Chia-Rice Salad

1/2 cup chia gel (see note)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon minced, fresh rosemary or oregano leaves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups cooked brown rice (long-grain, basmati or short-grain)
1 small zucchini, julienned
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the chia gel, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, herbs and cayenne. Whisk until well-blended. (Or put ingredients into a tightly closed jar and shake vigorously to mix.)

In a large bowl, combine the rice, vegetables and Parmesan cheese, if using. Pour dressing over rice mixture, combining gently and thoroughly. Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: To make chia gel, pour 1 cup cool water into a sealable plastic or glass container. Slowly pour 1 3/4 tablespoons chia seeds into water while briskly mixing with wire whisk. Wait for 3 or 4 minutes, then whisk again. Let mixture stand for about 10 minutes before whisking again. Store mixture in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

— Recipe from "Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood," by Wayne Coates (Sterling Publishing, $17.95).

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