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. 

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas Salad

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so how about eating light before the big feast?  As stated in my previous posts, meat, given that it is grass-fed, organic and consumed in moderation, is an essential part of a healthy diet.  However, excessive meat consumption has been linked to numerous health issues.  Going meatless once a week may reduce one's risk of chronic, preventable conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.  Also, eating less meat encourages consumption of more vegetables and plant-based proteins.

This salad offers just that.  Chickpeas are rich in fiber and a good source of vegetarian protein. Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins C, K, folate, and B6, as well as a source of minerals such as manganese and phosphorus.  If you like cauliflower and chickpeas but have never tried them roasted, give this salad a try!  Roasting deepens the flavor and adds a crispy texture to this dish.  

1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 sweet onion, sliced
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. favorite herbs (I used Bragg Organic Sea Kelp Delight)
Sea salt and pepper

3 Tbsp. mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced finely
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp. cumin, ground
½ tsp. coriander, ground
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Handful fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 F.
Lay out cauliflower, chickpeas, and onions on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with the herbs, sea salt, pepper and toss with olive oil.  Roast for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make dressing, combine all ingredients together and mix into the roasted vegetables. Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve warm or cold.