Bittman’s Coconut Rice with Pistachios, Peas, and Spinach

September 24th, 2009 by katie

Back in July, Mark Bittman posted a fantastic article highlighting 101 salad ideas for the summer.  Since then, mrChaos and I have been working our way through the list in an attempt to add more fresh fruit and vegetables to our day.  Now that it is getting cooler, we are craving heartier fare but still want to eat dishes with less meat and fewer calories.  This “grain salad,” number 96 on Bittman’s list, is a wonderful, warm way to get some vegetables into your lunch.

It is a filling yet light tasting combination of sticky rice, sweet bursts and crunchy nuttiness with a spicy tingle in the background.  If you want more coconut flavor, add a splash of milk to the finished dish to loosen it up a bit.

Coconut rice with pistachios, peas, and spinach

makes 4 (1 cup) servings, prep 5 min, cook time 30 min
  • 1 1/2 cup short-grain rice (sticky or sushi rice)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 cardamom pods (optional)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
  • 1+ tsp chili paste, if you can handle it or red pepper flakes-to taste-if you can’t
  1. In a medium pot combine rice, coconut milk, water, and cardamom pods if using.
  2. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cook on low heat without lifting the lid for twenty minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow rice to sit (still covered) for ten more minutes before lifting the lid and fluffing the rice with a fork.
  5. Discard cardamon pods and stir in peas, spinach, pistachios, and chili paste or red pepper flakes.  I added about 2 teaspoons chili paste.
  6. Salt to taste and serve warm.  It’s not too bad cold, either.

This stores and reheats well for lunches and would go great as a side dish with lamb chops or skewers of beef.  It’s also vegan-and delicious.

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Posted in Easy, Fast, Health/Nutrition, Main Dish, Sides

8 Responses

  1. Melissa

    :1+ tsp chili paste, if you can handle it”

    I’ll add 2 teaspoons. I can take it! *Puffing chest out* ;P

    I would love this Katie. Thanks for sending it my way. I remember that Bittman list – I really should print it out as well. I always, always need sides and salads ideas.

  2. Nancy

    Thanks for this link! With the weather warming up here, I’m on the hunt for salad ideas–I might follow your lead and work my way through the list.

  3. Alta

    Wow, your photo looks great. Yum!

  4. giao {kiss my spatula}

    i love sticky rice…and with coconut?? YUMMMM. looking forward to trying this one.

  5. Carolyn Jung

    You had me at pistachios! ;)

  6. sweetbird

    I think I might finally have to hop on the Bittman train.

  7. Yesica N. Cook

    Fantastic pic – looks delicious, will definitely try this, thanks!

  8. Karine

    This looks wonderful!

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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