Rice Salad with BIG Color & STRONG Flavor

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Rice Salad with BIG Color & STRONG Flavor

This colorful and flavorful rice salad features whole-grain black rice (also known as Imperial rice), which is rich in the blue-purple pigments called anthocyanadins. These natural coloring pigments not only add eye appeal, they also provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection to body tissues. While this recipe is high in carbohydrate content, it can still be considered low glycemic load, because the fat and fiber slow the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrate. You can serve this salad as a light meal, or you may want to serve it along with a small serving of lean protein.

  • 1 ½ cup Imperial (black) rice (cooked in 2.25 cups water)
  • 1 cup basmati rice (cooked in 1 cup water)
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (optional for cooking rice)
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, dry roasted. unsalted or salted
  • (or substitute pumpkin seeds that you have tossed in a dry frying pan until they are slightly browned & begin to “pop”)
  • 2 cups celery, thinly sliced (+ 1 tsp. agave syrup if celery is bitter)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (not cooked)


The flavorful dressing was inspired by one developed by Deborah Madison and published in her wonderful cookbook Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

  • 1 bunch (about 5-6) green onions, including some of greens, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp (heaping) minced fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded, finely chopped
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 large lime (2 small limes)
  • 4 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt & freshly milled pepper to taste (I used at least ½ tsp. salt)

 Cook each type of rice separate. For cooking the rice, place about ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in each saucepan. Add rice and toss to coat with oil. Then add water–for the black rice, add 2 ¼ cups water, bring to a boil, turn down heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 25 min. Remove from heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes. For the basmati rice, add 1 cup of water (or enough to cover), bring to a boil, turn down heat to simmer, cover, and cook about 20 min. Uncover the cooked rice and place together in a large bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature (but do not refrigerate) before tossing in the vegetables and dressing.

While the rice is cooking, prepare the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients together in a food processor and blending until smooth. Adjust the seasonings as needed.

Add the vegetables to the rice, pour in the vinaigrette, and toss gently to blend together.Just before serving, add the nuts (or pumpkin seeds) and toss again.

Makes about 8 one-cup servings. Each serving provides about 370 calories, 7g protein, 16g fat (2g sat), 0 mg cholesterol, 52g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 190 mg sodium, 275 mg potassium, 55 mg calcium, and 90 mg magnesium.

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