The holidays are over.
After the excess food of Christmas and New Year, I needed a holiday from cooking 🙂 But now I’m back, and for my first couple of posts of 2014 I thought I would make something a little healthier.
Black rice, or ‘forbidden’ rice as it is known in some places, is a very tasty alternative to normal white rice. I’ve read in a couple of places that it is supposed to be a super-food, but I’m by no means a nutritional expert. I just know that I like how it looks and that it has a nice flavour.
I decided to mix my black rice with some healthy vegetables, namely pumpkin, onion, red capsicum (bell pepper) and zucchini, but also with some not quite so healthy bacon. Well, there is only so far that you can go with vegetables before you have to add bacon 🙂
This recipe makes enough to serve 6 people for lunch or as a side dish. You can serve the salad warm with chicken or pork, or put it in a container in the fridge and then eat it cold the next day.
Ingredients – serves 6 as lunch/side dish:
1 cup black rice, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 chicken stock cube (I used a chicken Oxo cube)
- 2 teaspoons oil, either olive or vegetable
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 150g/5 oz bacon, diced
- 300g/10 oz pumpkin (or squash), peeled and diced into small cubes
- 1 red capsicum (bell pepper), diced
- 1 small zucchini (courgette), diced
- freshly ground black pepper, to season
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped, optional, to serve
- Place the rice, water and stock cube into a medium saucepan. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat, stirring with a fork occasionally. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes.
- Once the majority of the water has been absorbed, turn off the heat and leave the rice to sit in the saucepan for 20 minutes with the lid still on.
- Meanwhile, put a non-stick saute pan over a medium heat and add the oil, garlic, onion, bacon and pumpkin. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is just tender.
- Add the capsicum (bell pepper) and zucchini to the pan along with a good seasoning of black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes until the zucchini is just tender.
- Add the black rice and toss to mix with the bacon and vegetables.
- Stir in the white wine vinegar and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve the salad warm, scattered with the parsley, or leave to cool in the pan then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to eat.