The whole Thanksgiving weekend was a delicious calorie binge-fest: extra helpings of buttery mashed potatoes and gravy, Ruth's Chris sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie for breakfast. You get the idea. But, guess what? I'm totally ok with it.
Aside from being gluten free to help control allergies, I don't adhere to a specific diet. Some days I'll eat sweet potato fries from the local diner or have a huge handful of M&M's after dinner and dessert. Other days I'm so busy working out or taking care of Amy that I subsist on energy gels and coffee. But on most days I'm somewhere in between. I graze through the day eating a mix of generally healthy foods. I've found that key is to not string together too many of those indulgent days OR too many of those calorie deficient days. Too many of either is a recipe for disaster, always leaving me feeling like an unmotivated mess with no energy.
So when I returned to normal life after Thanksgiving, I needed to balance out the binge with a few days of lighter meals. This rice salad served just that purpose. I used black rice because it has flavor on its own and doesn't need a lot of heavy dressing or sauce to taste good. It also happens to be full of antioxidants. Edamame provides some meat-free protein and clementines add a fresh element and a little sweetness. We ate this salad for dinner, along with some roasted delicata squash. The leftovers went into mason jars for lunches the next day.
Black Rice Salad with Clementines and Edamame
1.5 cups black rice
1.5 cups shelled edamame**
3/4 cup fresh curly parsley, chopped
1 large red pepper, finely chopped
3 clementines (or 1 regular orange), each section cut in half
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from half of a lemon)
1 tablspoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ginger, powedered
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Cook the rice in a rice cooker or follow the instructions on the package to cook on the stovetop. This can be done ahead of time.
In the bottom of a large bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Add the edamame, red pepper, parsley and clementines and stir to coat. Mix in cooked rice and finish with a few grinds of black pepper.
**since edamame usually comes frozen, rinse them under hot water to defrost before adding them to the salad.