quinoa + black rice bowl


you’re probably noticing that the ingredient list for this recipe is really long.  you may be thinking that you don’t have enough time to make it.  but there isn’t that much prep work, and all the sautéing doesn’t take much time at all.  all-in-all you’ll be eating this rice bowl in a little over an hour.  another awesome thing about this dish is that you can change the ingredients around, and still have the flavors marry well with the sauce.


the original recipe called for brown rice and red quinoa. however, i chose use black rice instead of brown, and regular quinoa instead of red.  i chose black rice because while brown rice is good for you, black rice has a whole load of antioxidants that brown rice doesn’t. plus, i think it looks prettier in the dish.  i chose regular quinoa because it’s all i had in the kitchen.  i also chose to use swiss chard in place of kale.  kale is everywhere this time of the season, i think it’s the only thing that actually grows around here in the winter.  i always try to use ingredients that are in season, but kale and i do not agree, hence, the chard.  additionally, i could see spinach, bok choy, or dandelion, or beet greens as a substitute in this dish.  i also added the toasted sesame seeds – in my humble opinion no salad is ever complete without some toasted nuts or seeds.  plus, i thought they would play off nicely with the ingredients as well as add some crunch and nuttiness.  lastly, i adjusted the sauce a bit.  the recipe called for a 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice to a 1/4 cup tahini.  after mixing the two i thought it was way too tart, so i cut the quantity of lemon juice in half.  i would taste as you go, and adjust the sauce to your liking.


adapted from Gail Simmons for Food & Wine Magazine – March 2012

6 servings

:: for the bowl ::

1 cup black rice

1 cup quinoa

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, julienned

3/4 cup enoki, beech, and nameko mushrooms (or shiitake with caps thinly sliced)

1 small zucchini, julienned

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

fine grain sea salt

1 head of broccoli, de-stemmed and cut into small florets

4 large (or 8 small) swiss chard leaves, chopped

1 ripe avocado, sliced into chunks

1/2 cup mung bean sprouts

1 teaspoon toasted black sesame seeds


:: for the sauce ::

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

2-3 tablespoons warm water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper


:: directions ::

  • prepare a medium saucepan for the black rice.  prepare rice according to the directions given on the packaging
  • prepare another medium saucepan for the quinoa. prepare quinoa according to the directions given on the packaging
  • in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium.  once the pan is hot add the onion – cook until translucent (about 5-6 minutes)
  • add the carrot and cook for roughly 4 minutes – until they start to soften
  • add the mushrooms, cover and cook until tender – about 4 minutes
  • add the zucchini, season with salt (i used about 3 pinches).  cook 3-5 minutes, until tender
  • transfer to a bowl
  • add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet.  add the broccoli, cover and cook, stirring a few times, over medium heat.  cook for 5 minutes
  • add the swiss chard, cook and stir a few times – about 4 minutes
  • season with salt and stir into the other vegetable mixture


// for the sauce //

in a small food processor (you can also whisk the ingredients together, i only use the food processor because i like it super smooth) combine the tahini, garlic, olive oil, water, lemon juice, red pepper, and salt.  blend until combined and smooth

  • combine the quinoa and black rice in a large bowl – top with cooked vegetables
  • add the avocado, mung beans, and toasted sesame seeds
  • i wouldn’t recommend adding the tahini sauce all at one, rather, use it for individual portions

:: enjoy ::