Red Camargue rice is definitely my amazing #gofaster grain for 2015! Readily-available in most supermarkets, with a rusty-brown colour, sweet, nutty flavour and soft texture, it contains a whopping 72 grams of slow-release, sustaining carbohydrate per 100 grams, plus 7 grams of protein, plenty of fibre, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, calcium and iron, making it an ideal grain to fuel your training, especially if you’re clocking up the LSRs (long, slow runs) for a spring marathon. Or just try it as an alternative to white rice in your everyday cooking. It goes well with chicken and fish, but I think it really comes into its own combined with roasted vegetables. I’ve listed some here, but you could use butternut squash, beetroot, or quite frankly whatever is in the house. I add the chickpeas just to add extra nutritional clout, as well as a bit more bulk, to fill up the ravenous runners, cyclists and teenagers in the house!
- Prep time – 10 mins
- Cook time – 40 mins
- 250g red Camargue rice
- 1 stock cube (chicken or vegetable)
- 2 courgettes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2 sweet potatoes
- A handful of small radishes, topped & tailed
- 1 onion, peeled
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled & roughly crushed
- 1 red chilli, deseed and chopped finely
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed with a pestle and mortar
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed with a pestle and mortar
- ½ tsp hot smoked paprika
- Plenty of salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- Large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped roughly
- Handful of pumpkin seeds
- 100g feta cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 180°C gas mark 6.
- Cook the red rice according to the instructions on the pack. Add the stock cube during cooking.
- While the rice is cooking, chop up the vegetables into 2-3 cm chunks and put them in a bowl with the olive oil, the garlic, the chilli, the spices and plenty of salt and pepper so that the vegetables are coated with the oil mix.
- Lay the vegetables on a large baking tray and roast them in the oven for about 40 minutes, until they start to caramelise. Stir in the chickpeas after about 20 minutes.
- When both the rice and the vegetables are ready, toss the two together on the baking tray with the balsamic vinegar, check for seasoning, and serve on warmed plates with the chopped parsley, pumpkin seeds and crumbled feta cheese.