In honor of Earth Day, I made green rice and beans. Green lima beans, green chives, green spinach, green basil and green lime for lots of color. All natural and organic products for environmental friendliness. I decided not to go the more traditional Latin or Mexican route because I had no cilantro and because it just felt wrong to not use pinto, kidney or black beans. So, I opted for a more Thai-inspired dish with coconut milk, red curry paste, basil and lime.
The dish is fragrant and spicy and wholesome. And it was done in 15 minutes. The perfect lunch.
In other “green” news. Serious Eats has a nice piece on how to decode PLU stickers on produce. Seems like you should stick to 5-digit numbers that start with a 9 and beware of numbers starting with 8!
Conventional produce gets a four-digit number.
Organic produce gets a five-digit number that starts with 9.
Genetically modified items also get a five-digit code, but that code starts with 8.
4139: Conventional Granny Smith apple
94139: Organic Granny Smith
84139: GMO Granny Smith
Green Rice & Beans
1 tsp. – 1 tbsp. Thai red curry paste (depends on how spicy you like it)
7 oz. Coconut Milk (I used Lite)
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans (or fresh and steamed if you have them)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen chopped spinach
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
1 small bunch of chives, snipped into tiny pieces plus a couple of longer pieces for garnish
Heat a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and coconut milk and whisk together until the curry paste dissolves into the coconut milk completely. Add the rice and lima beans, cover and let cook for 5 – 8 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice, basil leaves and chives. Serve with a few chive pieces sprinkled over the top.