Looking for an easy vegetarian recipe or an alternative to boring ole’ white or brown rice? I’ve recently discovered Forbidden Rice, an exotic and somewhat pretentious name for black rice, and I highly recommend trying it. I first had it at a Los Angeles restaurant called Flower Child. It was so good that when I got home I immediately tried to recreate the recipe. There are a few reasons why I’m loving this rice. Not only does it come out with a risotto-like texture, but the grains contain an extraordinary amount of anthocyanin, the powerful antioxidant responsible for giving certain foods like blueberries or eggplants their beautiful purple color (source: Modern Farmer).
When recreating the recipe from Flower Child, I had to do a bit of guess work. I ended up just using whatever veggies I had leftover in the fridge, but the ones used at the restaurant were broccoli, carrot, snap peas, japonica, onion, and bok choy. I’ve never heard of or seen japonica in a store or at a farmers market, so I left that one out. Here is how I prepared this delicious meal using what I already had on hand:
-1 cup Forbidden Rice, soaked or rinsed thouroughly and drained
-2 cups water
-1/2 chicken bouillion cube
-1 head of broccoli, chopped
-1 zucchini, chopped inot 1/4 inch rounds
-1 carrot, julienned
-1 onion, small diced
-5 cloves of garlic, small diced
-dried chili flakes
-1 tablespoon ghee or butter
1- Add rinsed rice to a small pot with 2 cups water, the boullion cube and ghee (optional). *Note- I barely salt the water since the boullion contains salt. Cook over high heat on the stove until boiling, then cover and reduce heat to low for about 20 mintues or until cooked through. Remove from heat and leave lid on.
2- While the rice cooks, heat a medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add sesame to the pan. Add the carrots and broccoli first. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for about five minutes or until slightly soft. Next, add the zucchini, onion, and garlic. Lightly season again with salt and pepper and add the chili flakes. Add more sesame oil if necessary. Cook about 5-6 minutes, or until everything is softened. Turn heat to low.
3- Add the cooked rice to the pan of vegetables and toss to thoroughly combine everything. Serve and enjoy this healthy meal!