THIS SIMPLE AND HEALTHFUL MEAL IS TYPICAL of how we eat most of the time in the summer. We love fresh vegetables. We love brown rice. We love cheese. The black olives, roasted red pepper, and toasted pumpkin seeds please the eye and palate and make the dish more satiating.
A word or two about brown rice. I don't really care that much for the commercially available packaged brown rice found in typical grocery stores. When purchased from a Natural Foods Market, it can often be found in bulk bins. There, it will be fresher, organic, tastier, and less expensive. You will most likely be given a choice of long, medium, or short grain.
How do you choose? In my experience, long grain brown rice cooks up fluffier, medium grain is stickier, and short grain is creamier. Some nutritionists recommend using the fluffier long grain rice in summer and the creamier ones in cooler weather. I almost always choose medium grain and that is what is pictured here.
This was our first time experiencing Halloumi Cheese, which the package described as the "Grilling Cheese of Cyprus". I think my husband was somewhat dubious about it because it was squeaky on the teeth. I believe he felt the texture was a little suspect. He even asked, "What kind of animal is this from"? (Answer: Sheep).
Myself, I loved it and I will buy it and use it again. Pritchard Parker will be more receptive next time--it was just not what he expected. But it was exceptionally delicious!
For the greens, I used kale, one bunch of red kale and one of lacinato. Here they are going for a little swim in my sink. After the greens were washed and dried, I massaged them with lemon juice, sea salt, and olive oil as I did in my Massaged Kale Salad.
Brown Rice Bowl with Grilled Halloumi Cheese and Massaged Kale
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
2 bunches kale
Juice of 1 lemon
1 red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
1 cup (approx.) black olives
8 oz. Halloumi cheese
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Place rice and water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat to a bare simmer, and cook for 50-55 minutes. Stir and taste rice. If needed, add about 5 more minutes cooking time. Remove from heat and keep covered.
Wash and dry kale. Remove large stems, cut or tear into bite-sized pieces, and place into a large bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and squeeze on the lemon juice. Drizzle with olive oil. Massage for 5 minutes, until desired tenderness,
Cut the cheese into 8 slices. Saute in a little olive oil, over medium heat, until golden on each side.
Arrange the rice, kale, cheese slices, peppers, and olives on a plate or salad bowl. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. If desired, sprinkle a little tamari or soy sauce on the rice.