Good news for my waistline and lifespan, guys — I’ve slowly been coming around on whole grain pasta and brown rice. Is it as good as white rice and regular pasta? No, obvs not — otherwise we’d all just eat the healthy stuff all the time. But the whole grain stuff…I’m actually starting to enjoy it.
On that note, I think I figured out the secret to liking whole grain/brown rice, so listen up. Do you remember the first time you had a Diet Coke or other diet soda? Wasn’t it disgusting? Weren’t you in complete disbelief that anyone would voluntarily choose Diet Coke over delicious regular Coca-Cola? Me too, for sure. But at some point you start adding up all the calories in regular Coke and you give Diet Coke another try. Still gross, but slightly less gross than the last time. But then you try it again and again, and pretty soon you’re totally hooked and can’t imagine how anyone could ever drink regular Coke.
(BTW I have recovered from my Diet Coke addiction and have been DC-free for more than two years now! Feel free to congratulate me in the comments; it remains a daily struggle.)
So obviously this analogy makes more sense if you’re a Diet Coke drinker, but even if you’re not, I think you see where I’m going here. When you’ve eaten white rice and pasta your whole life, the whole grain stuff tastes icky in comparison. But the more you eat it, the more it grows on you, until at some point you actually prefer it. I mean, I’m hoping. I’m not quite there yet.
As part of my whole grain evolution, I served brown rice with this yummy chicken curry dish, and I gotta say…I kindof liked it.
BASIL COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN (slightly adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp yellow curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 small red onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 14-oz can light coconut milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp dried basil
1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
1 cup brown rice
1. In large mixing bowl, stir together curry powder , 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and chili powder. Add chicken pieces and toss to coat evenly. Cover and chill while preparing other ingredients (at least 30 minutes).
2. Cook rice according to package instructions, omitting fat. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil in large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, basil, garlic, and jalapenos and cook 3-4 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chicken and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook for 5-6 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
4. Combine coconut milk and cornstarch in medium bowl; whisk well to combine. Carefully add coconut mixture to skillet, whisking vigorously. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in ginger. Cook and stir for another minute. Serve over hot rice.
Mmm-mmm! This was really flavorful (and not that bad for you!), but I was a little bummed that it turned out such a yucky brown color. Didn’t stop us from devouring it, though!