Easy Dinner Recipe: Coconut Curry Rice Bowl with Green Vegetables and Sweet Potatoes

January 13, 2017

If you're looking for an easy dinner recipe that's healthy and delicious, look no further! I love this comforting Coconut Curry Rice Bowl from award-winning author Carolynn Carreño's new cookbook, BOWLS OF PLENTY: Recipes for Healthy and Delicious Whole-Grain Meals. It's loaded with the quintessential bright, spicy, and beautiful flavors of Thai cuisine: green curry, coconut milk, lemongrass, Thai basil, fish sauce, and chile peppers, and vibrant vegetables like bok choy, kale, and purple sweet potatoes.

BOWLS OF PLENTY is loaded with more than 75 breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes that are nutritious, delicious, family-friendly, and great for the busy home cook. Start your day with a Quick and Easy Breakfast Fried Quinoa bowl or a Japanese Breakfast of spinach, salmon, and sweet miso dressing. For lunch try a Rainbow Carrot Salad with millet, feta, and lemon yogurt dressing or a Chinese Chicken Salad with toasted almonds and crispy rice. Go all out for dinner with a bowl of Glazed Pork Belly with ginger, scallion rice, and pickled vegetables, or the Mezze Bowl with pomegranate-glazed lamb meatballs, hummus, and tzatziki. For dessert, don't miss the Mixed Berry Crisp with whole-grain crisp topping or the Dark Chocolate Farro Goop, a decadent deconstructed brownie-like treat that's surrounded by a moat of warm cream.

Be sure to get her Five-Spice Riblets with Sticky Rice and Apple Slaw recipe here.

COCONUT CURRY RICE BOWL with Green Vegetables and Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4

"Thai curry paste is the best thing to happen to the hurried home cook since prewashed greens. All that mysterious and wonderful Thai curry flavor, distilled into a small affordable jar that you can find on the shelves of even the most unremarkable supermarkets. You need coconut milk and fish sauce to complete the magic, so if you keep those in your pantry, you’re just one fresh vegetable away from a warm and tasty last-minute meal. This is dairyfree and vegan if you use water in place of chicken stock. If you wanted to add protein, add 1 boneless skinless chicken breast half, cut into ½-inch cubes, and cook it in the curry for 5 minutes before serving." ~Carolynn Carreño

Coconut oil (or canola oil)
¼ cup Thai green curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen or Mae Ploy brand)
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk, shaken
1 cup chicken stock, homemade or sodium-free or low-sodium store-bought or water 
1 lemongrass stalk, smashed with the flat side of a large knife (optional)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons raw, granulated, or coconut sugar
1 medium purple or yellow sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch rounds
6 ounces Brussels sprouts (or broccoli florets, or a combination)
2 heads baby bok choy, halved lengthwise, or 1 head bok choy, quartered lengthwise
1 bunch kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
2 serrano, Fresno, or jalapeño chiles, very thinly sliced into rounds
Small handful of fresh basil (preferably Thai basil)
1 cup long-grain brown rice, cooked (about 3½ cups cooked rice)

Coat a large saucepan or straight-sided skillet with oil. Add the curry paste and cook over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring continuously, to release the flavors.

Stir in the coconut milk, stock, lemongrass (if you’re using it), fish sauce, and sugar and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes and Brussels sprouts are tender. Add the bok choy and kale and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more to wilt them. Turn off the heat, remove and discard the lemongrass, if you used it. Throw in the chiles and basil, and serve the curry over the rice.

Excerpted from the book BOWLS OF PLENTY by Carolynn Carreño. Copyright © 2017 by Carolynn Carreño. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved. Photograph above by Beatriz da Costa.

Cover image courtesy of Grand Central Life & Style