Friday, May 4

Mango Lime Salsa with Coconut Brown Rice

Being that tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, I thought it only appropriate to share this delicious and fresh salsa that's an alternative to the classic tomato version. Obviously, fruit in salsa is not new, but I came up with this combo after I found my favorite kind of mangos on sale at the market. These mangos are not the traditional green and red skinned ones usually found in the produce aisle, these are champagne (or ataulfo) mangos that have a deep yellow hued rind that is more pliable and thin than the other variety. They are also a bit smaller and I find that they are much more tender and sweet, making them perfect for a spicy, chunky salsa.
This is the kind of salsa you can make for many different dishes and although I could've gone completely mexican with my meal, I decided to stray a bit from the norm. I'll have plenty of time to eat enchiladas and drink margaritas later. For now, let's get a little bit thai. 
Coconut milk is amazing. It's creamy, flavorful and absolutely delicious. I love it in my coffee, and especially in my smoothies, but now my favorite place to put coconut milk is in rice. I cooked brown rice in a lot of canned coconut milk and a little bit of water, then drizzled the fluffy rice with more of the thick white liquid. I served it with a grilled piece of halibut, steamed green beans, and a huge spoonful of the Mango salsa. O.M.G.
The next day, I took the leftover rice, green beans and salsa and had one of the best lunches of my life. Light, healthy and bursting with unique flavors that you just don't get to enjoy everyday. Please try this meal! Or at least the salsa. Or at least the rice. Again, the salsa would be great for a Cinco de Mayo party. Serve it with tortilla chips, or even better, some fresh shrimp tacos and some tequila.

Mango Salsa
2 Champagne mangos, diced
1/4 of a small yellow onion, minced
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 - 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (use less if you like mild, more if you like spicy)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. That's it! The easiest way to dice a mango is to slice each side slightly off center (to avoid the seed, which is much smaller in champagne mangos). Then score the flesh like a checker board, turn the halves inside out and use your knife to carefully cut the mango away from the skin. 

Coconut Brown Rice
1 C Brown jasmine rice
1 C canned coconut milk (plus more for drizzling)
3/4 C water
pinch of salt
1 inch peeled chunk of ginger

Combine the rice, 1 cup of canned *coconut milk, water, salt and ginger and stir. If you are using a rice cooker, like I did, just turn it on. If you are using a saucepan, cook exactly like you would regular rice. Allow the liquid to boil, then turn the burner all the way down and simmer about 45 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Once cooked, fluff the rice, remove the ginger and drizzle in another 1/4-1/2 C of coconut milk, or the rest of the can if you'd like. This gives the rice a super creamy, almost risotto-like texture.
*a note on canned coconut can use the lite version if you'd like, but the full fat one imparts the best flavor and texture of rice. Use an organic brand if possible and be sure to shake the can well before opening as it often settles at the bottom of the can.


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