This mouthwatering Edamame and Red Rice Salad is beautiful, easy to prepare and very healthy. The red rice adds fiber and antioxidants; and contrasts nicely with the green edamame (soybeans). Soybeans are one of the few plant foods that contain all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. I’ve prepared this dish many times for corporate wellness events and it’s always a big hit.

Regarding some the ingredients: Try to use organic soybeans since 80-90% are GMO. You can buy red rice (aka red cargo rice) at Whole Foods or Asian grocery stores. Nothing beats fresh lime juice so try to avoid the bottled concentrate. I use a microplane to mince the garlic and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. Why? When garlic is cut or crushed, an enzyme produces allicin, an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory compound that may reduce your risk for atherosclerosis (arterial plaque) and decrease blood pressure. Finally, my favorite brand of sesame oil is Kadoya from Japan. Some chain stores stock it but you can always find it at an Asian grocery store where it will be a lot cheaper.

**TIP** Cook the red rice in a pressure cooker! One part rice to 1.5 parts water, cover, bring to pressure, reduce heat, cook for 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let it stand for 20-30 minutes. Make extra and freeze.

1 cup long grain red rice, uncooked
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
1 cup diced red bell pepper (1 med. bell pepper) or shredded carrots
3 green onions, sliced
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

Cook red rice in a rice cooker, saucepan or pressure cooker (see TIP above). Let it cool completely or make in advance and refrigerate before making the salad.

To make the dressing, whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl.

To make the salad, in a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, edamame, shredded carrots, green onions and fresh chopped cilantro. If made ahead, recombine before serving. Can be served cold, at room temperature or even hot.

Makes 10 servings.

Nutritional information*: Calories 87.9, Total Fat 4.5 g, Saturated Fat 0.4 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 297.7 mg, Potassium 79.9 mg, Total Carbohydrates 9.6 g, Fiber 1.8 g, Protein 2.4 g.
*SparkPeople® recipe calculator

©Mindful Eating, Michelle Sugiyama, 2014