Coconut Mango Rice Pudding

The first time I made this I was pregnant with my first and had a hard time keeping things down.  I was so excited to eat this yummy treat, it smelled delicious and I knew it was going to be a new favorite.  My stomach had other plans and it came up pretty quickly, over and over again.  (Sorry, too much information.) Anyway, because of that incident it took me over a year before I could stomach any form of rice. 🙁 Despite the horrible beginnings of my experimenting with this recipe, it is still one of my favorite desserts.  Now I just wish the rest of my family liked rice pudding, so I could make it more often with out feeling guilty.


Mango Rice Pudding

1 cup uncooked long grain white rice

1/2 cup sugar

2tsp. vanilla

1 14-oz. can coconut milk

2 1/2 cups milk

2 mangoes, pitted, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp salt

ground cinnamon

In a saucepan, combine both milks, rice, salt and sugar together.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add mangoes and vanilla and continue to simmer for a couple of minutes.  Place mixture in a bowl and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.  This may be served warm or chilled and may also be garnished with whipped cream.

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato, Coconut Muffins


I found this recipe and knew that it would be a new favorite of mine.  I made some alterations but the original recipe is found HERE.  These muffins are great because they feed my need for sweet without over doing it.  They’re filled with healthy goodness, but taste moist and delicious. 

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato & Coconut Muffins

4 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup oat bran

1 cup sugar, +extra for sprinkling on top

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup melted unsalted butter

2 cup mashed or pureed sweet potato**

1/2 cup milk

½ cup dried coconut flakes, + extra for sprinkling on top

2 egg, beaten

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1 cup dried fruit pieces (I used pineapple)

**I was being lazy and decided to just used canned sweet potato (I know it’s not as healthy).  If you are doing the same then use a 29 oz can of diced sweet potatoes. Drain about 75% of the water out and pour the remaining water and potatos in a blender and puree and it will total to 2 cups.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together all the dry ingredients: flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sweet potato, milk, coconut, egg, and yogurt. Combine the wet mixture into dry mixture until just combined and then fold in dried fruit pieces. The dough will look a lot like cookie dough.  Don’t over mix! Spray 24 muffin tins with cooking spray and spoon in the dough so that each is about 2/3 full. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar and coconut flakes on top of each muffin.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until muffins are golden on top.

Pani Popo (Coconut Rolls)


When I was living in Hawaii, this was my favorite food ‘discover’.  This is a polynesian coconut roll that was frequently eaten with dinner, for dessert, or just for a snack. . . basically whenever we could think of an excuse to make them.  It’s SOOO easy which makes it even better!  I don’t make them very often anymore, but they were a must with the Kalua Pork.

Pani Popo

12 frozen rolls (I use Rhodes Rolls)

1 can coconut milk

3/4 cup sugar

Place the frozen rolls onto a baking sheet. I put them into the oven with the oven light on for about 2 hours.  (This is a GREAT trick for letting bread’s rise. The oven allows a safe place for dough without any thing that could harm the rising process and the light acts as a little heat lamp without getting too hot.)  Once they are doubled in size remove them from the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together coconut milk and sugar in a bowl and then carefully pour the milk mixture over the rolls so that each roll has been drizzled.  The coconut milk will be about 1/2 an inch high in the pan so that the rolls appear to be floating.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the rolls are golden on top. (This last step is optional:) Use a spatula to flip the rolls upside down and bake for another 5 minutes.  Done!

The remaining coconut milk in the pan can be used to spoon ontop of the rolls or throw it in the blender with a can of pineapple chunks and ice cubes and you’ve got pina colodas!

Hawaiian Steel-Cut Oatmeal

IMG_0297I’ve been watching this recipe go around on pinterest for a while, so I thought I’d try it out. I was not disappointed.  I’m always at a loss of what to do with my steel cut oats.  It’s one of those things that I bought because I knew it was good for me, but rarely ever use.  I think this recipe is a keeper.  It made the house smell ridiculously delicious and home-y. Really, this is the perfect thing to make the entire house smell like Christmas meets Hawaii meets Cinnabon. . . it’s a perfect introduction! I only wish the rest of my family liked oatmeal more, but it ended up being a perfect 8pm snack, breakfast, lunch, and 2nd lunch for me! Mmmmm.  I got the original recipe HERE (Thank you Yummy Life) and made a few alterations.

Hawaiian Steel-Cut Oatmeal

2 (14 oz) cans light coconut milk                 2 med ripe bananas, sliced

1/2 cup water                             1 cup steel cut oats

2 Tbsp. brown sugar                             1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg                                   1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. ground flax seed                      1/4 tsp salt

post cooking add-ins:  macadamia nuts, toasted coconut, whipped cream, dried or fresh pineapple chunks.

Coat inside of your crock pot with cooking spray.  Add all ingredients (except post cooking add-ins), stir, cover, and cook on low.  This is where you need to know your slow cooker.  The original recipe says to cook on low for about 7 hours. . . which would be really nice to do if you wanted it fresh when you wake up in the morning.  My ‘low’ setting, however is more like medium, so mine was done in a little less then 5 hours.  I decided to make it my first time during the day so that I could watch it and gauge when it would be done.  I also stirred it about 3 hours into cooking.

Refrigerate whatever you don’t eat

Best Thai Coconut Soup

I’m not a huge fan of complicated recipes, but every once in a while it’s fun to do something out of the norm. I attempted this dish tonight and was pleased. It was very good and sweet. Brett is slightly obsessed with Thai food lately, so it’s nice having another dish that I can make. The nice thing is it’s mild enough that our boys ate it too. Noah seemed to like it a lot and had two bowls. I’ve put in the recipe exactly as it’s written on, and put my own notes underneath.


Best Thai Coconut Soup
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 stalk lemon grass, minced
2 teaspoons red curry paste
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the ginger, lemongrass, and curry paste in the heated oil for 1 minute. Slowly pour the chicken broth over the mixture, stirring continually. Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar; simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and mushrooms; cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp; cook until no longer translucent about 5 minutes. Stir in the lime juice; season with salt; garnish with cilantro.

My notes: I did not put in mushrooms. Instead of shrimp I used two large chicken breasts. Lemon grass was really hard to find, but I tracked down some dried cut up lemon grass at a health food store. I put in apx 2 Tbsp. I liked the flavor of the lemon grass, but next time I’ll strain out the grass pieces floating before I eat it, because I didn’t like the texture (Brett didn’t mind it). I could not find red curry paste anywhere (if you know where to find some let me know!) Instead I used about 2 Tbsp hot curry powder and added some ketchup and lime juice as a substitute. The fresh ginger was great! This was the first time I ever cooked with fresh ginger and now I want to only use fresh from now on. I poured it over rice and it was delicious!

Coconut and Cashew Granola

I am a big granola fan and I really hate that it costs $4+ to buy granola-like cereal, then I just feel guilty eating it like I am consuming dollar bills with every bite. I went on a huge granola adventure last summer and came up with the ultimate healthy granola, but this is without a doubt the yummiest for me in a non-traditional way. Today I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and a little snack too:) I think this just might be my new favorite cereal. . . ever! Thanks to Erin at for the amazing recipe! This is the original recipe but I’ve put my changes in parenthesis.


Coconut and Cashew Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds (I didn’t have any on hand, so I omitted this one)
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
(I also put in about 3 Tbsp. honey)
3/4 tsp salt (my cashews were salted so I didn’t add this either)
1 cup raisins (I put in a tropical trail mix with dried bananas, pineapple, mangos, and dates, but I omit this if I put in the Qia with cranberries)

I love adding in chia seeds or about 1/2 cup of Qia (I got mine at Costco, but you can find it HERE)  nom nom nom:)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine maple syrup, oil and salt (and honey). Combine both mixtures by slowly pouring the liquid over the oatmeal mixture and stirring well. Divide in half and pour onto two baking sheets, spreading out into an even layer on each sheet. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden. (I slightly stirred it about half way through cooking time) Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl, slightly breaking up the clumps. Add the raisins, or other goodies, gently into mix until evenly distributed.

Voila! Heaven!


Granola Revisited and Health-ified More (Big Batch)

6 cups rolled oats

1 cup slivered almonds

2 cups cashews

1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

3/4-1 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup raw honey

1 scoop (30grams) Vega Protein and Greens (Vanilla)

Mix it all up. Bake 250 degrees for 75 minutes.



Thai Chicken Satay

Brett has a slight obsession with Thai food.  He loves it! So, he looked up a recipe and I told him I’d make it, with some alterations, of course.  It turned out really good.  I was impressed at how fast and easy it was too.  Something I will definitely make again, except next time I think I’ll double the recipe.

Thai Chicken Satay

1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce (found in asian foods section)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into strips
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped unsalted peanuts
12 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 15 minutes
Thai peanut sauce (We got ours from Pampered Chef)

In a medium bowl, stir together the coconut milk, ground coriander, curry powder, fish sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and chili oil. Add the chicken breast strips, and stir to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours.  Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill for high heat. Thread the chicken strips onto skewers. Discard marinade.  Grill chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until no longer pink. Time will depend on how thick your strips are. Transfer to a serving plate, and garnish with cilantro and peanuts. Serve with peanut sauce for dipping.

Personal Notes:  I used the remainder of the coconut milk to boil some rice in. Yumm!  NEVER smell fish sauce, otherwise you will refuse to put it in your food.  We didn’t measure the peanut sauce, but just poured it over the rice and chicken when we were about to eat.

Yumm! Happy Cooking!

Indian Chicken Curry

I will forever be grateful to my oldest sister, Holly, who told me that I had to buy turmeric and coriander because it was a MUST.  These might seem like unusual spices, but once you have them you won’t ever part.  I frequently add them to casseroles, meats to grill, and other random things like rice.  So get them and love them! This recipe may take some time (most of which is just checking the simmering pan between a load of laundry or vacuuming the floor), but it is otherwise very simple.


 Indian Chicken Curry

4 semi-thawed chicken breasts (cut into 1/4s)
1 tsp salt
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 garlic pod pressed (yes, this is a lot of cloves)
2 Tbsp. coriander
1 can (6oz) tomato paste
1 can (5.5 oz) tomato juice +  one can water
1 potato – or sweet potato (washed, peeled, and diced into bite size cubes)
opt. coconut milk

Brown onions in shortening. Add tomato paste, tomato juice, garlic, and spices. Cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and potato then stir about 15 minutes on medium heat. Cover and let simmer 1 -1 1/2 hours.  Add as much or as little coconut milk as you’d like (see notes). In the photo above the curry in focus is my husbands plate without coconut milk and my dish in the back has it included. Before serving add cashews.

My notes:  If it looks like there aren’t enough liquids or like it’s burning to the bottom just add some water or coconut milk.  Just check it occasionally, I notice that if I put the heat up a little too high it tends to stick and dissolve the liquid fairly quickly.  This will be pretty spicy, so if you want to tone it down a notch add about half a can of coconut milk halfway through simmer time and then the rest of it a few minutes before you are ready to serve.  The consistency will be a little runnier, but still delicious!


Bonus Recipe:
This is the yellow rice you see in the picture.  Minute Rice can look fancy too:)

Coconut Rice

Follow the instructions on your minute rice box for the serving size you want, but this is what I made:

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
2 pinches turmeric
2 cups minute rice

Bring coconut milk, water, and turmeric to a rapid boil.  Add in rice, stir briefly. Cover pot and remove from heat.  Wait 8 minutes and voila!