Black Rice & Chickpea Pilaf

Sides & Dressings, Vegetarian, Gluten Free
45 mins 
Serves 4 
Gluten Free 
Dairy free 
Black rice is one of my favourite wholegrains as it looks and tastes fabulous, while nutritionally it is a winner. That wonderful purple-black colour comes from the polyphenols present. These along with the fibre mean that this is a great food for gut health and fuelling a healthy, diverse microbiome. In this piilaf I have teamed it with other great gut health foods, including chickpeas.

You can cook the rice ahead of time to make this recipe super quick. I do this in my Grain Master (or rice cooker) making it a cinch to do. Then you can use hot or cold into the pan with the sauteed vegies.

Serve alongside barbequed meats, a baked salmon fillet, grilled chicken or for a vegetarian or vegan meal, grilled marinated tofu. I like to add a green salad too as we should aim to include leafy greens every day.

Blocks per serve: 1 PLANT, 1/2 PROTEIN, 2 CARBS, 1 FAT
PER SERVE: Energy 1670kJ; Protein 12g; Total Fat 14g (saturated fat 2g, polyunsaturated fat 3g, monounsaturated fat 8g); Carbohydrate 50g; Fibre 9g


½ red onion, diced
130g mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Handful of thyme, leaves stripped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup black rice
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1 stock cube (or 2 cups fresh stock)


Step 1

=Rinse the black rice until water runs clear and then cook according to packet instructions adding the stock cube to the cooking water (or use 2 cups stock) – varieties differ for cooking times, but usually takes around 30-40 minutes.

Step 2

Once your rice is cooked, heat a large pan over moderate to high heat and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, turning down the heat if need be to avoid burning the onion.

Step 3

Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté for a few minutes before adding the garlic and thyme. Stir for a couple of minutes.

Step 4

Add the cooked black rice and stir to combine. Add the chickpeas, stir to combine, turn down the heat to ensure the bottom doesn’t burn and place a lid on the pan to heat through for a couple of minutes.

Step 5

Transfer to a serving dish and scatter with the almonds.