A lot of people probably think of rice as a boring side dish, but this sweet potato coconut cashew rice bowl definitely proves that plain rice can be transformed into an incredibly tasty meal!
I love both sweet potatoes and coconut in any form, so when I saw this recipe on The Family Kitchen, I knew I would be making it myself as soon as possible!
You actually get a double dose of coconut in this dish - I changed the recipe so that the rice is cooked in coconut milk to soak up the flavor better, and then you toast some shredded coconut and mix that into the cooked rice. I love the smell and taste of toasted coconut, and even though it is usually used in dessert recipes, I thought it fit perfectly in this rice dish!
Between the chunks of sweet potato, the coconut, the raisins and the maple syrup, this meal was a bit on the sweeter side, but it was also balanced out by the spices, cilantro and some chopped spinach that I added to increase the nutritional value a bit more!
So as long as you have a bit of a sweet tooth and you like coconut as much as I do, I'm sure you will love this rice too!
Sweet Potato Coconut Cashew Rice
Adapted from The Family Kitchen
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup chopped cashews
2 tsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup Jasmine or Basmati white rice (I used Jasmine)
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
2-3 tbsp sultana raisins
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 cups chopped spinach
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the diced sweet potato on a baking sheet and toss with a bit of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until tender.
Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the coconut and cashews. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until the coconut is lightly toasted and the cashews are lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 more seconds.
Add the rice, water and coconut milk to the pan. Stir in the spices and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 12 minutes (or cook according to rice package directions).
Once the rice is done, remove the pot from the heat, take out the bay leaf and add the raisins. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
Stir in the maple syrup and spinach, and the reserved sweet potato, coconut and cashews.
Serve warm. Garnish with cilantro.
Makes about 4 servings.