Oct 03

Zucchini Coconut Rice with Crispy Cheese & Chickpeas

A new very favorite thing.

Coconut Zucchini Rice-4
Well, not really new because I’ve been eating fried cheese all my life.  That would be thanks to my mom’s mom who used to serve us fried cheese toast for breakfast.  Just toast cooked in a pan with cheese until the cheese melts into every little bit of the toast and then turns all crispy.  It’s perfect.  Actually, my sister ate the fried cheese toast.  I was all about the french toast.  How you gonna make someone choose between fried cheese and french toast?!

I should make fried cheese french toast. Oh gosh yess. There’s so many food trends I’ve been wanting to make but haven’t, like the savory french toast thing or the grilled romaine thing. I need to get with it.  

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So this rice is creamy. So creamy.  The coconut milk gives it this creamy, coat-your-mouth-in-cream taste so you might be like, “is this a milkshake?”  But it’s not.  It’s rice.  Brown rice.  Yay for fiber, selenium and magnesium. 
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Speaking of creamy tings, last night I was attempting to drink some creamy hot chocolate.  But then Maggie jumped into my lap and hot chocolate went all over me…and our white couch.  There are stains.  When I bought the couch I couldn’t imagine a time when I would have a puppy or children.  It just seemed so far off.  But now here I am with a puppy and a white couch, they just don’t go together.  I still love Maggie more than the couch.  We’ll just turn the cushions over when we have company over. 
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I had the deep realization yesterday that twitter is good for my marriage.  During any day, so many thoughts (so many) pop into my head.  I feel compelled to share at least 95% of those thoughts with someone and that’s where twitter comes in.  Andrew would go crazy if I texted him with every thought.  I did text him this week saying, “I decided I’m going to start parting my hair down the middle.”  It’s a big decision, ya know? I have a side part now with side bangs.  Anyways, Andrew was like, “you part it down the middle now.”  Boys.
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So this dish.  It makes a lot of delicious food.  And it’s scoopable.  My husband’s favorite food characteristic.  I cooked the zucchini using a method I never had before, which isn’t surprising since there are a lot of things I haven’t tried (like the aforementioned grilled romaine salad or savory french toast).  To the steaming, hot, cooked rice, you stir in raw, grated zucchini. 

For a second while you’re grating your zucchini your mind might scream, “yay! we’re making zucchini bread.” But ignore that thought and put the grated zucchini into the rice. Do it quick.  It’ll be worth it.  I thought it was gonna be too..raw.  But it wasn’t.  It was awesome.
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Then you top everything with crispy chickpeas and crispier cheese and call the whole thing LUNCH.  Or DINNER.

And then you spend the rest of the day sneaking back to the kitchen for fried cheese leftovers.  Or that’s what I did.

Zucchini Coconut Rice with Crispy Cheese and Chickpeas
Coconut Brown Rice
  1. 1 (13.66 fl oz) can lite coconut milk
  2. 1/3 cup water
  3. 1 cup brown rice
  4. 1 medium zucchini, grated
  1. 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  5. 16 cherry tomatoes
  6. 4 ounces sharp cheddar, grated (I used Farmers' Legacy Collection-White Oak Cheddar)
  1. In a sauce pan, combine coconut milk, water and brown rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover until cooked, 40 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, stir grated (raw) zucchini directly into the cooked rice. Cover the pot and allow the heat of the rice to cook the zucchini.
  2. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss together chickpeas, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour chickpeas onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss tomatoes in the same bowl that you tossed the beans in so they get a little olive oil on them. Pour tomatoes onto the same lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. If your tomatoes start to burn, you can take them out of the oven early and let the chickpeas keep baking until crispy.
  3. Line a separate baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle the grated cheese into 6 thin piles. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, or until crispy.
  4. Top zucchini coconut rice with crispy chickpeas, roasted tomatoes and crispy cheese.
serves 4
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{Disclaimer: I am a member of the Cabot Cheese Board and received free samples of their Farmers’ Legacy Cheese Collection.}

12 comments on “Zucchini Coconut Rice with Crispy Cheese & Chickpeas”

  1. This sounds amazing! And fried cheese French toast?! Genius ;)

  2. crispy cheese! Brings the whole dish to a new level. A new part in your hair is a big deal .. Boys just don’t get it lol! I say go for it and you can always switch it back if you end up not liking it.

  3. How can I resist?! This looks amazing!

  4. This looks absolutely incredible, and fried cheese french toast?!? I saw an amazing white couch at a consignment store the other day that had a chaise lounge built in, and I was all like, “If I had the money I would totes by that!” and then my mother-in-law reminded me that I was the clumsiest person on the planet AND I had a one year old little boy. Um, yeah. White couches and me don’t mix either apparently.

  5. That looks really delicious! I’m very curious to try the toasted cheese, how come no-one has come up with that before?

  6. Ooooooo. Crispy foods (especially cheese) are some of the finer things in life. I heart crispy and creamy and coconutty and healthy.

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  8. I LOVE those cripsy cheese bits when I’m baking cheesy bread, but I never thought of baking just baking cheese by itself! So trying that now! Thanks for the inspiration!

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