Category Archives: Rice

Quinoa and Rice Summer Salad

I offered to make a side dish for my friend Lauren’s bbq, and I did not want to make a tradition potato, pasta or egg salad. Quite frankly, I do not like egg salad nor am I a big fan of traditional potato salad (too much mayonnaise). I’m always experimenting in the kitchen, and after deciding I wanted to make a rice and quinoa salad (I made a cumin scented quinoa and black rice salad for my graduation party that turned out great) I made up this recipe. I knew I wanted something light and tasty. Using rice as the main ingredient is a nice departure from the traditional bbq salads, and much lighter too.
Summer is the perfect time for a cool salad. This one is simple to prepare and the ingredients give it a refreshing, cooling and satisfying taste. The flavors mix very nicely together to give this dish great flavor. Often times many summer salads are loaded with mayonnaise and this one is not, also making it a much healthier choice.
Ingredients
2 cups brown rice
2 cups quinoa
1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
1 medium cucumber, diced
 cup walnuts
3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
½ cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons onion powder
salt (optional) and pepper to taste
1.     The quinoa and rice can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Cook, separately, according to the package directions. To give a little extra flavor use vegetable stock in place of water to cook the quinoa, or use half water and half stock.
2.     Rinse cherries and remove stems. Cut around the pit into slices.
3.     In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, walnuts, rice and quinoa. Mix well.
4.     Add in the parsley, onion powder and paper (and salt if using).
5.     Add in the lime and lemon juices, one tablespoon at a time and mix well in between each one.
6.     Add cherries in last, right before serving or else it could turn the dish red from the juices.
7.     Serve chilled or at room temperature.
I also think adding mint – or replacing the parsley with it – would also make a delicious dish. Next time I am going to try it this way! 
Before the Cherries were added
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Cumin Scented Black Rice and Quinoa

This past weekend I had my graduation party. We spent some time planning out the menu – pasta salad, Ceaser Salad, Goat Cheese and Spinach Salad, Shredded Carrot with Scallions and Peas over Mixed Greens , Italian Sausage with onions and peppers, hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit salad, and a cake. We needed another starchy side dish, and neither of us being big fans of potato salad (too much mayonnaise for my taste), I remembered a dish I had at my friend Lauren’s house at a recent dinner party. It was delicious, I remember loving the side dish she made, quinoa with brown rice cumin and vegetables. I adapted her recipe a bit, as the original one calls for black rice, and I added more garlic and brown rice, in addition to the black rice.

It was a hit at the party and it tasted even better the day after! I’m not sure why but my guess is that the spices and flavors had more time to infuse into the rice and quinoa.

The recipe below serves 8 but I personally think it is enough for at least 10 or 12 people as a side dish. It can be served either cold or warm. I think it would taste great with tomatoes, avocados or cucumbers added to it, or maybe even sweet potato or butternut squash in the winter time, served warm.

Recipe Adapted from Bon Apetit

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup short-grain black rice
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups water or vegetable/chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (or chives)
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook brown rice and black rice separately. Black rice turns the water purple, and if cooked with the brown rice will also turn it purple.
1. Bring brown rice and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 25-30 minutes.  Do the same with the black rice.
2. Meanwhile, combine quinoa, bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 cups chicken broth (gives it more flavor) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return quinoa to hot saucepan. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. 
3.Discard bay leaf, fluff quinoa with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl.
4. While the quinoa and rice are  cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 
5. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. 
6. Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. 
7. Add to quinoa. 
8. Then add rice and mix well. 
9. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oil (optional, I started with one and didn’t add the second tablespoon), fresh lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, and basil. 
10. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut avocado into wedges. 
11. Serve salad cold or warm. Serve with lemon on the side, optional.

Black Rice with Sweet Potatoes

At the store last week I noticed, for the first time, black rice. I can honestly say I’ve never seen this before and it struck me as such an unusual thing. But, after doing a little research I learned so much about this versatile and HEALTHY rice. I was so intrigued by what I learned about black rice…

Black Rice, also known as forbidden rice is considered to be both food and medicine in China. It is black in color and turns deep purple when cooked because it is rich in antioxidants. It contains 18 different amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene and many other important vitamins. In China, black rice is claimed to be good for the kidney, stomach and liver (these claims have not been verified), as well as provide many health benefits – prevention of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and heart attacks. I am sure this grain will become very popular soon in the US; it’ll be the next ”big thing” in the near future. We went from white rice to brown rice and now to black rice? It could happen.

I was so fascinated by all I had just read and I started searching for recipes, and found so many that looked interesting! Next weekend for my graduation party I plan on making Cumin-Scented Quinoa and Black Rice or Black Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing. Tonight I decided on Black Rice with Sweet Potatoes.

Black rice has a mild but distinct flavor. I found it to be somewhat nutty and sweet at the same time, and slightly chewier than brown rice, but very tasty.
Basic rule for cooking black rice, 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 3/4 cups Chinese Black Rice
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt (optional)
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Scallions, (1 bunch)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Minced (or ginger powder if you realize you forgot to buy fresh ginger)
  • 1 Sweet Potato, Large (12-14 oz), diced

Recipe

  1. Rinse rice under cold water before cooking.
  2. In a sauce pan, bring rice, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook rice, covered  until tender and most of the water is absorbed (about 35 minutes).
  3. Let rice stand, covered, off the heat for 10 minutes. 
  4. While the rice is cooking, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Saute scallions, ginger, and sweet potato, stirring until well coated (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium/medium-low and add the rest of the salt (if using, I omit salt, always) and pepper to taste.
  5. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potato is tender, about 12 minutes.
  6. Add the rice and toss gently to combine

Rice and Lentils with Apples

Last night I got together with some girlfriends for dinner. One of my friends is a vegan so not only did I need to make something gluten free I also wanted her to be able to eat it as well. I love to play around with items I have at home. I also didn’t have time to go out to the store and by any ingredients for various recipes I was contemplating to make, so after rummaging through my fridge and the pantry, I came up with Jasmati rice, an onion, red lentils and the apple I didn’t eat at lunch today.

Well, what turned out as an experiment, ended up being a quite tasty dish. I liked how it turned out. It was a hit at my friends dinner party later that evening, and I received very nice compliments from everyone.

I overcooked the lentils just a bit, and I was nervous the dish would be too mushy, but it wasn’t it was great the way the ‘semi-mushy’ lentils and rice mixed together so well.

Ingredients

1 cup rice
1 ½ cups red lentils
¼ cup onion, diced
1 T olive oil
1 medium-large granny smith apple, diced
1 teaspoons cumin
1 garlic glove (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
1 teaspoon parsley
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander seed
Directions
1.     Cook rice according to package directions. Half way through the cook time, I added 1 teaspoon curry powder so it would infuse into the rice.
2.     In a saucepan, add 2 cups of water and the lentils. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. I add a few pieces of onion to the boiling water for a little flavor. Cook longer if you want ‘mushier’ lentils.
3.     Dice the onion and garlic. Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Add the union and garlic until the onion begins to brown. Add the chopped apples and cook for 2 more minutes.
4.     Drain any excess water from the lentils.
5.     Combine the rice, lentils, chopped apple and onions into a bowl. Add in spices and mix. 
6.     Serve warm and enjoy

Lentil Rice and Veggie Bake

 

LOVED this recipe! I found this recipe on allrecipes.com a few weeks ago and finally decided to use up the rest of my lentils and make it. It is so quick, easy, flexible and cheap to make.
Gluten Free and vegetarian! High in Protein (9.7g per serving) and Fiber (8.1 grams).
I was so tempted to add cheese to the top of this, but resisted that urge to keep it healthier…well I did add a little cheese to the first few bites and it was delicious! I kept the rest cheese-less as I do not tolerate cheese very well (anyone else with a gluten issue have this problem? Give us a break!!)
I doubled the amount of oregano and cumin. I did not have basil in the house so I used parsley. I also did not have fresh garlic so I used garlic powder. And I added mushrooms! Next time I am adding even more vegetables!!
I would also suggest cooking the rice in vegetable broth to add even more flavor.
I’m sure you can mix and use whichever vegetables you have handy!

 

 

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the rice and 1 cup water in a pot, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. 
  2. Place lentils in a pot with the remaining 1 1/2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and stir in the onion and garlic. Mix in tomato, celery, carrots, zucchini, and 1/2 the tomato sauce. Season with 1/2 the basil, 1/2 the oregano, 1/2 the cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  5. In a casserole dish, mix the rice, lentils, and vegetables. Top with remaining tomato sauce, and sprinkle with remaining basil, oregano, and cumin.
  6. Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly.