There’s a Mexican place near where I live that sells burritos, bowls, tacos and the like, and they have on their menu spirulina black rice. At first I balked at this, dismissing it as a marketing ploy, but of course I ordered it anyway… I forgot about it by the end of the meal as I didn’t really taste it, but thought about it later and decided I should experiment with it one day.
Black rice is a variety of rice that is super high in antioxidants – particularly anthocyanin, which help to protect our cells and fight off disease. It has comparable levels to blueberries, but with more fibre – how cool is that?! Plus it’s sleek ebony appearance makes it a little bit mysterious and exciting.
Spirulina is a form of blue-green algae, that is packed with minerals (especially iron and magnesium), protein, antioxidants and chlorophyll. So why shouldn’t they pair up together?
I like to make versions of this Mexi Bowl quite a lot – I’m a major fan girl of Mexican flavours and spices, and jalepenos. This one has a simple black bean and veggie mix, some greens and then of course the compulsory toppings. Unfortunately my quest to replenish my jalepeno stocks failed miserable today, so I’m replacing with plain ol’ green chilli. It’s not the same 🙁
Also, I have given you the ingredients for much more of the black bean mix than you will need for this dish, but it is always good to have leftovers in the fridge for lunch, or to use in tortillas or tacos, to serve alongside any favourite grain, or with eggs, or you can freeze it too. It might seem like a long list of ingredients, but mostly it’s spices which there is a good chance you have hiding in your cupboard.
Mexi Bowl with Spirulina Black Rice
Serves 2 (plus extra black bean mix)
1/3 cup black rice
1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 corn cob, kernels cut from the cob
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (approx 1 400g tin)
1 400g tin tomatoes
1/2 cup stock or broth
1/2 tsp dulse flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp spirulina powder
pinch of sea salt
A large handful of leafy greens
1 avocado, mashed
Jalepenos, fresh coriander and yoghurt or sour cream to serve
Rinse and then cook the black rice using the absorption method. It should take around half an hour, so keep an eye on it as you may need to add a little extra water if it’s boiling dry.
While this is cooking, in a separate saucepan add the onion and a little oil or ghee and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and all the spices and cook for another minute.
Add the corn, beans, tomato and stock to the mix and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Taste and add a little extra sea salt if necessary, depending on the saltiness of your stock.
Once the rice is cooked, you should have around 1 cup. Stir though the spirulina and a pinch of sea salt and taste. If you think you can add more spirulina, go for it! Personally, 1/4 tsp is about my limit in this. Remember that you are pairing it with other bits and bobs, so you won’t be eating this on it’s own, but it should still taste lovely.
Divide the rice and leafy greens between two bowls. Add some of the beany mix to each. Add a good squeeze of avocado to the mashed avocado and add to the bowl.
Finish with yoghurt, fresh coriander and loads of jalepenos!