Black Is the New Brown

I mostly eat brown rice with the exception of two occasions: Spanish rice and John’s chicken and rice. It’s loads better for the body than white rice and, in my opinion, has a lot more flavor, but it still has that bite to it that makes it a tad unappealing. I prefer it over white for the health benefits and the flavor, but that little crunch of hull still bugs me. (I’ve perfected the method for making it light and fluffy, however, which I’ll blog about later.)

Eating the Blood Sugar Solution way has me investigating other non-gluten grains and the latest is black rice. I’ve seen this stuff on the shelf before and wheeled past it because it looks… weird. But, since I’m wearing out the brown rice and quinoa, I decided to give it a try. I cooked some up to go along with the chicken satay I made last weekend and HOLEY MOLEY it was delicious! It still has a chewy texture, but not that almost-crunch thing that brown rice has going on. For some reason, and the Mr. can confirm, after it has been cooked it smells like bacon.

I would not joke about this. After you cook some, lift the lid and take a sniff and try to tell me it doesn’t smell like bacon.*

Ok, here’s the skinny on black rice. It’s an amazing superfood chock-full of antioxidants, even more than blueberries & cranberries. It’s also been called ‘forbidden rice’ which sounds WAY more exciting to me. Back in ancient times Chinese emperors saved this rice for themselves and anyone caught stealing it could be put to death. You can read more about it here at

I experimented with it a little more yesterday and came up with a great summer side dish. I had a lonely mango sitting around so…

Mango Black Rice

  • 1 cup uncooked black rice (I used Hinode brand which I found at Kroger)
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced (Alton’s mango tutorial changed my life forever)
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1/2 minced jalapeno pepper, seeds and membranes removed (more or less depending on your liking)
  • 1-2 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • fresh lime juice (not pictured)
  • extra-virgin olive oil

rice 1

  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. There are a lot of methods online but I stuck with what the packaging said and it turned out great. Allow rice to cool.
  2. Toss in the mango, onion & jalapeno and give it a good stir.
  3. Give 1/2 a lime a good squeeze over all of this.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil, as much or as little and you like.
  5. Sprinkle top with sesame seeds.
  6. (You can add some kosher salt if you like. I did because I put salt in anything that has lime in it, but if you’re watching your salt intake it’s no big deal.)

rice 2

Doesn’t it look pretty? I love the contrast in colors. It’s sweet with a little heat and the chewy texture of that rice is so satisfying. I took it to a picnic and ended up eating the leftovers with my eggs for breakfast. Protein, fruit, carb… worked for me.

Hope you like it!

*and confirm the bacon thing, please. 


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