Balsamic Black Rice Taco Salad

August 02, 2015

Anything Mexican screams "festive" to me but while I know that everyday can't be Cinco de Mayo, it doesn't mean that I can't celebrate it whenever I want! I'm pretty sure that you feel the same way -- I mean, who wouldn't like some Mexican for lunch, right? Taco has got to be up there on my favorite dishes of the cuisine, but because my body sometimes struggles with processing fried food, I figured to just skip the corn tortilla in this recipe and focus on the filling instead. I've always loved incorporating rice in salads as it absorbs much of the dressing, allowing it to soften and become tasty! Plus, it adds up beautifully to the overall texture of the salad. 

You may know that colored varieties of rice are more nutritious than the polished white one but do you know what makes black rice more special than most? Well, black rice (also known as "the forbidden rice") contains few calories but is packed with amazing dietary fiber and contains an impressive amount of plant protein and iron. And, unlike the other varieties, this type has a deep purplish color that is similar to that of red wine, cacao and some berries, which indicates the highest value of powerful antioxidants that fight diseases! 

It all sounds very amazing, doesn't it? But to be honest, it's the nuttiness of black rice that gets me eating it every time! I have thought of calling this salad my " Black Rice Taco Salad Against A Striped Backdrop" but I'm not so sure if it works. What do you think?

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Prep time: 7 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 37 min
Serves 2

Ingredients


1 1/2 cups cooked black rice
4 tbsp cooked whole corn kernels
4 tbsp red kidney beans (drained)
1 avocado
2 medium tomatoes
a large handful of cilantro leaves
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 chili pepper, crushed
sea salt
cracked black pepper

Method

  1. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside to cool.
  2. Half and pit the avocado. Scoop out the flesh and then dice. Chop the tomatoes in the same way.
  3. In a bowl, toss together the rice, avocado, tomatoes, beans, corn, and cilantro. Note: Make sure that the rice is completely cooled when you assemble the salad as having it hot/warm may ruin the taste and freshness of the other ingredients.
  4. Make the dressing by combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chili and a dash of sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk and then pour over the salad. 
  5. Toss everything together once more and serve!



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