Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!

Abrazos! xox Penny

Friday, July 9, 2010

Surf's Up!

When I talk to my daughter most summer weekends, our conversation goes like this..."Hi Sweetie...whatcha doing?" Answer, "Heading to the beach!" My daughter loves the beach...all my kids do....and she has found some wonderful ones within driving distance of her home.

For me, the beach is one of the most magical places on earth and when I hear her plans, I am filled with delight for her and yes, envy. When I am not on Shelter Island with Mom, I live far inland, away from the water. Most days, my "beach" comes to life only when I close my eyes or when I take a deep breath of...coconuts.

No fragrance transports me faster to the shore than the smell of coconuts. Maybe that has something to do with why I love to cook with them....they help transform me and whatever I am cooking into a whole new world. I use flakes in Natural State Granola, love coconut milk based Purely Decadent ice "cream", and when not feeling totally swell, drink coconut water...a little tip I got when traveling in India.

One of my favorite cooking oils is extra virgin coconut oil...sooooo delicious and good for you. I love it just straight from the jar, too, spread on warm toast. Hmmm. (I know what some of you may be thinking..."I don't like coconuts." Well, if I hadn't tasted the real deal and had just left my taste buds rebelling over with the sicky-sweet canned stuff and the overly rancid movie theater stuff, I would agree with you!)The brand I love is Nutiva and I swear, when I open the lid and breathe in, I am dancing in the surf, blue polished toenails and all.

As I have said before, I am working on my grains and especially, showing rice some love. While Reshma and Christian were home, Reshma made sticky rice and added in a dollop or two of Nutiva's coconut oil. The result? Heaven in grain form. Here is another method I use to get the coconut and the love all in one bite.

Coconut Rice

1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups basmati rice (I use brown)

In a 2-quart saucepan with a tight fitting lid, bring coconut milk, water and salt to a boil. Add rice. Return to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 45 minutes, if using brown rice. For white rice, which is the more traditional choice for sticky rice, cook for about 15 minutes. To make it "sticky", add in more water as the rice cooks until you get the desired consistency.

Turn off heat and let rice stand and continue to steam for 5 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

This rice has a lovely, soothing aroma while cooking...great way to take the edge off the World Cup tension!! While delicious on its own, it is a launching point for all kinds of other flavors. Over the Fourth, we had Tropical Sals-up and homemade chimichurri sauce to pass and ladle over the rice, making it even more decadent. Ahhh...I can just hear the surf!

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