05 Mar 2016
Forbidden Black & Red Rice and Tomato Stuffed Eggplant
When you’re a FODMAP friendly vegan, rice should be one of your staple foods. The husk part of rice (which also just happens to be the most popular grain in the world) is considered to be one of the most effective medicines to treat dysentery, and may even have diuretic properties. Asian cultures have long believed rice has the ability to increase appetite, cure stomach ailments and reduces all digestive problems. As a diuretic, rice can help you lose excess water weight, eliminate toxins from the body like uric acid, and even lose weight, since approximately 4% of urine is actually made up of body fat! The high fiber content also increases bowel movement regularity and protects against various types of cancer, as well as reducing the chances of cardiovascular diseases.
But let’s face it … eating rice all day can be, well, bland. This is where Forbidden Foods steps in. One of my favourite Australian companies, Forbidden Foods specialize in a range of organic rice – beyond the common white and brown varieties, they also offer black, red, and green!! 🙂 Variety is the spice of life and despite being very similar in nutritional content, each variety of rice slightly differs in the amount of fibre, protein, texture, and flavour.
- Forbidden Black rice is a particularly rich source of antioxidants, iron, vitamin E, and is lower in sugar (and is therefore easier for a fructose-sensitive belly to digest) than berries, which have similar phytochemical qualities.
- Forbidden Red Rice is a long grain, basmati style red rice, originating from the Heilongjiang region of North-East China. Red rice is gaining popularity in the health food community for its unique taste, nutty texture and rich nutrient properties.
- Forbidden foods is also the only company in Australia to offer Green Rice, an organic short grain brown rice, infused with bamboo extract. Named after its appealing green appearance, green rice is flavourful, nutrition rich and easy to cook. The infusion of the bamboo extract gives the organic brown rice a lovely subtle green-tea flavour and aroma. This rice has a mild nutty texture and slightly sticky consistency (perfect for sushi or desserts).
This recipe really takes me back to my Latin roots. I’ve used a combination of black and red rice – so that the sticky quality of the black rice is nicely countered by the nutty texture and firmer consistency of the red rice. Both rice varieties soak up the rich tomato and olive sauce, and seep into the melting roasted eggplant to create soft, flavoursome, and easy-to-digest perfection. The fresh herbs serve to enhance the flavours of the fresh vegetables. Easy, hearty vegan food at its finest.
Makes: 4 servings
Time taken: 35 minutes
- 3kg large organic eggplants
- 600g organic ripe Roma tomatoes
(you can either pierce these with a fork to create a thick puree consistency, or grate them on the large holes of a box grater)
- ½ cup diced red capsicum
- ½ cup diced yellow capsicum
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup uncooked Forbidden Foods red rice
- ¼ cup uncooked Forbidden Foods black rice
- ½ cup finely chopped basil
- 3 tbsp finely chopped mint
- Juice of 2 lemons
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp coconut sugar
- ½ tsp allspice
- 3 tbsp organic (garlic & onion-free) tomato paste
- ¼ cup black olives, preferably pitted
- Himalayan salt & freshly ground pepper (if you can digest it) to taste
- Halve the eggplants with a sharp knife
- Sprinkle the eggplant shells with salt & allow to stand for 30 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients (this will remove some of the eggplants’ natural acidity)
- Chop the scooped out eggplant flesh & steam for approximately 15 minutes or until very tender
- In a large bowl, combine a third of the tomatoes, olives, diced capsicum, steamed eggplant, rice, olive oil, herbs & the juice of one of the lemons, season to taste
- Grease a large casserole dish with olive oil & preheat an oven to low heat (about 140 degrees)
- In the casserole dish, combine the remaining tomatoes, oil, spices, lemon juice & sugar
- Fill the eggplant shells with the rice mixture & arrange in the sauce-laden casserole dish in a single layer (leave some room between them)
- Add water to cover approx. 1/3 of the eggplant
- Place the casserole dish in the preheated oven & simmer in the sauce for 45 – 50 minutes until the eggplant & rice are tender
- Remove from the oven using 2 spatulas (remember the eggplant will be soft & easily dismantle) & transfer the eggplants to a platter
- If the sauce is not already thick (it should be), add more tomato and return the casserole dish to the oven until it become a thick puree consistency
- Pour the heated sauce over the eggplants & allow to cool to room temperature
- Note: this dish gets more delicious over time (as the flavor marinate the eggplant) – so leftovers (even cold leftovers) are great! Simply keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Happy Nourishing 😀