I like simple meals. Anything that I can throw together in 15 minutes or less is going to become a staple in my kitchen. As much as I love cooking and trying out new recipes, I’m also a mother with 2 kids under 4. My priority is to make 3 healthy and delicious meals a day. If I can do the bulk of the recipe in advance of when I actually eat it, even better.
I came across the recipe that inspired my version on one of my favorite cooking blogs, 101 Cookbooks. Heidi Swanson is an incredible and inspired food blogger. She is creative, but also appreciates a simple, delicious meal as much as I do. The only difference is that her recipes tend to be a bit more highbrow. A little fancier than my needs require. Almost every time I make one of her recipes, I tone it down for my kid-friendly kitchen.
To be fair, my 3 year old isn’t interested in this one but I’m pretty sure she will be some day. It’s rice, nuts, and fresh herbs, with some toasted coconut thrown in for good measure. In Heidi’s original recipe you’ll find yogurt and some other ingredients. I omit that too, in part because we don’t do dairy but also because it involves mashing garlic and who has time for that when you have a 3 year old running circles around you and a nursing infant pawing at your chest in a sling while you’re prepping dinner?
You can check out her recipe here. Mine isn’t all that different. Just slightly simplified.
As a note, my husband loves peanuts but I do not. However, I love shredded coconut and he does not. So, I toss mine with the coconut and his with peanuts. I’ve included both in the recipe below, but think of it as a way to tailor to your likes or preferences.
Rice with Fresh Herbs and Nuts
1 cup rice plus 2 cups water
2 cups basil, mint, cilantro, finely chopped
4 spring onions, diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbs coconut oil
salt, pepper to taste
lime juice (optional)
Cook the rice in the water. Remove from heat and set aside when done. I usually make my grains, including rice, early in the morning so it’s cool in the afternoon/early evening when I’m ready to throw this together. This way, the rice won’t heat in fresh herbs which keeps them a little bit more crisp.
Toast the shredded coconut in a small pan. Should only be lightly browned. Remove from pan when done.
Heat the oil in the same small pan. Add the spring onions and all of the nuts that you are using. Season with a few light shakes of salt. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are soft and the nuts have gotten a bit toasted.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lime juice is a nice finishing touch, but honestly the rice is fantastic with or without it.
Enjoy as a light dinner or as part of a larger lunch. I’d recommend some roasted asparagus on the side. Or lightly sauteed greens.