dash of Hickory Flavored Liquid Smoke
Slice peeled sweet potato and toss or spray with oil (lightly). Grill for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until the potato is cooked but a little firm in the center. This is best for texture.
While potato is cooking, mix together, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lime juice, liquid smoke and chopped cilantro. Season with cracked black pepper and sea salt.
When potatoes are finished grilling, add the red onions and toss with 1/2 of the dressing and it will soak up the flavors while it is warm.
To plate: Spoon some black rice on the plate, top with the grilled sweet potatoes and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve immedately.

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