Friday, June 15, 2012

Simple Sides: Coconut Brown Rice


Here's another simple side dish that's easy to learn and makes a great compliment to spicy entrees, if you don't devour alone it before getting dinner on the table! Sometimes people think brown rice is too difficult to cook or doesn't have enough flavor. Hopefully this dish will prove that you can make brown rice just as flavorful and interesting as any other rice dish, while getting so many more nutrients in your body. I will say that it took me awhile to adjust to the nuttier texture of brown rice, but it didn't take long before I actually began to prefer it over white rice. If you can find it, Jasmine brown rice is an excellent choice and I've found that it cooks a little bit faster than regular brown rice. If you'd prefer to cut some of the calories in the recipe below, substitute light coconut milk for a slightly less creamier dish.

Coconut Brown Rice

Ingredients:
2 c. Jasmine brown rice*
1 can coconut milk
2 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled & minced
2 T. coconut oil (or olive oil)
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
Juice & zest of one lime
Salt & pepper, to taste
Shredded coconut (optional)

Servings: Makes approximately 4 cups cooked rice
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 45 min
Equipment Needed: Large sauce pan (2 qt is sufficient)


Before beginning, rinse your rice with cool water, this helps remove extra starch and any foreign particles. Heat pan to medium and add oil. Once hot, saute ginger and garlic until fragrant, 2 -3 minutes.


Add rice and gently toast for a couple minutes, while stirring.


Add coconut milk & broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover pot and allow rice to cook for 45 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Do not open the lid to check on the rice while it's cooking, this releases heat and affects the cooking process. 


Rice will be soft with a slightly creamy coating of coconut milk when done. Remove from heat and allow rice to sit for 5 minutes. Stir in the lime zest, lime juice and cilantro, and if desired a little salt and pepper to taste. Finish with shredded coconut if desired.


The rice keeps well in the fridge for a few days, just reheat leftovers with a little coconut oil or olive oil in a saucepan.

For a variation on the above recipe, try adding a teaspoon or two of turmeric powder to the rice while toasting it in the pan!