Yesterday was Memorial Day, which means it’s officially Mexican-food-all-the-time season! Avocados, tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro are in season, so there’s really no other option than Mexican food… all of the days. Yet is it just me who has trouble thinking of interested side dishes to go with Mexican dinners? Refried beans from a can retain their can shape in my mind, full of I-don’t-know-what-this-is-or-how-to-pronounce-it ingredients that are less than desirable. And I’m always underwhelmed by most rice at Mexican restaurants, and most of it is made with chicken broth and white rice in the first place, making it both non-vegan and not very healthy. The Vigo bags of yellow rice from the market are totally delicious but, again, filled with chemical-laden rogue ingredients and white rice (stripped of its fiber-full bran).
Enter.. cilantro lime brown rice. First made for a Cinco de Mayo potluck, this simple, yet extremely flavorful side dish quickly became a staple in our house. I’d had cilantro lime rice before at various burrito factories, so I was a bit shocked when I tasted my homemade concoction and discovered an explosive flavor, all at once aromatic, tart, and nutty. The brown rice really pulls its weight here, mingling gently with the coconut oil, tangy lime juice, and herbaceous fresh cilantro.
This rice is perfect as a simple side dish and works beautifully at pot lucks, and it would work equally as beautifully in burritos or chimichangas, layered with some homemade refried black beans, sautéed mushrooms, simple guacamole, and some vegan nacho cheese. Mmmmmm…. am I invited?
Make this! It’ll become a quick summer favorite, I guarantee it.
Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
- 1 cup long-grain brown rice
- juice of 1/2 lime (or a little more, to taste)
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil , liquid form
- Rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the rice, stir it once, and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer over the sink.
- Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return it to the pot, off the heat. Cover the pot and set it aside to allow the rice to steam for 10 minutes. Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork.
- In a small bowl, combined liquid coconut oil, chopped cilantro, salt, and lime juice. Pour over rice and toss to combine. Season to taste with a little more lime juice, cilantro, salt, or coconut oil.
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.