Black rice, also known as Forbidden Rice, is an heirloom grain that was evidently grown for the Emperors of China as a longevity food. It has a deep, nutty taste, is high in nutrients, including iron, and contains anthocyanins, compounds that act as antioxidants, in its deep pigment. It’s also high in vitamin E and fiber and is being touted as the new “superfood”.
I just found the rice the other day at Whole Foods and thought I would give it a try in a very dark dish I put together with lentils and kale. Lentils are high in fiber, folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron. Its protein is a great complement to the amino acid content found in rice which makes the combination a wonderful, complete-protein dish.
Kale is a superstar leafy green. For it’s health benefits, I want to direct you to this great Facebook page for a Kale Challenge that I’m following right now. The Green Lemon-Aid recipe on this page is tangy and delicious and if you're into juicing, I encourage you to try it!
Here’s the rice and lentil dish with kale:
1 T grapeseed or coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 cup black rice, soaked in water overnight and rinsed well
1 cup green lentils, soaked in water overnight and rinsed well
water or veggie broth
2 cups kale leaves removed from stalks and broken into small pieces
Juice from ½ to 1 lemon
sea salt and black pepper
1. Place lentils in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and allow to simmer until tender, ~10-15 minutes, but maybe less depending on how long they’ve been soaked.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a second medium saucepan. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add black rice and 1 ¾ cups of veggie broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until cooked, ~15-20 minutes since it's been soaked.
3. Drain the lentils, then add to the cooked rice and onions.
4. Pick up the kale with hands and squeeze/massage it in hands to tenderize it. Add to the hot rice and lentils and stir well to wilt the kale.
5. Squeeze half a lemon (or more) into the mix and season with sea salt and pepper.
This is a hearty dish on its own and is even good cold so would be great to take for lunch or for a simple dinner with a salad. Here's to your health!