Remember how I’m on a mission to add more colorful salads to my winter dinners? Again, it’s not that I don’t like them, but for some reason, in the winter time, I just don’t make many salads. Whenever I do, I rejoice in how colorful and fresh and delicious they are – kind of like a burst of spring or summer in the middle of an all too dreary time of the year.
So the other day I was scouting the aisles at Sprouts (do you have them by you?) and I spied Forbidden Rice. Sounds ominous, I know, but I’ve read about it, and was curious. It’s almost black looking uncooked, but while it’s cooking, the water turns brilliant purple! So purple, I totally expected to smell grape or blueberry or something crazy like that when I lifted the lid.
Of course, I know – and so should you – that anything with deep, bright colors is full of antioxidants that protect the body from damaging free radicals. Let me clarify that – anything with bright colors that actually comes from the ground. Skittles and Lucky Charms do not count! So hello antioxidants! I’m thinking the antioxidants in that pot of forbidden rice I cooked up should turn back the clock at least 20 years for me 🙂
I used the rice as the base for this colorful salad which has luscious avocado and fresh mango (another Sprouts find – love them!). The recipe and dressing is adapted from a cookbook called A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry. The curry paste in the dressing adds a lovely spicy thai kick to the salad.
I almost feel like spring is right around the corner with this beautiful salad. I subbed light coconut milk for the cream in the original dressing recipe, so it’s light, completely vegan, and clean eating at its best.
Mango, Avocado and Forbidden Rice Salad
- 1/2 cup Forbidden Rice - rinsed and cooked according to package directions
- 3 cups mixed baby greens
- 1 cup mixed tender herbs watercress, cilantro, flat leaf parsley, mint
- 2 scallions sliced thin, green parts only
- 1 large ripe mango peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 avocado pitted and cubed
- juice of 1/2 lime
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup or to taste
- 1 teaspoon hot curry paste
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook rice according to package directions, adding 1 teaspoon salt if desired. Let cool to room temperature.
- Remove any stems from the herbs and toss with the baby greens in a large bowl.
- Add scallions.
- Slice or cube mango and avocado. Add both to the greens.
- Squeeze lime juice over the avocado to prevent browning.
- Add cooled rice to the bowl of salad and toss gently.
- For the dressing, add all ingredients to the bowl of a small food processor, or blend ingredients with an immersion blender.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss gently to combine.
Have you eaten any summer food lately? What do you crave in January?