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Curried basmati rice salad

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In Praise of Leftovers

(Read caption) This one-bowl salad features aromatic curried basmati rice, as well as ginger, almonds, and coconut for crunch and spice.

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If I had T-shirts with all my slogans on them, we'd have to rent a storage unit.

This week's T-shirt would say, "Put it all in one bowl!" I'm a fan of cramming as many colorful and crunchy things as possible into a bowl and then eating off it for as long as possible.

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Today, it was a curried rice salad with toasted coconut and almonds, candied ginger, and veggies. I brought it to Amber's School's Out! party, and we sat on her deck snacking and crying about our 5th graders moving on to middle school. Wayne, my father-in-law, couldn't believe how sentimental I got at Wyatt's 5th grade graduation. I told him that if they had these events when Yancey was 11 and they played a six-song slideshow that included "Chariots of Fire", he'd cry, too.

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As Wyatt and Loretta get older and we all keep being present to the ups and downs of parenting, I am so, so thankful for the community of mothers in my neighborhood who help me laugh instead of cry, who watch and watch out for my kids, who remind me that my best is usually good enough. It's good to be together.

Curried Basmati Rice Salad
You could add so many other things to this – chopped raw or roasted broccoli or cauliflower, shaved carrots, currants instead of raisins, Asian basil, diced red onions, or chopped green onions.

4 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons sugar
1 English cucumber, diced
1 bunch cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
Handful fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1 red jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups toasted slivered or sliced almonds
1/4 cups chopped candied ginger
Salt
Juice of two limes

1. For rice: In a heavy medium saucepan, melt butter or coconut oil. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and curry powder and saute until melded, about 5 minutes. Add rice, 4 cups water, sugar, and raisins and stir. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Turn off heat after 20 minutes and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and pour into a big shallow salad bowl, stirring to release heat and separate the grains.

2. To assemble the salad: Add cucumber, cilantro, mint, jalapeno, coconut, almonds, and candied ginger, saving a little of each to garnish the top. Mix with salt (keep tasting and add plenty!) and lime juice. Top with reserved ingredients.

To make this heartier and serve it for dinner, grill some chicken or roast some tofu to go on top.

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