My clients often ask me to show them how to make quick, easy and ‘clean’ dishes they can enjoy with their entire family. New cooks love to start with the classics they love, and who doesn’t love to make a rice dish? Rice always invokes comfort and this comfort food just got kicked up a notch. Think fresh flavor and lots of bright colors—no more bland, whitewashed rice; I’ve got a satisfying and simple Latin rice dish that can be put on the table in under thirty minutes. ¡Que rápido!

Rice is a Latin dietary staple and guava, a sweet, rich and juicy native Central American fruit. In this recipe for Black Rice & Guava Salad, I combine fresh guava with sweet basil and lime for a satisfying Latin spin on a traditional rice side dish. It’s a versatile dish you can prepare with your kids since the ingredients are easy to work with, easy to use and fresh. It’s also a great way to introduce them to new flavors from su país. Plus, guava is a nutritional powerhouse: it is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of vitamin A, C, folate, potassium, copper, manganese and fiber.

Use any leftover for guava from this recipe spread on soda crackers—the sweet and salty combination is delicious!

Read Related: Kids Corner: Tortilla de Calabacín • Zucchini Omelet

The color of black rice will excite kids—and adults alike—to try new foods and flavors. It is also rich in iron, fiber and antioxidants—another reason to dish it up! Leftovers can be used for rice-based desserts.  Serve this tropical rice dish with a side of chicken breast, black beans or flank steak for a robust and delicious meal that’s sure to please your entire family. Looking to serve leftovers for lunch tomorrow? No problem; wrap up the leftovers in a corn tortilla with salsa and guacamole. No matter how you serve it, this recipe is healthy but has the fun stuff inside that kids will love. There’s no added sugar in this vinaigrette but the coconut flakes will create a sweet snowflake topping that your kids will love to taste.

Serves: 4

1½ cups uncooked black rice
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, ends removed
1 Tbsp. fresh lime zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. shredded coconut
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 guava, peeled and diced

1. Cook black rice according to package.
2. Cut asparagus into ½- inch pieces.
3. In a large bowl, combine cooked rice, asparagus, lime zest, juice, basil, balsamic vinegar, scallions, coconut, sea salt and pepper; gently toss to combine. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from fridge; fold in guava; gently toss to combine. Drizzle with olive oil.
5. Serve chilled.