Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s you have to make time to cleanse daily, packing in a lot of nutrients in a meal is essential for me. It’s so easy to slip into December habits of indulgence and that’s understandable, but be sure you’re giving your body what it needs to recover and keep your immune system strong – studies show that good nutrition, lots of veggies is the best way to boost immune function (more than your vitamin C & zinc supplements). Add black rice for an antioxidant boost and lentils for plant-based protein. I like to dress with an additional squueze of lemon and generous drizzle of avocado or olive oil
Kale & Black Rice Salad
Black Rice & Lentil
½ cup black rice (preferably soaked 3-4 hours before cooking)
½ cup green lentils
2 cups water
pinch sea salt
3 cardamom pods
1 small eggplant, cubed
½ tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground chili
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
juice of 1 lemon
3 T. olive oil
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes (could also use squash)
1 bunch dinosaur kale, stems removed and finely chopped
½ avocado, pitted and sliced
1 small handful pumpkin seeds
5 dried apricots, chopped
Preheat the oven 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and drain rice and lentils. Then place in a saucepan, add 2 cups water, salt and cardamom pods, cover with a lid and bring to boil. Lower the heat and cook gently for about 30 minutes or until tender and all the water has been absorbed.
In a medium bowl, mix the cumin, chili, turmeric, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Toss the cubed eggplant (or squash) in the spice mixture, transfer to baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until soft on the inside and slightly browned on the outside.
Set both the black rice and lentil mix and the baked eggplant aside to cool. Prepare salad ingredients. Place the chopped kale in a medium serving bowl, add lemon juice and olive oil and massage the kale for a couple of minutes until soften.
Add all ingredients and toss to combine.