Use It Up: Light Coconut Milk
Spicy Thai Red Curry Beef
This single-skillet supper is a quick ticket to rich, exotic flavor. Don't shake the coconut milk before opening; you want to keep the thick cream layer separated.
Super-moist and super-easy, this quickbread gets a triple hit of coconut goodness from coconut sugar (you can sub light or dark brown sugar), canned coconut milk, and melted coconut oil—but the finished bread tastes deliciously subtly of the fuzzy nut. (No worries—it does not taste like tanning lotion!) For extra richness, you can stir in a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract, or top the batter with shredded unsweetened coconut before baking, but the simple loaf tastes pretty great as is.
Complete the meal with hot cooked brown rice and thinly sliced cucumber and carrots.
Sautéed Snapper with Curried Greens
The greens become wonderfully silky and aromatic once stirred into a fragrant broth of coconut milk, curry powder, garlic, and fresh ginger. Since the greens are already cooked, they only need to be warmed through in the sauce. If you haven't made a batch of greens, stir in fresh spinach until wilted. Top with any mild, firm white fish, chicken, or shrimp. Chicken or shrimp would be fine substitutes. Serve each bowl with a lime wedge; a squeeze brings the whole dish together.
A generous splash of light coconut milk enriches this dairy-free chowder, making it creamy while offering a faint sweet flavor that enhances the sweetness of the corn. A spoonful of flour also helps to thicken the broth; for a gluten-free version, you can try substituting 11/2 teaspoons cornstarch (you might need to simmer longer to get it to thicken). If you have leftover chicken or a rotisserie bird on hand, you can always use that instead of starting with raw chicken; you’ll want to use about 2 cups shredded or chopped chicken.
Coconut-Lemongrass Chicken Bowls
Marinated chicken simmered in an aromatic coconut broth = flavor building at its finest. This Southeast Asian-inspire bowl is all about big flavor with minimal effort. When working with lemongrass, give the stalk a couple of whacks with the back of a knife before chopping to release its flavorful oils.
Poached Chicken Thighs with Ginger-Coconut Quinoa
We cook the quinoa twice—once to absorb the liquid, and again to make it wonderfully creamy. Top that with chipotle and soy glazed chicken thighs for an irresistible meal.
Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce
Stir into ground turkey for a savory burger, or toss with rice noodles and thinly sliced veggies for an Indonesian-style salad.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
We love the heat level in this slow cooker take on tikka masala to fend off winter chill. If the spice kick is too much for your family, you can cut the red pepper down by half without losing any of the dynamic flavor layers.
Soft Serve Nice Cream
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “nice cream,” it refers to an ice cream–like concoction made by pureeing frozen bananas. This version takes on a smooth, creamy, soft-serve texture with the addition of a little coconut milk. A handful of soft, sticky dates and a sprinkling of salt also enhance the flavor, lending the dessert a caramel-like richness. The final touch is a crunchy coconut flake topping that adds an irresistible textural contrast that both counters and enhances the soft, creamy texture of the nice cream.
Like most whole grains, quinoa is surprisingly filling, but if you need more for breakfast, serve with an egg on the side.
Mile-High Coconut Cupcakes
A mound of creamy whipped topping crowns these Mile-High Coconut Cupcakes and complements the light and fluffy base.
Golden Chicken with Cilantro-Cashew Pesto and Coconut Rice
Tart lime and tangy yogurt provide a necessary fresh, bright kick to balance robust earthy notes from spices like curry.
Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup
The combination of carrots, Fresno chili, brown sugar, fresh ginger, and green onions give this soup a sweet and spicy flavor.
Tropical Fruit Nachos
Who says nachos are solely meant for salty chips and oniony salsa? This sweet reinvention replaces tortilla chips with crispy cinnamon wontons, salsa with chopped tropical fruit, and the cheesy drizzle with silky coconut sauce. You can bake the chips ahead, cool, and place in an airtight container; store in a cool, dry place for up to three days.
Fruit and Nut Smoothie
This easy, satisfying sipper will likely keep you full until lunchtime. A small splash of coconut milk adds satiating richness (and, admittedly, a fair amount of saturated fat), but the walnuts balance with a big boost of heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fats. Fresh orange juice sweetens the smoothie naturally (there’s no added sugar), and frozen mango contributes creaminess when blended. Feel free to sub any berry for the strawberries; blueberries or raspberries would be particularly good here.
Almond Butter Chicken Satay
You can make the dipping sauce and add the chicken to the marinade before you leave for work in the morning, so you only need to skewer the chicken and grill when you get home.
Sesame Seed Crackers
Sesame seeds have a long and established history; they were once highly valued for their oil in ancient times. The famous phrase "open sesame" from The Arabian Nights refers to the unique feature of the sesame seed pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity. Serve these crackers with hummus, peanut butter, or slices of cheese.
Warm Coconut Rice Pudding
This sweet and creamy treat comes together in a snap with a little help from instant rice. You'll love the crunchy pistachio topping.
Chili-Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Rice and Snap Peas
This recipe yields enough shrimp for three globe-trotting meals: a fragrant Thai-inspired sauté, a cool Mexican-style salad, and a quick Chinese stir-fry.
Thai Shrimp Scampi
There are lots of sustainable shrimp options available; ask at the seafood counter to ensure you're making the right choice. If you have trouble finding lemongrass, substitute ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind.
Wilted Kale with Coconut, Ginger, and Lime
This sweet and nutty dish is ready to go in just 10 minutes.
Quick Chicken and Vegetable Curry with Garlic Naan
Curries are often served over rice, but this version is served like a stew with a side of naan bread for a hearty complete meal.
Chicken Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce
Save time, money, and calories by making this simple stir-fry in the comfort of your own kitchen. Want more for later? Try doubling the batch of peanut sauce and using it as a dip for grilled chicken kebabs tomorrow night!
Thai Butternut Soup
If you can't find frozen pureed squash, you can cook this soup with 4 cups cubed butternut squash. Just add 5 extra minutes to the cooking time in step 2.