Black Rice Broccoli Salad

Black rice is also called the forbidden rice.  Legend has it that this ancient grain was once eaten only by the Emperors of China.  Black rice has a delicious nutty taste and soft texture.  It is high in nutritional value and is a source of iron, vitamin E and antioxidants. The outermost layer (bran hull) of black rice contains one of the highest levels of anthocyanin antioxidants found in food which may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. 

This recipe is adopted from Martha Stewart Living magazine.

1 cup black rice, cooked
1 lb. broccoli, cut into small florets
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. red onion, finely diced
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425 F.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss broccoli and garlic with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.  Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove and reserve garlic. Transfer broccoli to bowl with rice. 
Remove garlic from skins.  Place in a small bowl and mash.  Whisk in the mustard, vinegar, remaining olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle dressing over salad. Add cranberries, red onion and parsley.  Mix to combine. 

Lemon Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Here is a very simple, yet super tasty way to prepare the superstar of vegetables -- broccoli!  I found this recipe on Pinterest a long time ago and it has been a frequent favorite ever since.  It has been referred to as "the best broccoli of your life.”

Broccoli is the leading member of the family of cruciferous vegetables.  It is a great source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as fiber, potassium, folate and lutein.  According to Dr. Mercola, it is one of the best health-boosting foods around, with research proving its effectiveness against arthritis, cancer, and blood pressure. Broccoli has also been known to support kidney health, anti-aging, immunity and heart health.

4 – 5 cups broccoli, cut into florets
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 – 4 Tbsp. olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Juice of ½ lemon
Zest of ½ lemon
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Wash and thoroughly dry the broccoli.  In a large bowl combine the broccoli, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Lay out on a cookie sheet, avoiding overcrowding.  Roast for 20 – 25 minutes, until tender-crisp.  Remove from oven, drizzle with lemon juice and an additional tablespoon of olive oil.  Sprinkle with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately!