Some of my friends have a huge problem with coconut, and some of my friends are crazy. Some of my friends fall into the venn diagram space where they are both crazy and have an issue with coconut. While I am not one to imply that correlation suggests causation, it makes me wonder sometimes. I am obsessed with coconut. Even though it’s horrible for the environment, I love the smell of banana boat suntan lotion. It reminds me of a Vegas pool in the summertime. I know that coconuts are full of fat, so I try to limit them in my diet as I am trying to lose another 10 pounds. However, I had some flaked coconut left over from the grrl scout cookie experiment, and I was trying to come up with a good way to use both that and the can of coconut milk that has been camped out in my pantry for what seems like months. I decided that if you can use vegetable broth to flavor rice, there’s no reason why you can’t use coconut milk as well. For this recipe, I use a blend of white and brown rice, so that you get the health benefits of the brown rice combined with some of the lighter texture of the white. I thought about calling it “Doesn’t Matter if You’re Brown or White”, because I just saw Captain Eo at Disneyland. However, we’ll just stick with Vegan Coconut Rice, because I am writing this much too early on a Saturday morning for such puns and games.

This makes a delicious side dish. I enjoyed it with tofu curry, but I imagine it going well with any number of spicy Thai or Indian dishes. I imagine that one could also throw in a little agave syrup and omit the peas and put together an impressive little dessert.

Vegan Coconut Rice

  • 1/2 c. white rice
  • 1/2 c. brown rice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • handful of frozen peas

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion for 3-5 minutes. You’ll need something deep enough to simmer the rice in.
2. Pour in the dry rice. Stir and heat until the rice is toasted. This is just like making a risotto, so please feel free to do your best Gordon Ramsey impression.
3. Add 1/4 a can of coconut milk and enough water to make 2 cups. Allow the mixture to come to a low boil and cook until the rice is firm and almost all liquid is gone.
4. Add another cup of coconut milk and 1/4 c. peas. Simmer on medium until most of the new liquid is evaporated. You should get a creamy consistency, just like a risotto.