his is one of the EASIEST meals to prepare, as well as one of the most pleasurable meals to enjoy, in my opinion. It begs for a beach and sunshine, but also helps ward off cabin fever in the off-season.
You can use this recipe as a base for added sauces such as: soy, sweet-and-sour, peanut sauces, or Sriracha-based flavors. However, I prefer to eat it AS IS-simply steamed- and allow every delicious individual vegetable flavor to fill my mouth and soul with happiness. Also, I can’t help but to sing Harry Nillson’s hit from the ’70s as I prepare, “You put the lime in the coconut…”. Find a version with lyrics here:
https://youtu.be/je98UffdN18 (12Mulligan, 2013)
You can use a combination of rices, if desired. I used a long grain black rice here. Black rice offers a nice array of B-vitamins, as well as fiber, iron, and antioxidants.
- 2 Cups black rice and 4 cups plus one TBSP (reserved for steaming) cold water (or a portion to your choosing, just be sure to double the amount of water to rice)
- 1 cup each, cleaned and diced: green beans, snap peas, celery, and mushrooms.
- 1/2 cup portion of firm drained tofu, finely diced
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 1/2-1 cup of unsweetened, finely shredded coconut or, your preferred shredded coconut.
- approximately 6 dried kefir lime leaves, crushed/torn
- In a sauce pan, place the amount of rice you’d like to use with twice as much water (for example, one cup of rice and two cups of water, or two cups of rice and four cups of water…). Bring to a boil. At the time the water begins to bubble, add torn kefir lime leaves. THIS STEP IS KEY to increase the depth of flavors in this dish. (As a last-resort stand in, when you are out of dried Kefir lime leaves, you can sprinkle the final product with a touch of REAL fresh lime juice.)
- Cover and simmer for 18-35 minutes-according to your rice variety package instruction, or until water is absorbed.
- While rice is simmering, dice your fresh vegetables, about a cup each of: green beans, snap (or snow) peas, mushrooms, and celery. Place them into a sauté pan with finely diced firm tofu and peeled garlic cloves (one full head). IMG_5535
- Add one TBSP of water and cover to steam.
- Allow to steam until desired consistency is achieved, about ten minutes in most cases, stirring occasionally. IMG_5537
- USE CAUTION WHEN LIFTING LID FROM STEAMING PROCESS, ALWAYS OPEN THE LID AWAY FROM YOUR FACE. IT IS HOT STEAM AND CAN BURN YOU!
- When water has been absorbed from rice, place into heat-proof serving dish, top with your incredibly healthy steamed vegetables, and layer with shredded coconut (I used unsweetened, but feel free to substitute your preferred coconut topping.
- Be sure to prepare enough for leftovers, you’ll want to enjoy this meal more than once. This dish freezes and warms well.
12Mulligan. (2013). Coconut.Harry Nillson. (1972) [sic]. [Video File] YouTube . Retrieved from https://youtu.be/je98UffdN18