Rice Bowl with Pickled Red Onions, Salmon, and Veggies
Embracing the Vibrancy with Whole Grain Black Rice
Prepare to be enchanted by the nutritious delight of whole grain black rice – a culinary gem boasting a captivating deep purple hue. This ancient grain showcases a slightly sweet flavor with a hint of floral notes when compared to other common whole grains, particularly brown and red rice. Whole grain black rice has a mild aromatic touch to elevate your dining experience. This week we’re exploring why whole grain black rice is a fantastic choice for both flavor enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals alike.
What’s So Great About This Whole Grain?
Whole grain black rice is more than just a visually stunning addition to your plate; it boasts an array of health benefits that contribute to your overall well-being. Rich in antioxidants, this deep purple grain provides support for your body’s defense against free radicals. The abundant dietary fiber in black rice promotes a healthy digestive system, while offering a sense of fullness that helps maintain a balanced diet. This makes it an excellent choice for those seeking the values of a whole grain without drastic taste differences from traditional white rice.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 35-40 minutes (approximate) Yield: 6 servings Serving Size:1 rice bowl (2/3 cup cooked rice, 4.5 oz cooked salmon, 2+ cups veggies)
For the Rice:
- 1 cup whole grain black rice, dry (Forbidden rice)
- 2 cups water or low sodium broth
For the Red Pickled Onion (Makes 1 cup or 10 servings. Serving size: 1 ½ tablespoons):
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¾ cup sliced red onion (1 medium onion)
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- ½ cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
For the Rice Bowl:
- 3-4 cups cooked (hot) black (“Forbidden”) rice or brown rice (from 1 cup dry)
- 1 cup Pickled Red Onions
- 1 package shredded carrots (10 oz or about 3 cups)
- 6 mini cucumbers or 1 large cucumber, sliced
- **protein of your choosing – we’re adding a salmon fillet to each bowl, from a previously cooked meal
- Optional garnish: 1-2 scallions, thinly sliced
For the Rice:
- Gently rinse 1 cup uncooked black rice under cold water using a fine-mesh sieve or colander. This removes excess surface starch and ensures a cleaner taste.
- In a pot, combine the rinsed black rice with two cups of water or low sodium broth. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.
- Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cover the pot with a well-fitted lid. Let the black rice cook undisturbed for 25-30 minutes until tender.
- Once cooked, remove the pot from heat and let it rest, covered, for a few minutes. Fluff the rice gently with a fork.
For the Pickled Red Onion:
- Stir together vinegar and honey in a small bowl until combined well.
- Stir in sliced red onions. Let the mixture stand for at least 20 minutes at room temperature, stirring occasionally. This will yield approximately 1 cup of pickled onion.
- For longer storage, or if pickled onions are being prepared ahead of the rice bowl, transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
For the Sauce:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, avocado oil, and sesame oil. The sauce can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
For the Rice Bowl:
- Place 2/3 cup of warm, cooked rice into each bowl.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of pickled onions (or some kimchi), ½ cup shredded carrots, and at least 1/2 cup sliced cucumber (goal of 2 cups or more raw veggies) on top of the rice.
- Incorporate your selected protein into the rice bowl (in this instance, we’ve utilized a previously cooked salmon filet, diced into 1” cubes).
- Sprinkle 1 heaping tablespoon of chopped peanuts on top of each bowl.
- Drizzle each bowl with about 1 ½ tablespoons of the sauce.
- Optionally, garnish with thinly sliced scallions.
Tips and Tricks:
- You can use previously prepared pickled onions.
- To adapt for an Instant Pot, rinse the black rice and add it to the Instant Pot with 2 cups of water or low sodium broth. Cook on high pressure for around 22-25 minutes (adjust based on manufacturer’s instructions). Let the pressure naturally release for about 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure. Fluff the rice gently with a fork.
- This recipe can also be adapted for a rice cooker using similar water-to-rice ratio and cooking times as the Instant Pot.
If using this recipe in your personalized ATNG meal plan, 3 proteins, 2 starches, 1 vegetable, and 2 fat servings.
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