Eating healthy does not always mean feeding on the same old-fashioned salad and boiled vegetables. In fact, I recently discovered a new card on the diet table - Wild Rice! For those who have never seen it, purple rice is one of the several varieties of colored rice. Anthocyanins are the color pigments that give many foods their deep rich red, blue, and purple colors. The risk of several chronic health conditions, including atherosclerosis, is also lowered by regular consumption of such foods. They have a slightly nutty flavor that might need some getting used-to, but their distinct color and nutritive content far outweigh this fact, making them a great addition to salad recipes. I added some cooked garbanzo beans, and some onions, walnuts and tomatoes to make this delicious Wild Rice Salad which could very well be served as a side dish.
Wild Rice Salad with Chickpeas
2 cups wild rice - cooked
1 cup garbanzo beans
2 tbsp red or white onions - chopped
3 green onions - sliced
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup firm tomatoes - chopped
2 green chillies - chopped
Salt and pepper - to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
fresh cilantro - to garnish
Heat half of the olive oil in a small skillet on medium high heat. Add the chopped onions and saute till mildly soft and brown in color. Next add the garbanzo beans and add about 2 tbsp water. Then add the cooked wild rice, salt, pepper and green chillies and let it cook for about 5-7 mins. Once done, let the rice cool to room temperature.
Whisk together the remaining olive oil and red wine vinegar to make the dressing.
In a large bowl, gently mix together the cooled cooked rice, green onions, chopped tomatoes, walnuts and the dressing. Garnish with some chopped cilantro, and serve the Wild Rice salad as a healthy and delicious side dish!
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