Coconut rice

Finally the end of the Easter break. Three and a half weeks of fun, fun, fun, but The Boys and I were just a little bit pleased when they went back to Montessori yesterday. I love my boys so much but I also love my two mornings to myself and I’m sure they make me a much better Mummy. And I’m looking forward to having a little more time to play around in the kitchen. By myself.

Keeping things simple, we’ve been eating mostly tried and tested meals this holiday, just gently trying out new things along the way. This is one of our favourite meals and we’ve eaten it a lot lately but every one of us gobbles up every morsel so I think it’s here to stay. It’s deliciously creamy and feels naughty but isn’t bad for you at all. It is also great for us as a family because Boy O who doesn’t like creamy / cheesy sauces loves it, Boy A LOVES coconut with a passion and doesn’t notice the lumps in it and Daddy’s favourite supper is risotto. Me? I’m just thrilled to get more ticks on the veg-o-meter.

In fact, just thinking about it now is making me want to cook it tonight…

It’s extremely flexible and I’ll try to highlight below a few ways it can be adapted, however not much can go wrong if you have a play around yourself too. It pretty much takes care of itself and is delicious reheated for lunch the next day, so I always make an extra portion for Daddy to take to work.

Here goes…

Ingredients required:

1 dsp of coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into tiny cubes (or however big you can get away with)
2 cubes of frozen spinach

NB/ at this point I’ll add that you can interchange these vegetables for any others you like, just chop them nice and small. Last time I made it with a leek which I cut into quarters lengthways and then sliced thinly and a courgette which I grated. Most veg will work well but I like to include one with a little bite like carrot, green beans, broccoli, squash, etc

2 free-range chicken breasts, chopped into bite size pieces (we generally don’t use much meat so this is enough for our family of four plus extra portion for lunch, however if you like more chicken then use however much you would use for your family)

2 tsp low-salt vegetable boullion
1 400ml tin of coconut milk
risotto rice (we measure ours using an espresso cup – one scoop of rice per person and two scoops of water per scoop of rice)

A handful of fresh kale leaves, hard stalks removed (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 200*

Melt the coconut oil in a large pan then add the onion and gently cook for around 10 mins until soft. Add the chopped carrot and spinach (or any other veg you are using) and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the rice, stir thoroughly then pour in the coconut milk followed by the water and boullion. Give everything another really good stir, allow it to come up to a simmer then cook for approx 15/20 minutes (according to your rice instructions, which will vary). Stir occasionally, however there is no need to stand over it the whole time.

Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the kale with kitchen paper and spread it out on a flat baking tray. Resist the urge to sprinkle it with salt or sugar, there really is no need. Pop it low down in the hot oven and cook for 4-5 minutes, until nice and crispy, but not burnt. You may need to turn the tray halfway through and shake the kale around a bit to get it all evenly crispy.

Serve the risotto in bowls with a the crispy kale on top. Delicious!

(I’ve spared you a photo of Boy O eating it as he just shovels it in using his spoon and fingers and picks most of the kale off, so here is Boy A eating it…he too picks the kale off but first and eats it before tucking in to the risotto – I couldn’t get a photo in time before he’d eaten all of the kale.)

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