Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
~ Mother Teresa
I recently reconnected with an old friend that I haven’t seen in years. Running into her was such a fabulous surprise! We’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Between our children, careers and lives, so much has changed over the years, yet our bond picked right up where it left off. She had taken a peek at my blog and the next time I saw her, she had some of the sweetest things to say about it. So, today, as I worked to edit images that just didn’t seem to be coming together, my frustration grew and I questioned my abilities. My friend’s words seemed to tap me on the shoulder. The encouragement that they brought truly made me feel empowered and revived my self-confidence. Words can do that.
With so much negativity and criticism in our lives, online and in the media, I just thought it was so important to share this small, sweet act of a dear friend that made a huge impact on me. We all have the power to easily encourage each other. Unfortunately, we either say nothing at all, or feel a need to voice our opinions without much regard for how our words, or lack thereof, affect others. And really, throwing around icky bad stuff, is bound to hit us in the face at some point, right?
Those difficult-to-edit images? You’re looking at them right now. Black rice on a black background shot on a cloudy day. Hmmmm. Not sure what I was thinking. I’m going to be honest and tell you that this salad was so delicious, I couldn’t stop eating as I was shooting it. So, I’m blaming my judgement on gastronomic bliss!
Black rice is wonderfully nutritious. It’s loaded with anthocyanin antioxidants, like those found in blueberries, plus it is high in fiber, Vitamin E, protein and is lower in carbs than white rice. Black rice has an amazingly nutty flavor. I find it so much more flavorful than even brown rice. It’s definitely going to be on my table more often. It works so well in this tabbouleh, plus with added chickpeas, tangy feta cheese and crunchy, salty pistachios, how can you go wrong? This salad is so filling and satisfying, you’ll love it for a no-cook summer dinner.
So, be kind and give someone a lift with your encouraging words today. You never know the lasting impact they’ll have…on others and yourself.
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water (add a few pinches of sea salt if using water)
- 1 cup black rice
- juice of one lemon or about ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
- ½ seedless English cucumber, finely chopped
- ½ large red bell pepper, finely chopped
- ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup roasted salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- 4 to 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (omit to keep this vegan)
- In a medium saucepan, over high heat, bring the vegetable broth and rice to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes. Keeping the pot covered, remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool completely.
- Combine the lemon juice, salt and pepper, sumac, cumin and olive oil in a small bowl. Whisk together and allow to sit.
- In a very large bowl, combine all of the veggies from the tomatoes to the chickpeas. Top with the cooled rice and the dressing. Toss to combine then top with the pistachios and feta.
Sumac gives the dressing a citrusy flavor. I love it and use it often. You’ll find it in any Middle Eastern grocery store. You can certainly omit it if you can’t find it.