Let Them Eat Royal Rice!

I returned from my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio the other day.  I had family stuff going on (isn’t there always?), so I didn’t have a lot of time for anything else.  I did manager to get in a couple of meals out.  In Cleveland Heights, we celebrated my brother’s birthday at Night Town (http://nighttowncleveland.com/).  I love the live music and their house special, The Dublin Lawyer.  In Rocky River, we had a pre-birthday celebration at Salmon Dave’s.  Order their lobster bisque & you’ll be a fan.  The cheesecake with strawberry and mango puree was great as well.  Of course, I found time for something sweet at Mitchell’s Ice Cream (http://mitchellshomemade.com/).  I had the BEST Banana Ice Cream with Homemade Pieces of Shortbread Crust and a scoop of Dark Roast Coffee Ice Cream – what a perfect combination!  Also, I went to Tommy’s (http://tommysplace.weebly.com/) in Rocky River – twice.  Yep, my family likes to eat out.  I even manged some time to have a couple Dortmunder Gold Lagers by Great Lakes Brewing Company.   Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  As a side note, I was so preoccupied with other things, that I didn’t take photos of my food.  I apologize.  Next time!!

While I was at Tommy’s, my Mom and I discussed whether it’s faster to go out to eat or to make something at home for dinner.  I love eating out, but I try to keep it for the weekends.  I really believe by the time you go to a restaurant, order, wait for the food, get the bill, pay, and drive home, you can make a meal faster (and healthier!) at home.   She claims that because of my background, it’s easier for me to make a quick and tasty meal.  I completely disagree.  Anyone can make a great, fast and healthy meal.  I told her I’d post some recipes, and I’ll see what she thinks.  Let me know what you think, too!

I love the recipe I’m sharing with you.  I came across it on the Whole Foods website about 5 years ago, and I’ve been making it ever since.  What I love is that you can make it at the beginning of the week, and eat it for lunch or dinner throughout the week.  And you can swap out any ingredient for something you like better or for something else you have in your veggie drawer in your refrigerator.   If someone you know follows a gluten-free diet, this recipe will work for them, too.  If you don’t care for a vegetarian option, add some chicken.  Doesn’t get easier than picking up a rotisserie chicken at Costco or the local grocery store!  I had never heard of Forbidden Rice until I came across this recipe.  It is a Chinese black rice, and it is rich in antioxidants.  Apparently for a period of time, only royals could eat this rice, hence the name “Forbidden Rice”.  Here’s the recipe . . .

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Forbidden Rice Salad with Vegetables (Serves about 4)

  • 1 cup forbidden rice, prepared according to package directions and cooled (it’s sold at Whole Foods)
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons walnut or macadamia nut oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
  • avocados, sliced (as many as you like!)
  1. Toss rice with carrots, yellow pepper and cucumber in a large serving bowl.  Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.  Add zucchini and scallions and saute for 5 minutes or until zucchini is crisp tender.  Add to rice mixture.  In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, nut oil, mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne together until slightly thickened.  Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Top with slices of avocados (and I always drizzle with Sriracha).

Take Care and Happy Eating!