Black rice is so special that it used to be eaten exclusively by Chinese emperors. Just like blueberries, the rice has a beautiful black sheen because it’s full of antioxidants. Thankfully, it’s not as rare as it used to be. Black rice makes a sensational summer salad. It has more protein and fibre than wholegrain rice, so it keeps you feeling full for longer. The anti-oxidants protect your heart and lower bad cholesterol (LDL). They have spectacular anti-ageing benefits for the brain, bones, eyes and skin. You can see why we love it.
Boost the anti-oxidant power of the salad by adding red onions, roasted beetroot and black sesame seeds. The veggies will help your liver flush out toxins and black sesame seeds fight cancer and inflammation. The dark green puy lentils add protein and phytoestrogens that help balance your hormones. It’s a feast for any occasion.
What you need
- 250g organic black rice
- 100g puy lentils
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium sized beetroots, roasted in their skins
- 100g french beans, steamed
- 3 tablespoons organic black sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped parsley or chive
- ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seed oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons garlic granules
- 1 fresh garlic clove, crushed
Soak the black rice and lentils overnight in separate jars. Discard the water and rinse.
Put three cups of water to one cup of rice in the saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Lynn’s tip: Soaking the black rice and lentils overnight will remove the anti-nutrients in them that can cause digestive problems.
Place the lentils in a separate pan and cover with water. Bring it to the boil and simmer for 12 minutes (or until cooked through). Take care not to overcook the lentils as they’ll become mushy. When the rice and lentils are ready, rinse them in a sieve with fresh water and set aside.
The beetroot in this recipe is delicious roasted in coconut oil, but steamed beetroot will work fine too. Chop the cooked beetroot into bite size chunks and place in a salad bowl.
Peel and finely chop the red onion and pop it in with the beetroot.
Steam the french beans for 8 minutes and add into the salad bowl.
When the black rice and lentils have cooled down, spoon them into the salad bowl and mix gently. Toss in the black sesame seeds.
Gently roast the pumpkin seeds on a tray for 10 minutes at 180 degrees C, or dry fry them for 3-4 minutes. This will really bring out the smoky flavour of roasted seeds. Add the chopped herbs, celtic sea salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the dressing by adding the ingredients together in a small jar and pour over the salad.
Lynn’s tip: It’s best to let the salad marinate for 1-2 hours so the rice and lentils soak up the other flavours in the salad. You can garnish the salad with a couple of brightly coloured flower heads or edible courgette flowers too.
Lynn is a certified Nutritional Therapist (DipCNM), member of BANT and the founder of BioKitchen that produces gluten, dairy and sugar free produce. She practices at Preston Drove Osteopaths in Brighton, and supports clients with advice on how to implement functional foods to correct nutritional imbalances. She offers practical tips on how to manage change, overcome dietary habits, offering recipe ideas and healthy cooking workshops. Lynn comes from a Project Management background, and retrained in Nutritional Therapy after seeing profound changes in her autistic son’s behaviour after implementing an anti-inflammatory diet free of gluten, dairy and sugar. Inspired by her eldest son’s progress, Lynn continues to promote Nutritional Therapy as key for any child’s development, and works with adults seeking personalised food and lifestyle programmes to regain their health.