Black Rice Black Bean Beet Burgers

[Disclosure:  “I received a gift card to purchase the rice used in the development of the recipe in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”]

Black Bean Black Rice Beet Burger 1

Lately I’ve been HUNGRY. Long days make a girl want to eat eat eat until the cows come home. Actually what keeps happening is I won’t think I’m hungry until I actually sit down and start eating. Then once I’ve finished a normal amount of food my body goes, “omg. i’m starving. keep feeding me plz.” and so I oblige and munch the night away.

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So on nights like those nights – after a long work day or maybe a day I went on a run (which hasn’t been in a while but whatevs), I want something to fill me up for more than 10 minutes, which isn’t always an easy task. I tend to be a nibbler and grazer as apposed to what biology refers to as a “bulk eater” but every so often I just need a burger, ya feel me? And since I don’t eat meat and/or dairy, the word “burger” has a slightly different meaning than it may to another human being.

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To me, burger means a (meatless) hearty, spicy, nourishing and satisfying tasty savory thing that tastes good with hot sauce and ketchup. Those are my only requirements. Other than that I’m pretty open to many different types of veggie burgers. I grew up eating lots of frozen veggie burgers and always loved them for taste and convenience reasons, and recently, I’ve been more and more curious about experimenting with making my own.

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I think one of the keys to a good veggie burger is the addition of some grains of goodness. And y’all know by now that black rice is one of my FAVORITE grains of all times. I love Black Rice Salads, like the Rainbow Black Rice Salad and this Autumn Black Rice Salad, as well as in pudding, so today, I decided to put it in a burger.

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Black rice is not only full of protein and fiber, it is naturally gluten free, convenient, and has been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease when part of a healthy diet. It’s no secret that I adore healthy carbohydrate sources, and black rice is such a powerhouse I can fully endorse others to Think Rice when looking for a nourishing grain option. I especially love black rice for it’s unique nutty taste and al dente texture, and gorgeous purply hue. In fact, this huge inspired me to pair it with beets to make a 50 shades-of-purple-type burger, and rounded out the root veggies and rice with some hearty black beans for an added boost of protein, fiber, and flavor. I used U.S. grown rice for this recipe.

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The result? A delicious, hearty, healthy veggie burger that is sweet, spicy, and satisfying. The recipe makes about 6 veggie patties, making it the perfect meal to make for dinner one night and have leftover lunches ready to go for the next few days. That is, if you can prevent yourself from eating all 6 at once.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour (includes cooking rice and baking burgers)
Level: easy

makes about 6 burgers, serving 3-6 depending on hunger level 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked US-grown black rice (approximately 3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked beets
  • 1/2 onion or 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, almonds, or pecans (or other nut, I used walnut)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (reduce or omit if you don’t like spice!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (reduce or omit if you don’t like spice!)
  • 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce based on personal spice level preference

Directions:

1. Cook black rice according to package. I usually use a 2:1 ratio of water:rice and cook for about 30 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Chop onion or scallion and rinse and drain beans. Cook beets if needed as desires (can be cubed and roasted at 425 for about 25-35 minutes and/or boiled whole for 45-60 minutes). Peel beets. Personally I just used a steamed peeled package from Trader Joe’s. Canned would also work). Once beets are cooked, process in a food processor or blender into fine pieces.

3. In a food processor or blender pulse walnuts into a crumbly meal. Stop before it becomes the consistency of a nut butter.

3. In a large bowl combine cooked rice, beet shreds, beans, onion, flax, walnut meal, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and Sriracha. Mash slightly (I like my beans a little chunky in the burgers still, but it’s up to you!) with a potato masher and/or whisk and mix together until well combine.

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4. Using your hands, take about 1/4th to 1/3rd cup mixture at a time and shape into a patty, about 1/4th inch thick. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with rest of mixture.

5. Bake on a middle rack for 30-40 minutes until crisped lightly on edges. Remove from oven and enjoy on a delicious bun with toppings of your choice, or as is.

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For more Recipes to Inspire you to Think Rice, click around below:

Weekend Eats Recap: November 20-23rd, NYC

So I’ve never done one of these posts before, where I recap what I ate for a few days. A lot of bloggers do it every day, or post weekly updates on every meal they ate that week. Personally I love to read these and I have no idea why. Why is it so darn interesting what someone you don’t even know in real life ate for a week or a day? I don’t know. Maybe because you can get inspired for new ideas based on something they ate? Or inspired to try a new restaurant or cuisine? I do not have the answer to such questions, but I thought I would try out the whole what-I-ate thing once on this blog and see how it went.

my old stomping grounds !

my old stomping grounds ! #nyu

So heres what I ate from the evening of Thursday, November 20th-Sunday November 23rd while I was back home in good old NYC. Per usual, I ate a lot. I eat constantly. This might be why I’ve never done one of these posts before. I snack so often that I forget to take pics of like 80% of what I eat (yes, all my obnoxious food-instagramming is only a tiny portion of my actual overall food consumption). Anyways, here are my eats for those 3 days in photos and words. Honestly everything I had was great. And it made me excited and eager and anxious to return! NYC, I’ll be back soon ;-). In the meantime, here are my EATS:

Thursday, November 20th, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • 2 slices Angelic Bakehouse Sprouted Raisin Bread (THE BEST bread EVER – has replaced my Ezikel habit…seriously try it; it’s softer and more delicious, and it’s local to my hometown, Milwaukee, although it is available at Whole Foods nationwide) + almond butter and a sliced banana. I also had coffee with soy creamer and chamomile tea on my way to work.

Snack:

  • a sliced pear with cinnamon and almond butter

Lunch:

  • Leftover spaghetti squash marinara, small salad, veggie burger on more Angelic Bakery bread with sriracha, and a big old glass of almond-coconut milk (trying to use things up before leaving for the weekend).

Snack on the plane from MKE–> NYC:

  • half a Kashi peanut butter bar, an apple, a banana, half an almond butter sandwich on more Angelic Bakery bread (#addicted)

Dinner:

  • Beyond Sushi takeout. I landed late at night (like 9:00pm) and got dropped off at the 14th street location to pick up sushi for my friend and I. I had the November Roll of the month, which had Sweet Persimmons, Roasted allspice Turnips, grilled Heriocot Verts, and was topped with Seaweed Salad. It wasn’t my favorite roll of the month (that would go to the one they had in August), but it was delicious none-the-less and fun to try Persimmons, which I’ve been meaning to give a whirl for a while. I also had my go-to favorite roll. The Sweet Tree, with Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, Alfafa sprouts, and 6-grain rice. AMAZING AS ALWAYS. I love you so much, Beyond Sushi.
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November Roll of the Month

The Sweet Tree Roll

The Sweet Tree Roll

Snack:

  • Remaining half of Kashi bar + a few bites of chocolate, after which I face-planted into a pillow and slept!

Friday, November 21th, 2014:

I woke up early and although I usually immediately eat and drink coffee, I was sleeping at a friends and didn’t have a kitchen to use. I had a meeting in Brooklyn at 10 and decided to take a train from Union Square and swing by the Farmer’s market on the way. I ended up grabbing stuff at Whole Foods, cause I saw it as a one-stop place for coffee and food and was running short on time.

Breakfast:

  • Coffee with soy milk, a big-old whole-wheat NYC bagel with peanut butter, and a giant organic Gala apple which was one of the best apples I’ve had in a while. I had to eat this breakfast on the train because I was so low on time, and I felt super obnoxious being that person. I figured it would be no biggie but the train ended up being SUPER packed, but my blood sugar was super low so I wallowed in a corner and ate my apple and half my bagel. Once I could see/think/again, the train was at the Wall Street stop, and like 90% of the people got off. And then I had a whole train car basically to myself to eat the remaining half of my bagel in peace. Lol. #alittlelate

Lunch:

  • After running around Brookyln and back to Manhattan and meeting a friend for coffee quickly, I ended up not eating until around 3 pm, by which time, I happened to be near the Union Square Whole Foods again. I was so hungry and grumpy and indecisive of what to eat, and I remembered I had a $50 Whole Foods giftcard on me so I opted to hit the EPIC Whole Foods hot/cold food bar for lunch. It was perfect because I had no idea what I was in the mood for and the millions of options could all end up in my bowl together. This is my favorite way to eat. Buffet styles are the best, cause I like to try EVERYTHING. I spent $12 on my mixture of salads and grain salads and tofu dishes and falafel chunks and dumplings. I also grabbed a sprouted roll and 3 Mast Brother’s bars and an unsweetened iced tea to use up my $50 giftcard. #freelunch sort of. #winning. I ate upstairs overlooking the park and charged my phone and sat down for a while and people watched. It ended up being perfect.
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this + a million other things at Whole Foods. YUM.

Snack:

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Snack #2:

  • A mini cupcake from Magnolia Bakery (they have minis now !!!)

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Dinner:

  • I met two of my favorite people/friends Joanna and Cassie for dinner at Peacefood, a vegan restaurant in the village. It was late, I had walked 15 miles that day according to my iPhone tracker, and I was HUNGRY. Like, I needed a sandwich hungry. I ordered the Vegan Cheeseburger with Cashew Cheese, Avocado, Caramelized Onions, Sprouts, Tomato, Lettuce, and some drippy delicious sauce. I inhaled it.
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Vegan Cheeseburger at Peacefood NYC. SO GOOD.

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best sandwich of my life. i inhaled it. 

  • We had dessert at Peacefood, too. Strawberry Shortcake and a giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwich exploding with frosting. The 3 of us split these two. SO GOOD.

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Saturday, November 22th, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • Shocking fact (not): I ended up leaving my purse at Peacefood, so I headed back in that direction early the next morning. The nearest subway station is Union Square, so I ended up, once again, grabbing some food there. I had the BEST Vegan Blueberry Muffin like, ever and another organic Gala Apple (it was just too good the day before). I have to recreate those muffins. I think they used spelt flour, and I think that did the trick. I ate that on my way to pick up purse and visited a friend who works at an East Village coffee shop, where I got some free coffee with soy milk and some free granola with soymilk. Yummies.

Snack:

  • banana purchased at a bodega #nyc and half a Kashi peanut butter bar

Lunch:

  • I ended up NEEDING food when I was at Dominque Ansel with friends later that day so I ordered real food there, which I’ve never done before. I had a delicious salad with Endive, Sprouts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Pear, Caramelized Pecans, and a Truffle Vinaigrette. The salad was delicious and the Roasted Sweet Potatoes and caramelized nuts were so flavorful that I, thankfully, didn’t need that vinaigrette. Which was nice, because to me, that dressing had a very strong flavor, and was a bit too much for me. I like truffle, but only in small amounts. I found the dressing a bit overpowering, but enjoyed the salad nonetheless.
Salad at Dominque Ansel Bakery

salad at Dominque Ansel Bakery

  • I also had a DKA from Dominique Ansel:
DKA!

DKA!

  • And took a selfie while eating lunch with Dominique in the background. I’m really creepy. Whatever. I idolize him.

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Dinner:

  • I met up with another amazing friend for dinner. We ended up at Peacefood again, which was honestly fine by me. The dinner was early and I’d eaten lunch and a pastry a few hours earlier, so I wanted something lighter. I ordered the Asian Greens Salad with Jicima, Tempeh, Carrots, Greens, and some delicious Peanut Ginger dressing. I’ve ordered this salad many times, and it’s always fresh, flavorful, and light-yet satisfying. It’s still my favorite salad there…minus perhaps when they have the Protein packed Kale Salad on the specials menu.

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  • I wasn’t going to get dessert cause I had just had some, but then my friend ordered carrot cake and I ended up eating half of it because it was so fucking good. (Sorry Olivia…) Great meal, great conversation, great friend. 🙂
  • In other news, Amanda Seyfried (aka Karen from Mean Girls) was dining near us. I tried snapping one creeper pic as I sat down, but it was blurry and I felt rude attempting again, and was also soon distracted by food.

Bedtime Snack:

  • remaining half of Kashi peanut butter bar, more chocolate

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014:

Breakfast:

  • I grabbed some trendy pour-over coffee (with soy milk) at a hipster-y coffee place with my friend Cassie, and ate a banana and an apple and half another Vegan Blueberry Muffin to fuel me up for the day.

Lunch:

  • I met my friend Minhye for lunch at Chelsea Market. I tried to talk myself into eating something “different” but desperately wanted Beyond Sushi again. So I got it. I got a Mighy Mushroom Wrap and another Sweet Tree Roll. I’m not usually into mushrooms, but this wrap is honestly amazing. I get it without the mushroom-y sauce on top and ask for an extra hot sauce. It’s literally so good I almost cried eating it. It was randomly VERY nice out so we ate outside upstairs on The Highline. It was awesome.
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Beyond Sushi on The Highline

  • And went for a stroll. The Highline Park is now fully open, and totally awesome. WALK IT!

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Snack at the Airport:

  • Plane delays = grumpy/hungry me. I had a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee with soy milk, a whole-wheat bagel with vegan spread, and highly overpriced apple and banana. #airportfood. I also ended up eating an Enjoy Life Caramel Apple Bar and a Cashew Cookie Larabar that I found in my backpack. I love finding food in my backpack. What a win. I also had some tea and a mini bag of mini pretzels on the plane.

Snack at Home:

  • I got home around 11:30 and needed a second dinner before showering and going to bed. I ate a bunch of veggies with dip and crackers and another veggie burger with an Angelic Bakery whole-wheat wrap and hot sauce/ketchup and chopped lettuce. I then downed a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter and some almond coconut milk and called it a night.
my helper.

my helper.

So that’s it. All my eats last weekend. Lots of fruit and granola bars and carbs and veggies. Like 90% vegan. Pretty standard to my typical eating, but also more eating out than usual. In case you care, which you probably don’t. But it was kind of fun to recap it. Maybe I’ll do it again. Maybe not. That’s sort of the fun of having your own blog. You can experiment. I wonder if anyone is still reading. Doubtful. If you are, leave a comment below and I’ll send you a special surprise. Lol. Have a good day!!

xoxo,

K-Bakes

Autumn Black Rice Salad [with Pomegranate, Coconut & Sweet Potatoes]

This morning I had this odd, sudden realization that I haven’t made or eaten black rice in a while. Actually, it wasn’t that sudden or odd. I thought about it after Beyond Sushi Instagramed this. And then I cried and sobbed because I wanted Beyond Sushi, because as we all know it’s my favorite thing on earth.

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Then I thought fondly back to my beloved Rainbow Black Rice Salad. I love love love that dish. It’s flawless in my opinion. Crunchy, fresh, bright, flavorful and satisfying. Ahh, yes, I’ve eaten that black rice salad many-a-times and never been let down.

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After a few minutes reminiscing over all the good times I’ve eaten said salad, I decided that lunch today was going to be a black rice salad, of sorts. Except I didn’t have those ingredients and I was feeling like something a bit more fall-ish since the Rainbow Black Rice Salad is a bit summery. I consulted my fridge. Half a pre-cut/seeded pomegranate. Awesome. I was instantly inspired by how bright the red would look against black rice. Step one towards recipe creation/greatness. I decided to work from here.

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Next stop: pantry. Sweet potatoes are never NOT in my pantry, and today was no exception. Grabbed a big one, and got chopping. While I popped those in the oven, I debated what else would pop on the plate with red and orange. As I did so, I reached for more ground coffee, which happened to be next to some coconut shreds. Coconut + black rice is also a favorite combo of mine (it worked amazingly in this black rice pudding) so those went in, as well. Upon assembly, I added some cilantro. Initially I thought this flavor combo would be weird, but it somehow pulled everything together. The clean note of the cilantro worked well with the earthy black rice, the tangy crunchy pomegranate seeds, and the creamy, hearty sweet potato cubes. The dish came together so well, my mom even decided she liked it better than the Rainbow Black Rice Salad. Personally I love them both, and think both are beautiful and satisfying for any event depending on your current taste mood.

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The tanginess of the pomegranate seeds removes the need for an acidic dressing as in the Rainbow Black Rice salad, and really all this salad needs is a drizzle of good olive oil, and a few dashes of salt and pepper. This is another keeper, I tell ya. Make a big batch and serve as a side dish, entree, or pack for lunch. Eat up!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Level: Easy

Serves 2 as entree or 4 as side dish

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1 pomegranate, cut and seeded
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup coconut shreds or chips (sweetened or unsweetened depending on preference)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, cook black rice on the stovetop according to directions on the package.

2. While the rice is simmering, peel and cube sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and place in the oven. If you’re short on time, you can also just microwave these for 3-4 minutes until tender.

3. Cut and seed the pomegranate and set seeds aside. Dice cilantro.

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4. Cool rice and sweet potato cubes. When they are cool, pour rice into a bowl, and mix 3/4ths of your sweet potato cubes, your pomegranate seeds, your coconut, and cilantro (saving the remaining 1/4th for garnish).

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5. Drizzle olive oil onto salad and add salt and pepper and mix.

6. Serve rice salad in a bowl or plate, topping with remaining sweet potato cubes, pomegranate seeds, cilantro and coconut. Add more salt & pepper if desired. Enjoy~!

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Recap: The Seed Experience NYC – Cooking Demo with Guy Vaknin of Beyond Sushi

This weekend I was fortunate enough to win tickets to The Seed Experience courtesy of Beyond Sushi. They had a giveaway and I entered and somehow won! Whoohoo. So on Saturday and Sunday I trekked myself down to Soho and ate a lot of samples and talked to a lot of cool inspiring people and ate a lot more samples and had me a good time.

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The Seed Experience was a collection of plant-based speakers, demonstrations, films, samples, more samples, and what I was most interested in: COOKING DEMOS.

vegan goat cheese for days!

vegan goat cheese for days!

And yes! There was a cooking demo by the owner/executive chef of  my ALL time favorite restaurant Beyond Sushi. You better believe I went in squealing.

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fooooooood

So on Saturday afternoon after I drowned myself in new products like aloe water, maple water, tons and tons of vegan cheese and ice cream (which were all very delicious!) I watched Guy Vaknin (owner/executive chef of Beyond Sushi) make some rolls, speak about how he got where he was, and wow the crowd with incredible avocado filleting skills (seriously, you should have seen it).

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I’m planning to soon post a recipe with a how-to for making black rice sushi but I thought I’d dedicate a little time/space to speaking about Guy:

Turns out Guy started as a chef and did a lot of catering for kosher crowds. Kosher people have lots of dietary guidelines that do not allow them to eat certain things at certain times. I’m not going to pretend I understand the rules well, but Guy mentioned there was rule about not preparing and consuming fish and meat together. But Guy wanted to make a sushi roll appetizer for the crowds. So he started making vegetarian rolls. Though he’s a trained chef, he was not a sushi chef, nor even a vegetarian when he started this concept. He sort of learned it form another caterer, and when he was off duty had no other option other than to master the art.

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Guy, a culinary creative genius, used black rice in his sushi instead of white rice. He said he “saw the reaction,” and knew there was something special about this concept. He started bringing his black rice/vegetarian sushi to vegetarian food festivals, and got lots of positive crowd reactions, inquires, and press, he was inspired to go back to the kitchen and keep working. After a second year vegetarian food festivals, he decided to take a big risk, poured everything he had into one business concept, and started Beyond Sushi. He built the original location on 14th street (between 2nd & 3rd – see my original rave review here) and started by serving vegetarian sushi.

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For a few weeks, customers came in and Guy noticed that some were confused by the different vegetarian vs. vegan options, as some of his original menu items contained eggs and dairy in their rolls and/or sauces. Guy made a lot of personal reflections and seriously considered desires of customers, and decided to turn the restaurant completely vegan, and made the switch to a vegan lifestyle himself. He says he can now “not even picture” life any other way.

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The tiny sushi shop quickly exploded in popularity and has received endless rave reviews and press features for its creative and delicious approach to vegan dining and sushi. Guy still works there 7 days a week, usually in the downstairs kitchen area.

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He puts a phenomenal amount of thought and effort into every roll and every piece of sushi that beyond sushi produces. I was shocked at the time and effort the prep work behind each item on their menu. All the regular rolls have such depth and preparation – including marinating and fermenting of vegetables (often overnight) to get the flavors exactly where he wants them. The rolls of the month are all produced using local, seasonal produce from the Union Square Green Market, which although are more expensive, truly reflect the flavors of the season and the responsible sustainable drive behind the Beyond Sushi concept. It was humbling to see such a successful man so deeply passionate about his craft. He also addressed the possibility of expansion – turns out he has been approached for franchise opportunities, but wants to stay small so the quality of each roll can be carefully controlled. People are hard at work, Guy insists, every morning at 5am, julienning and prepping vegetables and sauces to stuff the rolls with flavor. This care and attention to detail are part of the reason Guy won’t go big (yet). “You can’t mass-produce this,” he said, looking down at his just-crafted roll.

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And as a huge fan having had almost every roll and wrap on the menu, I must agree with him. There is nothing like it. That’s why it’s my favorite restaurant and why I can’t even go to another sushi place since trying Beyond Sushi.

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So thank you, Guy, for the inspiration. And thank you Beyond Sushi for the tickets to The Seed, the inspiration, and for continuously delighting my taste buds. I will forever be a loyal fan and customer – wishing you all the success in the world !

Black Rice Pudding with Coconut, Vanilla, and Tart Cherries

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Yes I know I just posted a black rice salad recipe. But when I like something, I really like it and tend to get a little over enthusiastic about it (hence why I filled up like 6 Big Gay Ice Cream frequent buyer punch cards this year). At this moment I can’t get enough black rice. It’s probably my favorite grain of the moment, right next to my beloved oat, which I hold highly on a pedestal. Black rice has topped quinoa, barley, brown rice, etc on my list. I. can’t. get. enough.

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No, I didn’t invent black rice pudding. Apparently it’s like a common dessert in Thailand. Way to go Thailand. You guys are brilliant.

I browsed a lot of recipes on the web for black rice pudding around 5:50 this morning after I finally gave up trying to sleep through my darling dog barking at a thunderstorm. I think she thought the loud crashes of thunder were intruders. Silly nugget. I shall forgive you because while sipping coffee in the wee hours I did a lot of black rice pudding research, took what I wanted from different recipes, and eventually came up with this. And it’s fantastic. So thanks, Millie, I owe ya for this one 😉

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This morning I added some vanilla, walnuts, coconut shreds, and tart dried cherries to it. These were conveniently in my (read: my mother’s) pantry so I went with them. But you can add whatever you like. But this pudding could be great just plain and simple, with chopped mango or blueberries or whatever your heart desires. It makes a lovely breakfast, snack, or dessert. You go black rice.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: about 1 hour
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
(can easily be doubled, but hey, I’m just one human and was experimenting with a new recipe so I made a smaller batch):

  • 1/2 cup black rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (use real stuff not imitation or I will h8 u and so will your taste buds)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (if desired, you can nix the almond milk and use all coconut, but I wanted something a little lighter for breakfast)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries or other topping (if desired)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut shreds (optional)
  • almond milk or honey to top

Directions:

1. Place black rice, water, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and *~*simmer*~* over low heat for 30 minutes. I like the word simmer. It reminds me of Professor Snape for reasons beyond my explanation.

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2.Once the rice is mostly cooked, add the coconut milk, almond milk, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to *~*simmer*~* for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until a desired consistency is reached. You may need to add more coconut and/or almond milk as needed to achieve your desired final product.

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3. Mix in dried cherries and coconut shreds (if desired).

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5. Spoon into a bowl, allow to cool (if desired, or not if you’re impatient like me), and top with your choice of goodies.

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6. Enjoy!

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Rainbow Black Rice Salad

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Thanks to Beyond Sushi, I have a several month long obsession with black rice.

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So what is black rice? Well, I will tell you.

Not only is it more dramatic looking and exotic than white rice, it’s a  heck-of-a-lot healthier, too. It’s even better for you (and more chic) than brown rice. It’s much higher in fiber, because the rice kernel isn’t milled offed and polished the way it is in white rice. It also contains a lot of B vitamins that white rice is stripped down of (even though some are fortified back in, it’s not the same!), as well as manganese, phosphorous, iron, and all (yes, ALL) of the essential amino acids. Umm, hello vegetarian-friendly nutritional powerhouse!

As of about a month ago, it’s available for $2.69 per bag at Trader Joe’s ! HOLLA!

It’s also bursting with antioxidants. It contains anthocyanin – a water soluble antioxidant which colors things red, purple, or blue, depending on pH. This is what gives the rice that that blacky hue and makes it bleed purple (just like an NYU violet! #fightonNYUviolets #intimidating) It’s pink in acids, purple in neutral (ie water), and greenish-yellow in alkaline. So hypothetically you could even use black rice to test pHs of solutions. The possibilities with this stuff are endless. Anthocyanin also gives blueberries, acai, cherries, and concord grapes their colors. It’s also in a lot of flowers. Basically, it’s pretty.

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Speaking of being a complete amino acid source, I’ve been reading a book called The China Study on my shiny new Kindle that my sissy gave me as a graduation present. It’s very interesting. Actually, it’s more like eye-opening / life changing. It’s basically a summation of research that has been highly ignored in the public eye but is backed by NIH and the National Cancer Institute, all of which point to diet as one of the biggest factors in controlling, even reversing cancer. And a lot of it has to do with protein intake – primarily from animal sources. Basically, the high-protein low-carb fad is actually more than not-good for your health – it’s downright dangerous. One of my fav parts of this book? It sticks up for my little bullied friend – gluten. Bless you gluten. May you live on in my heart and soul. #carbs5ever. Anyways, I’d highly recommend anyone interested in health/cancer/science/nutrition check out dis book. Even if you don’t agree with all of it, it’s always good to broaden your horizons and widen your prospectives.

I made this for a graduation lunch I had with some lovely friends of mine. Regarding this lunch, someone told me no one has parties for college graduation. I say I just like reasons to cook nice things for people. Living alone, I feel weird taking a lot of time or buying a lot of ingredients to make myself fancier or complicated things. It feels frivolous. It’s not. I’m going to start #treatingmyself more. Anyways, in my opinion any small accomplishment is worth celebrating with food. Next time you get a cavity filled or an A on your test, hit me up. I’d love to cook you something yummy. Like this black rice salad.

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I was nervous that people wouldn’t like this. I actually had a mild panic right before all the people arrived like OMG ALL THIS FOOD IS WEIRD AND HEALTHY WHAT IF PEOPLE DON’T ACCEPT ALL THIS HEALTHY FOOD. WHAT IF SOMEONE JUST WANTS A DAMN CHEESEBURGER OR SOME WINGS. After a few deep breathes I realized it was too late to do anything except serve everything I made. And everything was well received, especially this salad. This post is now getting way too long and I bet no one is even reading anymore so I’m finna wrap things up.

This black rice salad really great for parties actually. It looks pretty. It looks impressive. It’s like tasting the rainbow in a non-Skittles way. And it tastes ah-MAZING. It can be served as a side dish or an entree. Whatever way you make it just make sure you do.

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 2 to 2.5 cups black rice
  • one large red bell pepper, diced
  • one large green bell pepper, diced (can also use orange or yellow, whatever is around)
  • one large mango, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 8-10 green onions, chopped
  • crushed peanuts and/or cashews (about 1/4 cup or more if you’d like, also can be omitted)

Ingredients for the Dressing:

Note: I eyeballed this. Use about 3 tablespoons each oil + 3 tablespoons lime juice with 1 tablespoon honey as a guideline

  • 1 part vegetable oil
  • 1 part lime juice
  • dash white vinegar
  • honey to taste (enough to emulsify and sweeten)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of sriracha or red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

1. Cook black rice as instructed on package. The package will probably tell you to use a ratio of 1:2 for rice:water. I suggest using a little less. And not cooking it until it’s mushy. The salad works better when it’s a little al dente.

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2. While rice is cooking, dice bell peppers and green onions.

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3. Cube your mango into about 1/4 inch cubes.

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4. Chop cilantro.

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5. Pop rice into the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, combine ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk.

7. Combine 3/4ths of chopped produce into cooled rice. Mix.

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8.Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.

9.Add remaining 1/4th of chopped produce on top. Garnish with crushed nuts.

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10. Watch out for creeping pups.

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10.5. Especially when they look super pathetic and are trying to tell you they need to go poop before you eat…

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11.EAT.

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