Looking to up the creaminess factor of a vegan recipe? Want an exotic flavor and a quick energy boost? Coconut is your friend. This high-fiber ingredient is used in a lot of Asian cuisine, particularly Thai cuisine, but its exotic flavor doesn't need to remain exclusively in Thai kitchens. Our varied coconut recipes are all the proof you need!
Why are we including coconut in this week's Meatless Monday selection? Coconut, amongst other things, lends just the right amount of sweetness without sending your glycemic index through the roof. It also improves digestion and has been proven to improve the immune system as well. As winter colds approach, you won't be able to say no to these coconut recipes... especially once you see how tasty they are!
Laksa (pictured above) is a classic Singaporean dish using coconut milk, sesame, tofu and a paste made from chiles, galangal and spices. It can be tough to find a vegetarian or vegan versions as most traditional recipes call for a shrimp or chicken-based broth. But this version gets all of its flavor from the paste and vegetables, letting water stand in for the broth. It's just as tasty and perfect for Meatless Monday!
Image: Kimberley Stakal
Travel from Singapore to Italy with this vegan brown rice and beet risotto. There's no cream or butter in this version -- just the natural creamy, starchiness of the rice and creamy coconut milk. The bright color of the beets is sure to impress your guests!
For a protein-rich Meatless Monday breakfast, these energy balls can't be beat. Oats and flax seeds add fiber and lasting energy (along with a hint of espresso powder!) whole almond butter is sure to keep you full. Sweetness comes from shredded coconut and maple syrup, and warm autumn spices finish off the recipe. These balls are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast that can be enjoyed by the whole family!
Image: Meredith Stewart
Brown rice and coconut don't just make a tasty main -- they also make a delicious dessert! Case in point: this scrumptious coconut rice pudding, made with brown rice and spices. The more yellow turmeric you add, the more golden a color your pudding will acquire. Feel free to play with the amounts of clove, cinnamon and cardamom as well for a pudding that's rich, creamy and perfect for fall.
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Top Image: jpatokal