I’m a big fan of salads, especially when I’m in a bit of a rush to eat something fast, but I’m also conscious of making a salad interesting and thinking outside of the box.
A salad doesn’t have to be a bowl of leaves. For me, it’s the chance to throw a bunch of goodness into a bowl, mix it all together and play around with flavours and textures. The combinations really are endless and per my lentil and butternut squash salad posted earlier in my blog, the heartier the better.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the mighty leaf and all of the varieties of lettuce, rocket, spinach and herbs that can make the base of a salad, but I generally prefer to use them as an addition as opposed to a base. This way, I feel like I’m actually eating a meal and feel satisfied afterwards as opposed to just filling myself up for an hour or so.
One of my favourite grains is forbidden black rice. The flavour is delicious and it’s packed with nutrients so that’s what makes the base of this delicious salad bowl.
I make it all ahead of time and make extra so that it’s had time to cool before eating and making sure there’s extra left over for at least another meal or two.
So, to make this hearty bowl, you will need:
- 200g Black Rice
- 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
- 1t Paprika
- 1T Turmeric
- 1t Oregano
- Olive Oil
- 10 Cherry or Plum Tomatoes
- 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
- 1T Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 Handful Rocket
- 1/2 Tin Chickpeas
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Chili Flakes
- Salt & Pepper
- Start by rinsing the rice and setting it to boil in a medium pot of salted water. It will take about 25 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160C.
- Slice, dice or chop your sweet potato however you’d like – I always leave the skin on as it adds nutrients and I enjoy the texture.
- Add it into a mixing bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika, oregano and turmeric, a good pinch of salt & pepper and toss to coat.
- Pour into a baking pan or onto a baking sheet and place in the oven for about 45 minutes.
- Slice the tomatoes lengthways and lay onto a baking sheet with the seeds facing upwards. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. If you have some fresh thyme or even dried, add a sprinkle of this for another burst of flavour.
- Place into the oven with the sweet potatoes after 15 minutes of cooking so they will be ready at the same time.
- Meanwhile, mix together about 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, as much Chili as you fancy and combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside for a minute.
- Once the potato and tomatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- When you are ready, add into a mixing bowl everything apart from the rocket unless you’re going to eat / serve the whole recipe in one sitting (this will keep for a couple of days in the fridge, but the dressing will make the rocket soggy so best to add this to each serving separately.
- Combine and plate up the desired amount. Toss the rocket directly into the bowl you’re going to eat from and enjoy.
- If you’re not dairy free, feel free to add a sprinkling of feta on top or any other cheese you might enjoy, but I really don’t think it needs it!