June 5, 2009
While I don’t think I’m juggling quite as many projects as Michelle, I’ve also been swamped. Partly it’s because we’re both working on what will hopefully become a big ChowMama project. But more on that some other time.
I’ve barely cooked this week and have no groceries left (this is becoming a bad pattern). Saved by dinner plans that required us only to bring the kid—to play with our hosts’ kids—and wine—for everyone but me and the kids to drink in plenty—have saved us. Along with simple 15-minute meals like zucchini feta turkey burgers and a few quick pasta dishes (like pasta with butter, frozen peas, mint, and parmesan).
Pasta is always my quick answer. It’s fast, tasty even when done simply, and filling. But Michelle’s posts got me thinking about dinner salads (like her watermelon arugula feta salad and pineapple almond spinach salad). I rarely make them. I think it’s something Greek in me—like I’m worried that it won’t be enough food. (God forbid someone leave the table less than stuffed!) But what if a healthy dinner salad is paired with a filling dessert like (one of my all-time favorites) Mango with Coconut Sticky Rice? I’m telling you—I’m on to something!
I wouldn’t call this dessert abstemious, but it’s also not a massive hunk of chocolate cake a la mode. And it makes great use of fresh fruit, giving it nutrition bonus points. Just keep the rice portion small (as you would for dinner) and resist the urge to completely smother your portion in coconut sauce. It’s easy to do since a little bit has a lot of flavor.
As straight forward as this dish is, I’ve done a lot of fiddling with the recipe. Cane sugar vs palm sugar (a specialty found in Thai and other Asian grocery stores). Cooking the coconut sauce into the rice vs keeping it totally separate. That kind of stuff. Not having found exactly the right balance, I decide to adapt this recipe (b/c it splits the difference between cooking the rice in coconut and making a separate sauce). Worked nicely. Give it a try. (Even if you eat more than salad for dinner! This stuff is that good.)
Mango with Cocobut Sticky Rice
adapted from Sass Smith (can be served to kids 10+ mos)
1 c organic basmati or jasmine rice*
2 cans organic coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 c organic cane sugar
2 organic mangos, cubed
juice 1 organic lime
salt to taste
1. Cook rice according to package directions BUT add 1/2 the sugar and substitute 1 can of coconut milk for some of the water. (1 can is 13.5 oz, which is about 1 1/2 cups. I use a 2 to 1 ratio when cooking basmati, so I add about 1/2 a cup of water to the coconut milk to complete the rice cooking liquid.)
2. While rice cooks, cut mango and squeeze lime juice over the chunks. Set aside.
3. Bring the second can of coconut milk and remaining sugar to a boil over medium heat. Keep at a boil until it thickens into a syrupy consistency.
4. When rice is done, spoon some onto a plate, top with mango, and drizzle with coconut sauce. I love playing up sweet and salty, so I sprinkle some salt on older kid and adult portions. (If only older kids and adults are eating, you can cook some into the coconut sauce.)
*If you have or can easily get sticky rice (also known as sweet rice), by all means, do so. I prefer it (and it makes a fun finger food), but more often have basmati or jasmine rice on hand.