In yesterday’s post I was extolling the virtues of practicing clean eating as a means to lose weight, increase our energy and have overall improved health. Reducing our dependence on processed foods full of sugar, salt and preservatives, goes along way to preventing chronic diseases that can hobble us as we get older. And as we add in more locally grown, all natural food, our bodies easily adapt and become accustomed to the taste and flavors. Seriously, wouldn’t it be nice to crave healthy food instead of things full of fat and sugar?
In our house, my husband and I do a pretty good job of eating clean most of the time. Honestly, it’s hard to do it perfectly every day, but that’s really not the point. We use the 80-20 rule although I’m always trying to inch toward the 90-10 rule — 90% of the time we eat clean. In the end, it’s about adopting a clean eating lifestyle that you can maintain and that’s something that can evolve over time.
Here’s a super simple and tasty recipe that’s all about being clean, light and healthy. Made with brown rice and black beans, it contains complex carbohydrates to keep you energized, is low in fat and is flavorful. By using locally grown produce in it (like cilantro I’m growing in the backyard, and tomatoes), it has even more flavor. And if you find brown rice to be a little heavy, you can make it taste just as good by using quinoa instead.
Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad
½ tsp. salt
1 cup organic brown rice
2 cups water
1 cup chopped tomato
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. Fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. White wine vinegar
2 tbsp. Olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed well in a colander and well drained
1. In a small saucepan bring water to boil with salt and. Add rice, cover and cook for 40-50 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Rinse rice is a sieve under cold water and drain it well.
2. In a bowl, stir together the tomato, bell pepper, onion, vinegar, lime juice, olive oil and cilantro. Add the beans, rice and salt and pepper to taste and stir salad until it is combined well.
What’s your favorite way to make a summer salad that’s light and clean and will keep you energized? What have you done lately to practice clean eating that prevents disease, helps you manage your weight and is loaded with all the right nutrients?