Nourish Bowl : Black Rice, Roasted Veggies, and Eggs with Toasted Sesame Seeds
I hope everyone had an awesome holiday!! I woke up to this view on New Year's day; my day involved frolicking around the city drinking coffee and gorging on dumplings and croissants. Besides that, there was plenty of laughing with friends and reminiscing our college days. It was definitely a great start to 2015 and I hope it only gets better from here. As much as I enjoy eating out (no dishes!!!), now I have this weird craving for simple home-cooked meals such as this nourish bowl with black rice, roasted veggies, and eggs with toasted sesame seeds. I made a variation of this nourish bowl a long time ago as a measure of cleaning out the fridge but the combination was simply satisfying and oddly nourishing, I knew I had to share this and call it 'Nourish bowl'.There is really no exact recipe for the Nourish Bowl but rather an inspiration/suggestion on how to create an easy, nutritious dish. Nourish bowl starts with black rice (or any other type of rice/quinoa) that is cooked in fragrant spices/curry leaves/onions. If you are new to black rice - it's 'glutinous/sticky' rice used mainly for desserts but if texture is not an issue (such as in this bowl), it works beautifully even in savory dishes. Besides being a good source of carbohydrates, black rice is rich in antioxidant 'anthocyanin' due to its bluish/black color and does have some protein, fiber, and iron which is pretty comparable to brown rice. Black rice takes little longer to cook compared to white rice but rinsing and soaking them ahead of time can reduce the cooking time. As a general rule, black rice should be cooked with two cups of water to every one cup of rice, and it will need to cook for 20 to 30 minutes after soaking, or up to 60 minutes if you cook unsoaked rice. The cooked rice should be soft, yet chewy. Black rice can be cooked alone in water/broth but if you have whole spices like coriander, black pepper, carom, and cumin, fry them with onion and curry leaves till they become fragrant. It adds a depth of flavor and also boosts the nutritional content of the overall dish. All these different spices have been used extensively since the ancient times in both cooking and for medicinal purposes.While the rice is cooking, roast seasonal veggies of your choice with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Besides Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, some of my favorite veggies are roasted cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, squash, bell pepper, and mushroom. Did I mention that you can cook rice and roast veggies ahead of time? Just remember to store them separately and reheat them right before serving. A balanced plate consists of some sort of carbs, lean protein, and good fats - our body needs each of those components to keep our health and well-being in check. So don't be afraid of carbs or skimp on good fats, and be sure to load up on veggies! Once upon a time, eggs were a big n0-no due to it's high cholesterol content. However, after 25 years of research it has become quite evident that cholesterol in food is not the culprit -- saturated fat has a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol. Eggs are pretty economical and nutritious as they provide 75 calories, a whopping 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat (1.6 grams of saturated fat) along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. If you feel overwhelmed trying to decide which egg to purchase, I suggest you get yourself acquainted with these terms (organic/pasture-raised/vegetarian fed etc). Top the rice and roasted veggies with either a poached or fried egg then sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds which is another nutritional powerhouse.
January is a peak time for everyone to eat balanced, clean meals and jump start the overall health. I just want to remind everyone to please take baby steps, set yourself some realistic goals, and don't waste your time and money on cleansing/fad diets because come February you will be back to square one. Instead stock up on real, unprocessed food, cook often, and incorporate some sort of physical activity on a daily basis.
How was your holiday?
Do you have goals this year? If so, would you like to share some?