Forbidden Rice & Vegetable Bowl

Exotic spices from Northern Africa and the Middle East such as Tunisian & Rosey Harissa, Smoked Paprika and Turmeric create bold flavor in this beautiful bowl of black rice, golden raisins, beets, cauliflower, carrots, pomegranates and pistachios. These spice blends are readily available in most grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s, Sprouts or Whole Foods in the spice aisle.

This is one incredible dish that I am very happy to share with you. You can serve it hot or at room temperature. Just cook the rice, sauté the veggies and throw it all on a big platter with a lemony dressing, crunchy nuts and delicate pomegrante seeds.

My Forbidden Rice Bowl is filled with cancer fighting foods such as beets, black rice, mushrooms, red cabbage, dates and asparagus. I packed it with absolutely every food I could think of to heal the body. Then I added a blend of incredible and exotic spices that when combined, fight inflammation, heart disease and potentially-cancer cells.

Black rice is filled with the higest amounts of fiber, anti oxidents and protein of any rice. See 2018 study here.

Do NOT be intimidated by the long list of ingredients or spices. Think of that line from Pirates of the Caribbean, “they’re more like guidelines.”

The spice blends I chose,Tunisian and Rosey Harissa, are readily available in most grocery stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods.

They add complex flavors without being overly spicy. The Rosey Harissa I adore- it has actual tiny rose petals in it.

Don’t be afraid to spice up your spice cabinet this year and try out these new ingredients.

Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Rosey Harissa, ground ginger and kosher salt are the start of my spice blend for this beautiful salad

The beets are pre-cooked and peeled.

Yes- no peeling!

They are so tiny and adorable. All you need to do is quarter them and toss them in the pan with a little olive oil.

I found a wonderful brand at Sprouts called Love Beets and these beets are flavored with delicate briny vinegar. This makes the recipe sweet and sour.

Trust me- you will love it.

Take some time chopping all your veggies. Sauté them up in batches so they brown and do not steam. Give those spices time to bloom in the pan.

I hope you give this dish a try. Here’s to good health and fantastic food.


Fobidden Rice & vegetable Bowl – serves 4

  • 1 cup black or Forbidden Rice

  • 1 3/4 cup water

  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

  • 2 pitted dates, sliced into slivers

  • 4 TBSP pomegranate seeds ( also called “arils”) , divided

  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices on the diagonal
    1 cup yellow onion, diced

  • 8-9 stalks of asparagus, cut into 3″ pieces on the diagonal

  • 3 large portabello mushroom caps, stemmed & sliced

  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage, sliced
    1 -8 oz package of peeled cooked baby beets in vinegar- this is the brand I use.

  • 1/4 cup pistachios

  • 3-4 tsp Rosey Harissa– a Midle Eastern spice blend of Chili pepper, parika, rose petals, other spices, sound flower oil, garlic and salt, divided

  • 1 TBSP Tunisian Harissa– a Northern African spice blend of Cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, garlic, chili pepper, caraway, corinader, cumin, spearmint and lemon oil , divided

  • 1 heaping tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • For the Dressing:
  • fresh mint leaves- save several for the garnish

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • Olive oil

  • 1 tsp rosey harissa

  • 1 TBSP pomegrante seeds

  • 1/4 c honey

Adding the raisins while the rice cooks, plumps them up.
Add golden raisins to the rice while it cooks, then add in pomegranates arils and sliced dates.

Directions- Prep time- 30 minutes. Cooking Time- 45 minutes

  • Rinse the Forbidden rice with fresh tap water. Drain well.
    In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil. Pour in the forbidden rice and toast stirring constantly for 1 minute. Pour in 1 3/4 cups of water, the golden raisins and a pinch of kosher salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add in 1 tsp of the Rosey Harissa.
    Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. After 30 minutes, add in the
    slivered dates and 1 TBSP of pomegranate seeds.
    Remove from heat.
    Fluff with a fork and set aside covered to rest.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1-2 TBSP of olive oil over medium heat.

    Sauté the onion for 1-2 minutes to soften. Add in the cauliflower and carrots. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Season with 1/2 tsp EACH of Tunisian Harissa, Rosey Harissa, cumin, ginger and smoked paprika.

    Continue cooking until the vegetables have just browned and the spices are fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside to keep warm.
  • In the same pan, add 1-2 additional TBSP of olive oil.

    Stir in the mushrooms, cabbage and asparagus. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms begin to brown at the edges and the cabbage softens.

    Season as you did with the cauliflower and carrots- 1/2 tsp of EACH- Tunisian Harissa, Rosey Harissa, cumin, smoked paprika and ginger.
    Continue cooking for a few minutes more until the mushrooms have good brown color and the cabbage and asparagus is crisp tender. Remove from heat. Set aside and keep warm.
  • On medium low heat, add a final 1 TBSP of olive oil to the pan. Quarter the beets and sauté them for 1 -2 minutes with the salt and pepper until warmed through. Set aside and keep warm.
  • In a high speed blender, combine the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of honey, 1/2 cup olive oil, 5-6 mint leaves, pomegranate seeds and 1 tsp Rosey Harissa. Process until emulisifed and thick.

These colors are even more appetizing withthe addition of Tunisian Harissa- buy it HERE

To Assemble:

  • On a large platter, spread out the cooked forbidden rice. Top with the cauliflower and carrots followed by the mushrooms, asparagus and cabbage.
    Sprinkle with a bit of the dressing and lightly toss with salad forks. Top with pistachios and more pomegranate seeds and a light sprinkle of mint leaves .

    Serve with extra dressing on the side.
  • This beautiful salad is best served warm. However, it is extremely versatile and
    can be served at room temperature.
  • Store leftovers for up to three days in the fridge and re-heat in a microwave for 1 minute.
  • You can make the dish ahead of time up to Step 3. Do not add the dressing, nuts, pomegranates or mint until ready to serve.
  • For a vegan option to theis dish, just use Agave instead of honey in the dressing.

I love a pan full of colors
The floral and spices flavors create one exciting dish
It’s almost too beautiful to eat.

Chef’s Notes:

Black or Forbidden rice is available at Sprouts, Whole Foods, Publix, Safeway and online here

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One Comment