Lemongrass Coconut Rice Bowls + Jamaican Jerk Shrimp Skewers w/ Jalapeño Black Beans & Grilled Mango (And A Little Something Extra)

So let me start by saying, coconut milk has become my single most favorite staple in the kitchen.

Literally. I use it almost in everything I make! Honestly, in my opinion, coconut oil cures everything- burns, frizzy hair, dry skin, tricky makeup residue, tough nails, butter replacement, extra crispy tostadas, and of course as regular oil. 
Like I said, it fixes pretty much everything.

So, why wouldn't coconut milk do the same?? 
I use it in curries, creamy pastas, rice, smoothies, yogurt, ice cream, cookies, as a milk replacer, and well, basically every thing you could think of that would need a creamy element.

So onto the little something extra...

We always have leftovers in my house and honestly, I hate leftovers. I just don't like repeating meals or cooking the same meal over again.
There are some things that do taste 1000 times better after sitting in the fridge over night--- soaked salad, chili, pizza (anyone else a cold pizza person?), and red sauce.
Even though I hate the idea of eating cold rice and beans, this burrito is the bomb. Like crazy delicious. It's actually so much better than the original rice bowl, but the burrito was so messy, I couldn't get ANY good pictures of it to make a different post.
It totally deserves one, though.
Basically I just took the leftovers of this night, made a quick salsa and slaw, wrapped it in bread and voila. You have yourself a mighty tasty burrito.
But let's be honest... anything either A.) wrapped in bread, or B.) covered in peanut butter (in this case a peanut-ginger sauce) makes for a great rest of the day.

Oh also, you should definitely fry some plantains and add it to this dish.

Alrighty, let's get into this.

Lemongrass Coconut Rice Bowls + Shrimp Skewers
Serves 4

1 cup jasmine rice 
2 cloves garlic
1 can light coconut milk
3 stalks lemon grass 
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. both salt & pepper
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
2 bay leaves 
1/2 lemon- juice
1 tbs. coconut oil

2 cans black beans- rinsed
1 jalapeno- halved & thinly sliced w/ seeds
1/2 tbs. greek seasoning (Cavender's, etc.)*
1/2 white onion- diced
2 tbs. olive oil

16-20 large shrimp- patted dry
coconut oil for grilling
Jamaican Jerk Spice Rub- below
1 very underripe mango
fresh parsley
lemon wedges
4 wooden skewers

*Greek seasoning usually consists of salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, onion, and parsley

Spice Rub-
2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tbs. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. both Jamaican allspice & salt
1 tsp. both fresh or dried thyme and ground cayenne
1/2 tsp. each dried cumin, grated nutmeg, and garlic powder
1/4 tsp. both turmeric & cinnamon

Pre-heat grill, or if using grill pan- set aside.
Cut 2 of the lemongrass stalks into thirds. Tie the stalk pieces into a bundle with cooking twine. Finely chop the last stalk, finely mince the garlic cloves, and set aside. Sauté the lemongrass and garlic in a medium pot with coconut oil until fragrant. Add coconut milk, water, lemongrass bundles, and bay leaves, and stir. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add paprika, salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and fluff with a fork.

While rice is cooking, sauté the onion and jalapeño in a medium pot until softened, and add beans. Pour in about 1/2 cup water or enough to come half way up the beans. Let simmer down, adding more water if becoming dry, for about 15 minutes. Add greek seasoning, stir, and cover until ready to serve.

While the beans are simmering down, soak skewers in water. Stick 4-5 shrimp on each skewer and lightly, but evenly, coat shrimp in spice rub. If using a grill pan, melt 3 tbs. coconut oil over high heat. If using grill, brush shrimp skewers with coconut oil before grilling. Lay the skewers on the grill pan/grill and cook for about 4 minutes on one side, and 2-3 on the other until opaque, and lightly charred.
Squeeze skewers with fresh lemon juice.
Cut thick slices of mango, about 3 on each side of the mango (or 1 inch thick), and brush lightly with melted coconut oil. Grill for about 2 minutes on one side, and 45 seconds-1 minute on the other/or until grill marks are present but the fruit is still somewhat firm.

Serve rice with beans, shrimp skewers, grilled mango, fresh parsley (or cilantro-- I love parsley with this though), and fresh lemon wedges (or lime if using cilantro).

Now for the Thai Veggie Burritos.
Leftovers are magical thing, by the way. Especially, if they come in burrito form...

Thai Veggie Burritos
Serves 1

1 Taboon bread/Chapati Bread- any very thin, unleavened flat bread*
1/4 cup Lemongrass Coconut Rice
1/4 cup Jalapeño Black Beans (optional- not really Thai, but very good)
1 large carrot- peeled and shaved into thin angled slices- then sliced into 1/4 inch lengths)
1 tbs. dried cherries- roughly chopped
1 tbs. peanut butter
1 1/2 tbs. soy sauce
1/2 lime
1 tbs. rice vinegar 
1-2 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce
1/2 tbs. water
1/4 tsp. grated ginger
1 garlic cloves- finely minced
1 tbs. chopped scallions
2 tbs. halved salted peanuts
1 tsp. melted butter or oil- (Butter makes everything 10x better though)
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 zucchini- sliced into 1 inch. thick strips
1/2 tbs. sesame oil
1/2 tbs. toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. paprika, salt, and black pepper
lime juice, fresh cilantro, avocado slices

*You might need to use 2 if very thin, depending on kind of wrap. Use 1 regular wrap if cannot find.

Pre-heat oven to 425º.
Coat zucchini in sesame oil, salt, pepper, and paprika- roast on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes or until tender and a light crisp. Toss with sesame seeds.
Mix the rice vinegar, peanut butter, chili sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, grated ginger, and garlic together. Toss 2 tbs. mixture with carrots and cherries- (store the rest for later if wanted.)
Sauté the peanuts in butter and curry powder until coated over medium heat, and toasted. Let dry on paper towel to crisp up. 
Spread rice, beans (optional), and zucchini strips on wrap side by side. Top with carrot slaw, peanuts, fresh avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and scallions. Wrap into a burrito (if using thin wrap, use 2 wraps, pasted together with leftover peanut sauce). 

                                                                                     -Cecilia A.


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