Forbidden Rice and a Hearty Autumn Buddha Bowl with Mags’ Special Sauce

I finally managed to get my hands on the elusive forbidden rice (also known by the more pedestrian term, “black rice”) and have spent quite a bit of time online trying to figure out how to cook it perfectly.


It’s quite expensive, so I didn’t want to ruin the first few attempts. The package contained no cooking directions, and my online research produced contradictory advice. What I did learn was that forbidden rice does not absorb water in the same way that other rice does, so if you add too much, it ends up in a watery mess. Also, it’s apparently best to cook it with broth, which is what I did:

Forbidden Rice

1 cup forbidden rice

1.5 cups broth

Rinse the rice for several minutes in running water in a colander (this step is essential). Combine in the rice cooker and, once cooked, let it sit on the warm setting for fifteen minutes.

Forbidden rice is remarkably sturdy–you can heat it up the next day with no texture loss. Just add a couple of tablespoons of water and microwave for two minutes.

It is really good too–my new favourite rice!

Plus, it’s VERY good for you because it apparently contains extremely high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin. It’s called “forbidden rice” because in ancient China only royalty and the very wealthy were permitted to grow and consume it. Read all about it here: Forbidden Rice.

I wanted to use the rice in a Buddha bowl (remember the components of the bowl: a green, a bean, a grain, a sauce) and have been craving the Tali sauce  of The Whole Bowl fame, which I’ve attempted several times. I took another whack at it today, and the result is Uh-mazing!

As my sister would say about things she likes, “It is SO good. It is just SO, SO good.”

It’s quite a deviation from the original though, so I’m going to call it…

Mags’ Special Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soft tofu
  • 1/2 cup almonds (soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water for a few minutes)
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 TBS tahini
  • 2 TBS miso
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup water (use the water from the soaked almonds)

Add 1 tsp each of the following spices:

  • turmeric
  • curry powder
  • chili powder
  • cayenne
  • onion powder


Blend until smoooooooth. The texture should be more like a thick hummus or dip than a sauce.


So I grilled some broccoli and Brussels sprouts and created a perfectly delicious…

Autumn Buddha Bowl

  • 1/2 cup cooked forbidden rice
  • 1.5 cups grilled broccoli florettes
  • 1.5 cups halved, grilled Brussels sprouts
  • 2 sliced button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup Mags’ Sauce

Top with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds and white sesame seeds.


20/10: would do again in a New York minute!!

Oh, and I’ve become addicted to the oddest “tea” (if you can call it that!). It’s just a chunk of fresh ginger root, a chunk of fresh turmeric and a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper. It’s weirdly delicious and refreshing. The purpose of the black pepper is to boost the effects of the turmeric, but it makes the brew even better!


Fortunately, my Libre thermal tea glass has a screen at the top, so I can leave the chunks in as I sip and I don’t end up with a chunk of turmeric in my mouth.

And the song of the day is Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea Hotel #2” because James has been playing it on his guitar while I write this post:

Oh, and one more thing! I’ve been using this great new (free!) app called “The Daily Dozen” created by Dr. Michael Gregor (my plant-based guru). Dr. Gregor recommends eating a dozen specific things every day, and the app just allows you to tick things off on your phone as you go about your day:


Update on the Forbidden Rice:

We’re going off island tomorrow to grocery shop and have run out of most of our vegetables, so the bowl I made for lunch was just a bean, a grain, and a sauce….no greens, except a sprinkling of chopped cabbage and onion and a garnish of chopped black olives. It was delicious, buuuuut I ended up using black rice, black beans, and black olives. The result, according to James, was rather funereal. HA! I can see now that forbidden rice may not always be the appropriate choice…in a visual sense, anyway!HzvBb5MXp825dcj3Ynx_WKfH9TFkzHz6w6T0Z6yDSMLruDoc6x-noYGtYJi4ja1yfboZL_NGbw=w758-h728-no.jpg

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