Asian Black Rice and Veggie Salad with Korean Gochujang Vinaigrette

This salad is a so full of flavor!  And it’s good for your gut! The black forbidden rice is beautiful and the grains don’t stick to each other! The green veggies, including that all-important asparagus, are blanched for about three minutes in boiling water and chilled quickly in ice water. This keeps them green and slightly crunchy! And the vinaigrette has two important ingredients for us to use as often as we can:  vinegar and gochujang (fermented chili paste).  The latter should be available for you in about any grocery store now, since Asian flavors are a booming trend! Just look in the international section.

20180707_105342.jpgFor the salad for two people, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup black rice (often called forbidden rice since it was reserved for the Chinese     emperor to preserve his health)
  • chicken broth instead of the water listed in the package directions
  • 1/2 cup snap peas (be sure to pull the string at the end of each pod to remove the string, which makes it rather difficult to eat!)
  • 1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 red radishes, thinly sliced (or try some sliced daikon radish!)
  • 1/2 carrot, julienned or sliced thinly
  • 2 small scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbl. toasted sesame seeds (c’mon, toast them! The flavor is remarkably different!)

For the gochujang dressing, you will need:

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced and smashed with kosher salt (rub the side of your chef’s knife over the salt and garlic until it is pasty)
  • 2 Tbl. rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. or more of Gochujang paste. try a small amount first, then increase if you wish. It is very powerful.
  • 1Tbl. Asian sesame oil (regular oil here will disappoint you!)
  • 1Tbl. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger  Taste the dressing here and adjust to your liking.

Pre-cook the rice according to package directions and cool.

Make the dressing by whisking all prepared ingredients together in a bowl.

Blanche the snap peas and asparagus. Cool in ice water. Drain

Slice remaining veggies.

Place all listed ingredients in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve in white bowls or plates, if you can–the contrast in colors is stunning! Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve!

This salad is great as an entrée, also,  with everything kept room temp or warm and topped with slices of heated rotisserie chicken!

‘Til next time………..CHEERS!!




Chicken Curry over Rice

Today I’m working with a recipe I made for clients last week.  I try to do healthy dishes for those who will have them!!!

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This is a bright, colorful dish with lots of healthy going on. (Don’t cut off the stalks on the broccoli! The great fiber in there is something your “good bugs” crave!)

And the recipe’s fast: 30 min.

For 2 people, you will need:

  • about 3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or about 4 medium), cut into 1-inch pieces  (I kept mine whole and it took about 10 minutes longer to realize the dish)
  • 1 tsp. curry powder (or more if you crave the taste!)
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBL. olive oil
  • 1 medium head of broccoli cut into florets (remember to save the stalks!)
  • 1/2 cup of vertically sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup each of red and yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced (amount depends on your taste)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 TBL, fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (I used a black barley-brown rice blend from Wegman’s)

Pre-cook the rice according to the package directions while you are preparing the other ingredients.

Toss together the chicken, curry powder, salt, and cayenne in a bowl.

In a nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook through for about 6 minutes. With tongs, transfer the chicken to a bowl.

To the skillet, add the broccoli, onions, peppers and garlic. Cook and stir constantly for 2 minutes.

Add chicken stock; cover and cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes–keep it green!

Add chicken, lime juice, and soy sauce; stir until heated through, about 1 minute.

Place rice onto a plate or bowl, top with chicken mixture and voila: instant healthy! CHEERS!