~This recipe was the weekly Petit Plaisir inspired by the topic discussed in episode #234 of the podcast – Becoming Your Best Self: Embracing the Transformation Process
Last week I was exhausted and happy all at the same time, and of course, I was also hungry. It was Wednesday, and as many of you know, Tuesday is the day of the week new books drop. Michelle Obama’s new memoir had arrived at my house the day before, and I was eager to settle in and begin reading. I also wanted to have something delicious, but simple to eat. So as I shared in my Instagram pic above, the night involved two pleasures, a good book and a simple, yet luxurious meal – Chicken Parmesan and Toasted Forbidden Rice (aka Black Rice), and yes, a little bit of white wine as well.
Many readers, after having shared images and one video from my kitchen while making it, asked for the recipe for both, and so below you will find the recipe for Parmesan Chicken and Toasted Forbidden/Black Rice (along with all of its health benefits). As well, many readers were curious about cooking with this new-to-them grain, and so I am happy to share how I was introduced to it and why I cook and enjoy it quite often.
My introduction to black rice was on the Oregon coast during one of my relaxing stays at Gearhart Ocean Inn at the local and acclaimed seafood restaurant Pacific Cafe.
The black rice was silky, flavorful and a bed for the freshly caught halibut that punctuated a very memorable first getaway with my dogs to the Oregon Coast (not my first, but my first with my boys – you can see our full excursion here).
Since that meal, I have been purchasing black rice as a regular staple in my home épicerie, and have also learned of its many health benefits which further strengthen my preference for black rice over all other rice.
Did you know that black rice has the highest amount of antioxidants than any other rice variety? It is also a great source for iron, is naturally gluten-free, can help reduce heart disease and is a great source of fiber. Phew! That is an abundance of awesome reasons to enjoy this grain. (Learn more here.)
With all of that said, I usually keep it pretty simple in the kitchen when I make a side of black rice. Whether I make it as a bed for salmon, sole Meunière or Parmesan chicken as seen above, it tastes wonderful toasted in a little butter, finished with a little butter and flavored with a pinch of salt. That’s it!
Below you will find the recipe for both Toasted Forbidden Rice and Parmesan Chicken, a regular weekly protein option I gravitate toward that offers flavor and simplicity. Paired together along with a side of roasted vegetables, it is hard to beat this easy meal that provides a balanced source of nutrients.
~Regarding Becoming by Michelle Obama, a lovely article was shared in The Washington Post about her mother Marianne Robinson which is worth checking out. During a recent interview with CBS’s Gayle King, when asked what made her the proudest about her daughter, Robinson stated, “When I grow up I would like to be like Michelle Obama.” And Michelle’s response to hearing her mother’s words of praise is priceless as well. Read it all here.