I’ve told you before about my new love for the do-it-yourself noodle or rice bowl, i.e, where you lay out an array of veggies (shredded carrots, sliced radishes, sauteéd greens, steamed broccoli, chopped mint and cilantro, etc. etc.), the protein(s) of your choice (tofu, chicken, sliced beef, a fried egg) and sauces (tahini-miso, Thai peanut, sriracha, etc.) to serve over the rice or noodles. It’s admittedly a bit of work to get the components on the table, but providing all that choice makes for a blissfully conflict-free, healthy dinner that will please even the pickiest diners.
As I was making noodle bowls on Monday night, I remembered seeing in the January issue of Bon Appetit some interesting condiments for bowls and salads, and I recalled that one of them was a savory topping made of air-puffed rice and shredded coconut. I didn’t have any puffed rice on hand, and I was so harried that I didn’t even have time to dig up the actual recipe, so I decided to improvise.
I sauteéd in melted coconut oil some crispy brown rice cereal we had in the pantry, along with shredded coconut, smoked paprika and salt:
It was so simple, but I’m not kidding when I say my family went nuts for this topping! There was something about the salty-smoky crunch that was totally addictive, and it took our noodle bowls to a whole new level.
But here’s why I’m telling you all this: don’t you think this savory topping would be a great way to “sell” other veggie dishes, as well as green salads, to reluctant little eaters? I mean, have you ever met a kid who didn’t like Rice Krispies? You can leave out the shredded coconut if that’s a deal breaker, and you could also swap out the smoked paprika for other seasonings, such as curry, chili powder, garam masala or taco seasoning.
Give it a try, and let me know in a comment below if this super-easy recipe is as much a hit in your house as it was in mine.
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