Variety is the spice of life. It is possibly the best spice in the kitchen, too.
You can probably tell I like to experiment in my kitchen… so many great recipes to try and share. So many new things to explore.
You’d think I’d run out of repertoire. Me, too. Not yet, at least.
Case in point. I made yet another new hummus. This time I shunned the chickpea and traded it for roasted carrots. I kept my favourite hummus classics: fresh lemon juice (with a strong flavour from the zest, too), garlic and tahini. Smoked paprika and cumin for more depth of flavour. This is a very creamy dip. Lip-smacking good.
Faced with some leftover hummus after a party, I decided to turn it into a thick dressing for my salad. My last carrot (ginger sesame) dressing was paired with quinoa, avocado and tomato. This time, I juxtaposed it against black rice, tomatoes, baby greens and fresh herbs.
A note on black rice, possibly one of my favourite rices to date. When I cut fruit out on my sweetener-free challenge, I knew I was going to miss some of the many benefits from eating whole fruits: fiber, vitamins and anti-oxidants. This was how I stumbled upon black rice, also known as purple rice or forbidden rice. It has a lovely short-grain rice feel similar to my favourite medium-grain brown rice with the added bonus of more protein and more anti-oxidants. Turns out that colourful is better for you, especially when talking about rice. I liked that the black rice wasn’t too sticky and had great flavour naked. As such, it was fun to throw it into this salad.
I ended up tossing it with an herbed spring mix (a mix of baby greens that includes dill, cilantro and parsley), which I thought brought this to the next level. Not the greens, but the herbs. I keep forgetting how simple herbs can totally elevate a dish from ho-hum to hoo-ya! Just a dash of fresh herbs was enough and in truth, the herb that stood out and complemented the salad best was the dill.
After I ate this salad, I had a bit of tummy rumblings. My Mom asked me what new foods I had eaten lately. Everything I eat is new. (Actually, at first I said nothing. Nothing crazy new) Except for the leftover hummus, everything else was new. It was my first time trying black rice and the herbed lettuce greens. Furthermore, I drank a mamey shake, too. Exciting times at the beginning of the week! ;)
Pinpointing culprits when eating fresh foods can be a challenge for me without a lot of sleuthing. Mostly free of FODMAPs other than the garlic, I don’t think that’s the problem. A repeat salad had no problems so who knows what it was. Perhaps the chocolate walnut dessert from the night before? Probably. Too many walnuts? Who knows… it isn’t a problem now. ;)
Here’s to more black rice. Have you tried it yet?
Roasted Carrot Hummus Salad with Black Rice, Tomatoes and Dill
1. Cook your rice.
2. Make your hummus.
3. Plate lettuce mix at the bottom of your bowl. Top with cooked rice, tomatoes and a dollop of roasted carrot hummus.
Roasted Carrot Hummus
Adapted from Enlightened Cooking
1 lb carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup tahini
juice and grated zest of 2 medium lemons (around 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice)
3/4 cup nondairy milk (I used drinkable coconut milk)
1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 450F. In a roasting pan or cookie sheet lined with a silpat, place carrots and garlic. Dab coconut oil overtop and place in oven until melted, around 5 minutes. Stir to combine over vegetables, sprinkle with cumin and spread evenly in a single layer. Cook carrots until brown and tender, around 25-35 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
2. In a food processor (I used my high-speed blender with a damper), combine the cooked carrots and garlic along with the salt, tahini, lemon juice and zest, milk, and smoked paprika. Blend until smooth. Add more milk to achieve desired consistency and season to taste.
Makes 2 cups.