Bejeweled Forbidden Rice Salad

MAKES 6 SERVINGS • PREP TIME: 5 minutes (after soaking rice overnight) • COOK TIME: 30 minutes

This is certainly a case for visuals drawing you to the plate. Served with salmon, this rice—an indigo delight—pops like a painting, beckoning you to come closer, closer . . . and that first bite seals the deal. The rice and bell pepper play delightfully against the creaminess of the avocado, while the mint and cilantro roll all around your mouth like pinballs, blasting taste here, there, and everywhere. This salad enchants all the senses—and the rice is a whole grain as well, feeding the mind in more ways than one.

2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup forbidden rice
1/4 cup Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 scallion, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1 avocado, cut in 1/2-inch dice

In a 2-quart pot over high heat, combine 2 cups of water and the salt and bring to a boil, then stir in the rice. Cover, lower the heat to medium low, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, then check the rice. It should be tender, but still with a nice chew. Fluff the rice with a fork, then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool. Add the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Then mix in the celery, bell pepper, scallion, and mint. Top with avocado just before serving.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

MAKES ABOUT 1/2 CUP • PREP TIME: 5 minutes • COOK TIME: not applicable

1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lime zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all the ingredients in a small food processor and process about a minute, until smooth.

Cook's Notes: Cilantro tends to be a love-it-or-hate-it ingredient, and it turns out your opinion depends entirely on your DNA. Some folks have a gene that makes cilantro taste soapy, which makes it hard to become a fan of this healthful herb. If you’re looking to replace cilantro in a recipe, try Italian flat-leaf parsley—it’s a great power herb that will give you a similar nutritional wallop.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.