Carry on holidays

Waking up on holidays the other morning, I had my eyes still closed, but I could tell that I was surrounded by a lot of skin. I was smashed up against a deliciously broad back and I sighed contentedly. I love sun-kissed, hedonistic holidays. Then I realised that there was another hand poking through into my tummy. Oooo-errr! And another arm was around my middle and a leg pushed in between mine. Saucy!

Wriggling over in the limited space I was accosted by surprisingly bad breath and then a wee hand smacking me on the boob, bringing me back to my senses. This was no scene of wild holiday abandon. This was an early-morning wake up on our very-family-oriented getaway. And the double bed was crammed full of a snoring Mr VS and two children seeking refuge – one from the scary cockroach on the wall of our van-park cabin and the other from a tangled and smelly old quilt cover which was discarded on the floor.

Note to self. Must arrange a mid-year getaway with husband. Alone.

In the meantime, this mild Caribbean rice side-dish will keep the holiday vibe going. Just a hint of coconut and a stack of vegies. As always, everything is optional. Use whatever will work with your family. I’m including instructions for this in either a rice cooker or in a regular saucepan.

Why not garnish with an umbrella. Cute.

Why not garnish with an umbrella. Cute.

Caribbean ‘I’m still on holidays’ rice

2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 spring onions, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups long grain rice
1 litre water (boil the jug and use that to make cooking quicker)
160g coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
Several stalks of fresh thyme (use half a bunch if you have it)
1/4 red capsicum
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 zucchini, grated (peeled if your kids hate green)
400g can borlotti beans, rinsed, drained
125g can corn kernels

Heat your rice cooker on the saute function or heat a saucepan over medium/high heat. Add your oil and saute the spring onion and garlic for a minute, stirring frequently.

Pour in the rice and stir really well to make sure it is thoroughly coated and the edges are just starting to turn translucent. (This takes a minute or two).

Carefully tip in the coconut milk and stir. Then add the water, cinnamon and thyme. Stir well. Turn the rice cooker to the cook function and cover OR reduce the heat on the stovetop to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid (a glass lid so you can peak in, is perfect).

Once little vertical tunnels appear in the rice, it is practically cooked (about 15 minutes), so really quickly remove the lid and chuck in the vegies and beans. Stir briefly, recover, and leave for another 5 minutes or so (I actually tend to switch my cooker to ‘warm’ for this stage – the residual heat is enough to warm everything through).

Serve with salad and some meat from the BBQ – something tasty like jerk chicken is perfect (I’ll post a recipe for that next week.)

Serves 4 adults & 4 kids as a side dish.

12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Your rice dish looks so festive! I usually avoid rice because it’s somewhat bland, but your recipe seems like a really good way to spice it up. Good luck with your future vacation!

  2. 8

    Claire Bailey said,

    Mmmm, sounds good, the warm broad back, the trip away without kids and the rice dish.

    It should work okay with coconut flavoured evaporated milk?

    • 9

      wendyblume said,

      yes, I think so. Any reason you don’t want to use regular coconut milk? I know it’s high fat, but it’s only a small amount – just a little tin. Not that I’m being picky, I’m just interested.

  3. 10

    Anna said,

    How would this recipe work cold please?
    I have a gluten free birthday picnic on the weekend and am trying to come up with alternatives to sandwiches (not very gf friendly) and traditional/lettuce style salads (Miss Fussy wont eat salad). I’m thinking this along with cold jerk chicken could work???

    Any advice/suggestions welcome.

    Thank you!

    • 11

      wendyblume said,

      Hi Anna, sorry, I was slow to reply to this – but if you’re still interested, I think try this brown rice salad instead…

      Not sure that the coconut one would be a good texture cold – too gluggy.

      • 12

        Anna said,

        Thank you! I did try the Caribbean rice in the end & it was actually really yummy and worked well as salad. There was a bit of glug factor but I think it actually worked for us; it meant that mouthfuls actually reached little mouths rather than falling off the spoon on way to mouth!

        The brown rice salad has inspired me for next week’s pre-school lunches though. Here’s hoping we continue our success with your recipes 🙂


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