There is always something special about going to an Indian Restaurant and finding the scrumptious side dishes of coconut rice. I know I used to really enjoy the flavor of those simple dishes that would accompany those powerfully tantalizing spice and herb packed meat dinners. However, if grains are out of the question, that lovely side dish seems like it is no more.
There is a way to get back that tongue pleasing taste of coconut rice without using rice. Now there are many people following no grain eating styles who use a lot of cauliflower in place of potatoes and rice, but if you are like me, cauliflower is very hard to digest and contains very little food value. I can eat cauliflower and feel undigested hours later. So I cannot use the many recipes where cauliflower is used as rice substitutes.
One thing I enjoy doing to substitute rice for a small side dish is utilizing shredded coconut instead. The below recipe I find to be very satisfying. It goes like this:
- 1 cup shredded coconut meat
- ¼ cup of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh if possible)
- 2 teaspoons of raw honey
- ¾ teaspoons Himalayan primordial sea salt
Heat some coconut oil in a pan, just enough to sauté the shredded coconut. Once the shredded coconut is soft add the rest of the ingredients, stir well and simmer for 15-18 minutes covered. When ready to serve you can sprinkle some fresh and chopped cilantro leaves on top. If you wish you can even toast some shredded coconut and sprinkle it over top as well. I find lightly toasted pine nuts are a very nice touch scattered on top too.
This is great served with fish, stir-fries, soups and really anything “island” style, East Indian or Asian. Sure it is not rice and will have a different texture, but it tastes great. I think cauliflower is used by many because it cooks down to a similar texture to white rice, like sushi rice, but if you cannot digest it why eat it? The coconut suits me just fine and I digest it very well, so it makes sense to my body.
Try it if you like, vary it if you need and see what you think.