Sunday, May 16, 2010

Meatless Monday: Coconut Rice & Beans (but so much more than that)

I wish I could form one or two well-written paragraphs about how our eating habits are changing here at UtHC. I keep procrastinating over writing anything because I don't know where to start and there's so much I want to say, but not enough time to devote to this space.

If I had a quiet afternoon to write, I would begin by filling you in on how our family table (and pantry, fridge, etc...) has slowly been evolving into more nourishing food, even though the rare (we're talking twice in 8 years) appearance of glazed doughnut would make it look otherwise.

In those paragraphs, I would paraphrase the many conversations Danny and I have had over what we put into our bodies, feed our kids, and the small, but steady steps we are taking to improve our families diet.

I would aptly summarize my myriade of thoughts after watching programs like Food, Inc. and Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food, conveying my ragged emotions after each one finished, (cried myself to sleep after Food, Inc, no joke) and my square-shouldered determination to DO something. For myself, for my family, for my community.

(Oh, not to mention this book club with the enlightening and deeply disturbing-yet-inspiring, In Defense of Food. There would be a pretty long rant about the state of our grocery stores these days.)

Then, if anyone besides my mother was still reading*, I would formulate a moving conclusion to my post by sharing some of the steps we are taking to eat more nourishing, real, food, as well as daily making choices with our fork to help change our sadly derailed food system.

Things like Meatless Monday.

I brought you The Beef Chronicles** which honored (and rightly so) the locally raised, grass-fed Angus, and now I'm swinging the pendulum and introducing a new series called Meatless Mondays.

You can call it contradictory OR balanced, either way I'm still going to be eating one more vegetarian meal a week, so it doesn't really matter. Why says you can't have a meat-lovers series and a vegetables series on the same blog anyway? (OK, so it's a little confusing.)

I'm going to try my darnedest to share the dishes with you every week, which may end up being every second week... I think we all know that the new baby gets all the attention--and there's not a lot of leftover time for older siblings.
I'm aiming for a Sunday posting, so you can add the recipe to your weekly menu plan.

We'll see how it goes.

OK, about this weeks recipe. We enjoyed it, but then again anything with a cumin/lime/cilantro combination, I pretty much flip over. Add toasted coconut and mango, and it gets added to our regular repertoire stat.

You know what the thing is about this recipe, besides the brilliant flavor profile, of course, it that it is CHEAP. Plus most items are pantry stapes, making it a good choice when the fridge is bare.

Give it a try. Give Meatless Monday a try. Be a part of the solution***.

Coconut Rice & Beans
adapted from this recipe, originally found in Southern Living.

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/4 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 red pepper, chopped (optional)
1 lime
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Toppings: lime wedges, diced mango, sour cream, cilantro, green onion.

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted. Cool.
2. Bring broth, coconut milk, salt & pepper, 2 Tbsp. butter, and 1 cup water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.

3. Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in beans, chili powder, cumin, and 3/4 cup water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
4. Grate zest from lime, avoiding pale bitter pith, into a bowl; squeeze juice from lime into bowl.
5. Fluff rice with a fork. Fold lime zest and juice, coconut, green onions, and cilantro into hot cooked rice. Serve bean mixture over rice with desired toppings.

*My mother doesn't read. That's right, you heard me correctly. It's kind of hard to when you don't have the Internet. I'd like to see you try.

** The Beef Chronicles are alive and well, on our table, anyway, if not on this blog. We ordered another half-cow, having plowed through all 120-plus pounds of Angus over the winter. It's currently at the butcher, getting divided up into future ossobuco and roast beef dinners.

***Meatless Monday: a worldwide movement to reduce consumption of animal products in favour of more plant-based meals to fight global warming and improve personal health.


Joke said...

Aiméeee, what a dish, I'm drooling!
For meatless monday though, I'll use some veggie broth instead :)
How many servings does it make?

Jan (Family Bites) said...

Good for your family! We are also employing the Meatless Monday initiative so I look foward to your recipes for some inspiration.

K E Fleck said...

I had never heard of Meatless Monday before this post - so thank you :-)

I'm pretty much a sucker for anything coconut, so you've had me from the title with this one!

Here's to balance!

Terrie said...

Thanks for the info about Meatless Mondays. I didn't know it was international. Does fish count?

Jennifer Jo said...

I would love to hear the long version, though the short one was clear and well-said.

You went through 120 pounds of beef in a winter???!!! Just the four of you? I'm impressed! We struggle to get through a quarter in a year (though I do run out of ground beef beforehand).

Aimée said...

Hi Joke- Hmm, I'd say it serves four. As for the stock--good thing I said we're taking small steps, eh?

Hi Jan- I could say the same to you..

Hi Kara- OK, so will you be joining me?

Hi Terrie- I imagine everyone adapts MM to suit the needs/tastes of their families, and for some, fish is in.
For us the meals will be vegetarian, rather than pescetarian.

Hi Jen- OK, maybe it was less than that. I couldn't remember exactly last night....Now we do entertain--a lot. So all last winter we were serving up roasts, etc...It wasn't just us 4. =)

Michelle said...

Yum!!! I just made this - sooo good! Love the flavour of the rice!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I have a dish ready to be posted for meatless Mondays tomorrow as well. It is grrat tobe part of the solution Aimee.

Amy said...

That recipe looks great! I love the Meatless Monday!! We have started doing this, too. Since Im out of town for work tomorrow, we had Meatless Saturday to make up for it ;) It was a great gnocchi recipe - I'll have to post it when I get a free second!

And I had forgotten about your beef chronicles! We got a split half share (half a half) from our farmer and it should be in my freezer in the next week or so! I can't wait!!

Lisa T said...

I am in the process of reading the book Anti Cancer and an important part of it is reducing meat. So before reading your post, I pulled out steak to cook for dinner tonight, then replaced it in the freezer for homemade pasta sauce from last summer's garden. Thanks for the information and encouragement.

RecipeGirl said...

This dinner looks wonderful. I might be able to get away w/ the no-meat thing with this one (husband usually questions where the meat is if it's missing from the dinner table!) Can't wait to try it.

Jess said...

I made it last night! Delicious.

I stopped eating meat last summer because of all these books and movies exposing just how corrupt and overly commercial the industry is. This summer my goal is to find more local suppliers for fruit, veg and dairy.

Alissa Maxwell said...

Thanks for this! We too have set the small goal of eating two meat-free dinners each week. We have one rice and beans recipe that we love, but we need to expand our options - and anything with coconut milk is a winner!

I don't know about you, but rice and beans is also one of the things the picky toddler will eat.

Maria said...

What a cheerful dish. I love it!

mlindley said...

I love, love, love this post. The pictures had me salivating even though I had just eaten. Thank you so much. I can't wait to try it.

Natalie said...

I totally agree with your sentiments and whole-heartedly agree with Meatless Monday (and sometimes Meatless Tuesday, Wed, etc).

This dish is beautiful, can't wait to try it sometime and can't wait to see what other meatless recipes you have in store for us!

Joke said...

Thank you for the information Aimée!

Lynne said...

Hi, Aimée. Am busy travelling my way through your blog, love it. Say, that nice farm which provides you with organic beef, can people buy from there too or is it a personal contact? Because we are looking to go almost 100%-farm bought food and I'm searching for suppliers. Otherwise, that rice looks GOOD! And I happen to have everything in the pantry for it, you are right. Kudos.

Laura said...

I've been wanting to implement a meatless monday for my family too. The grass fed beef and the vegetarian meals aren't contradictory at all. I'm excited for both series. This looks great. Thanks!

molly said...

It's ALL good here -- the intentions, the articulate sentiments, the baby steps, the beans! Oh, the beans!

alittlebitograce said...

My oldest just ate five servings of this dish, mostly to get more mango with each serving. It was most definitely a make-again. Thank you!

the grocer's daughter said...

The family loved this recipe. The 13-year-old said it was AMAZING.

Anonymous said...

Just cooked this for my fussy boys and we all loved it - going in the favourites pile. I love anything with coriander - we call it in england - in it.

Lucinda said...

When using dried beans, how much should you use? Last night I soaked a total of 200 grams for 2 persons, but now I think this may be too much.


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