I try to get all of my grocery shopping done on Friday night on my way home from work. I love grocery shopping, but if I don’t try to squeeze it in between 5pm and
dinner my first glass of wine on a Friday, it takes up too much of my Saturday or Sunday. I hem and haw over what to cook for lunch and dinner for week, what to make for the blog, furiously flipping through cookbooks, Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Cooks Illustrated, Pinterest and by the time I’m out the door, half of Saturday is gone and I’m starving.
Friday night grocery shopping doesn’t necessarily mean my decision making is easier, but it forces me to commit ahead of my old schedule. Last week, I decided to buy ingredients for a “Chinese salad” because 1. more salads and 2. Chinese New Year. The new South End Whole Foods has TWO AISLES of bulk bins and when I spotted bulk black rice (aka forbidden rice), I had a salad vision and went with it.
Orange and Almond Black Rice Salad with soy ginger vinaigrette is full of flavor and texture. If you’re like me and need a break from all the heavy winter foods, this salad will be satisfying. It’s filling, but full of light and crunchy veggies, like cabbage, snap peas and scallions. Isabel has been encouraging me to make these sesame clusters for a while now, and I regret not having made them sooner. Along with the roasted almonds, the sesame clusters give the salad another dimension, making it heartier and more filling than most, perfect as a main dish.
WHY IT’S HEALTHY// Orange and almond black rice salad is gluten free, dairy free and vegan (if you omit the sesame clusters, which contain egg whites). Black rice or forbidden rice is rather high in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, the antioxidants that also add valuable nutrients to blueberries, grapes, blackberries, dark cherries, raspberries and acai berries. Sesame seeds contain vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc and calcium. Almonds are full healthy polyunsaturated fats and linoleic acid as well as vitamin E. Oranges (or clementines) provide fiber, potassium and vitamin C. //
Other healthy Chinese inspired recipes for the New Year:
- Green Kitchen Stories | Ginger and Turmeric Honey Bomb
- A Couple Cooks | Five Spice Roasted Pears
- I Am A Food Blog | Lucky Chinese New Year Dumplings and Noodles
- The First Mess | Spring Vegetable Potstickers
- Domestic Man | Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1 cup black rice (aka forbidden rice)
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, large ones sliced in half
- 1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1 small bunch scallions (reserve 2 for the dressing), thinly sliced
- 1 large orange or 2 clementines, peeled, separated, seeds removed and sliced in half
- ½ cup unsalted raw almonds, toasted
- 1 small red chile (I chose a mild one), chopped
- 1 egg white
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup raw sesame seeds
- 2 green onions (from small bunch for the salad)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey (agave or sugar for vegan)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Rinse the rice well, then add to a small sauce pan with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk egg white in a small bowl until slightly foamy; whisk in sugar, salt, and Chinese Five Spice. Add sesame seeds and toss to coat.
- Spoon sesame mixture in clumps on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
- Make the vinaigrette: add all ingredients except the olive oil into a high speed blender (I used my Vitamix) until well combined. Turn to a low speed and slowly add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- In a large bowl, add all the ingredients (except for the sesame clusters) to the cooled rice. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss to coat. When ready to serve, add in desired amount of sesame clusters. For vegan, simply sprinkle with sesame seeds.