Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir Fry

Spicy stir-fried kale with coconut and rice (gluten free) - cookieandkate.comIf you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. That’s what my mom always told me. Maybe you’ve heard the same from your mom. Over the past week, as I’ve been confronted by some ugly aspects of my own personality and the food blog world, I’ve gone quiet. Insecurities and income instability have me questioning my every move.

I was struggling to find words worth sharing this morning when my phone beeped at me. “Pool day?” it asked. Those two little words reminded me that I have some sweet friends and the freedom to take off work for an afternoon. All is not lost!

kale, green onions, rice and eggs

I’ve already enjoyed stir-fry leftovers for breakfast today. This dish is a relatively quick weeknight meal that features a healthy dose of kale and some of my favorite Thai flavors.

stir-fry ingredients

Feel free to throw in any thinly sliced vegetables that you might have in the fridge, too. Red bell pepper is lovely, as are chopped Brussels sprouts. I bet thinly sliced carrots would be great, too. I actually intended to include bell pepper in the final photos like you see in the prep photos, but my second store-bought bell pepper was moldy on the inside. That’s probably what I deserve for buying an out-of-season pepper from who-knows-where. Guilty as charged.

I found the base recipe for this stir fry in an awesome new cookbook that recently landed on my doorstep, courtesy of a PR rep. It is appropriately titled, Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables.

Brassicas are the cruciferous family of vegetables that include kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other less trendy ingredients, like bok choy and turnips. Did you know that arugula is a brassica? That was news to me. Brassicas help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation and promote liver detoxification, so needless to say, they are a worthy (and delicious!) addition to your plate.

stir-fried kale and coconut

The book’s original recipe for spicy kale fried rice was really tasty, but I couldn’t help adding some complementary flavors. While I was savoring my first test run, I remembered how great lime and cilantro go with kale in my burritos. Then I recalled Heidi Swanson’s amazing kale and coconut flake salad. I added all of the above to my second try and loved it even more.

I thought scrambled eggs might be too weird to include with the coconut flakes, but eggs and coconut make a marvelous pair. The big, toasted coconut flakes are savory and remind me of bacon. We all know that bacon and eggs belong together, so today, I present to you a healthier, vegetarian option. You could take this dish a step further and throw in coconut bacon at the end of cooking, but I just incorporated the coconut flakes into the cooking process. Hope you’ll take my word for it and try it!

thai-stir-fried-kale-with-coconut-and-riceA delicious weeknight vegetarian stir fry with Thai flavors! - cookieandkate.com

5.0 from 11 reviews
Spicy Kale and Coconut Stir Fry
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A vegetarian weeknight stir fry with sautéed kale, coconut flakes and rice. The dish is finished with Thai flavors like lime, cilantro and sriracha. For best results, cook your rice in advance and refrigerate until you're ready to start cooking. This dish comes together very quickly—be sure to have your ingredients prepped ahead of time and placed near the stove, along with a big empty bowl for the cooked components. As you cook, use your senses and pay attention to the visual cues provided. Adjust your cooking temperature as necessary.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or quality vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a dash of salt
  • 2 big cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ bunch green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
  • Optional: 1 cup thinly sliced vegetables, like bell pepper, carrot or Brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium bunch kale (preferably Lacinato but curly green is good, too), ribs removed and leaves finely shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (not shredded coconut)
  • 2 cups cooked and chilled brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or sriracha
  • 1 lime, halved
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat a large (12-inch or wider) wok, cast iron skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on contact, add 1 teaspoon of oil. Pour in the eggs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are scrambled and lightly set. Transfer the eggs to your empty bowl. Wipe out the pan if necessary with a paper towel (be careful, it's hot!).
  2. Add one tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the garlic, onions and optional additional vegetables. Cook, while stirring, for 30 seconds or longer, until fragrant or until the vegetables are tender. Add the kale and ¼ teaspoon salt. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the kale is wilted and tender, which will just take a couple of minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan to your bowl of eggs.
  3. Add the remaining two teaspoons of oil to the pan. Pour in the coconut flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until the flakes are lightly golden. Add the rice to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is hot, about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the contents of the bowl back into the pan. Add your 2 teaspoons of tamari (or soy sauce) and hot sauce (chili garlic sauce or sriracha). Stir to combine, then transfer the contents to serving plates or back to your bowl. Squeeze the juice of ½ of a lime over the dish. Garnish with a sprinkling of torn cilantro leaves and wedges of lime, with jars of chili garlic sauce, sriracha and/or red pepper flakes on the side.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables by Laura Russell.
Make it vegan/egg free: Skip the eggs by heating the pan and then start cooking with step 2.
Make it gluten free: Make sure to use a gluten-free soy sauce, like tamari.
Storage suggestions: The dish tastes great the next day, whether reheated or served at room temperature.

Comments

  1. says

    This looks wonderful!

    I hope you were able to have an enjoyable time at the pool with your friend and that whatever nastiness was bothering you fell by the wayside like big water drops off that fall from your bathing suit when you exit the pool. Your blog and what you share here is aMAZing (and delicious and nutritious – it changes people’s lives). Mean people suck, they always will. Don’t let them get you down. You are better than them.

    • says

      Lisa, thank you! I am feeling better after the pool and I’m about to head out the door for my friend time. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Sara says

    Not sure exactly what’s got you bummed, but I just wanted to say from a random blog follower (who’s not even all that good of a cook) that I always love your posts, and have probably pinned half your site. When I’m thinking, “hm. I want a veggie burger” or “what kind of salad could I make with this kale or spinach or chard?” or “I’m in the mood for a fruity dessert…” I almost always come to your blog first. I have yet to make something that hasn’t worked out well, and often the kids even like it, too – bonus! Anyway, hopefully thoughts like this will overrule whatever rude comments you’ve gotten lately, and you have a beautiful summer weekend!

    • says

      Sara, thank you! I’m so glad to know you’re out there reading. I’m also really happy to hear that my blog is a reliable resource for you! You make my work worthwhile. :)

  3. Sloan says

    Please cheer up and know that you brighten everyone’s days with your delicious posts. And then the love goes beyond that with the dishes your readers make and share with friends and family. You are great at what you do. Your recipes are excellent. The haters have it all wrong.

  4. says

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with negativity and self doubt. I feel like to some extent they’re always present with creative endeavors and I imagine especially so when you work for yourself. The independence and sense of personal fulfillment are worth it in the end though, I feel! Can’t wait to try this lovely stir fry!

    • says

      That’s a very good point, Trisha. I love what I do but I get bogged down with negative thoughts sometimes. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  5. Julia says

    I am new to your blog, but was drawn in when I went searching for a baked Yam fry that actually a)works and b)tastes as good as my shallow fried version. I made them last night and they came out as promised. Perfect!
    I love the photos and the recipes are wonderful and so full of variety. I am currently doing my menu plan for next week based on your the recipes in your blog.
    Cookie is great. You are great. Keep up the great work!

  6. Melissa says

    This is my dinner for next week. It looks amazing! Funnily enough I almost always have leftovers of at least five of these ingredients hanging around and I constantly think, “what the heck should I do with this??”

  7. says

    So sorry about your negative experiences, cannot imagine what they would be; you have a lovely blog and come across as a lovely person as well. I am not a vegetarian but your blog constantly inspires me to eat healthier and to cook delicious meatless meals not because they are pointedly meatless but because they are wonderful meals on their own right.

    And eggs with coconut = delicious! Once when I was just lazily throwing stuff together trying to make a semblance of dinner ended up with a cooked kale hot salad with toasted coconut and peanuts topped with two fried eggs, sooo good. I make it quite often now and there are Indonesian dishes that pair eggs with coconut too :)

    • says

      Thank you, J.S.! Now that I think about it, I bet peanuts would be an awesome addition to this stir fry. I still have some leftovers, so I’ll give it a try! Your improvised salad sounds amazing.

  8. Laura says

    Well, if helps any, this internet stranger thinks you seem like a sweet, genuine and creative person, and I truly enjoy reading your blog. Sorry to hear things have been tough lately :(

    Thanks for reminding me of a great way to use leftover rice! This sounds like a delicious version of fried rice and I’ll definitely be trying it out.

    • says

      Hey Laura, thank you very much. I don’t want to be the type of person who needs reassurance, but it sure is nice to hear. I appreciate your comment. I hope you love the stir fry!

  9. says

    I’ve never thought of adding kale to a stir-fry but it makes total sense, I want to go try it right now! I’ve always wondered how to get those dark greens into stir fries…I imagine spinach would just go limp. Hope you enjoy your pool day!

    • says

      Yeah, I think spinach would get a little soggy. Kale retains its texture as long as you don’t overdo it! This stir fry is a delicious way to consume lots of greens in one sitting.

  10. says

    I am a sucker for all things Thai, especially when there are copious amounts of vegetables involved! And the whole “if you can’t say anything nice” statement… it’s funny, because I caught myself repeating it over a few times in my head this week. I hope you get some time to unwind this weekend. Both of the things you mentioned are things that I worry about too, so I totally know where you’re coming from. Enjoy that pool!

  11. says

    I love stir-frys like this! So quick, easy and healthy! And don’t let mean people bother you. Mean people are dumb, and you have no time for them. Your blog has been one of my favorites for a long time, and you were actually one of the reasons that I had the confidence to start my own blog! You are doing great things, so keep up the great work, sister :)

  12. Cindy says

    Love your blogs! Love your recipes! Love your stories about your dog! I am always excited to see your name pop up in my email knowing there is something delish about to happen. My friend always says, if you can take the high road or take the low road, always always take the high road, even if it kills you.

  13. Taire says

    This looks scrumptious! Can’t wait to make it. Hang in there Kate, some people are rainclouds and others are sunshine. Thank you for your positive work and recipes.

  14. says

    This looks SO delicious and I truly hope the coming week is better to you! Just so you know… I pin just about every recipe from you that hits my inbox and I actually spent about an hour a couple months ago going through your whole recipe index and pinning everything I wanted to make at some point. Also- you’re Slaw Lady. So remember that you’re famous when you’re feeling down! xo
    http://www.youtube.com/sparklesandsuch26

  15. Morgan Leigh says

    I just wanted to echo what everyone is saying. This is one of my favorite food blogs. Your recipes are reliable and tasty. But more importantly you have inspired me, which feels really corny and lame to admit. Your story of working in cube land and using this blog to break free inspired me to start my own blog and quit my job. My blog is on no one’s radar but my own but it makes me happy. So thank you for being brave and sharing, because to me, it’s meant something.

  16. Sandy says

    This recipe sounds so good that I ordered coconut chips online from my favorite raw nuts dealer. Since I’ve found your food blog I have to say that this is my favorite one, and it is now the only one I check out for recipes. I’m a semi-strict veeggAtarian, but your recipes work great for me. I’m semi-strict in that if a recipe calls for an egg or two, I’ll borrow them from my neighbors pastured hens. Although, homemade scrambled tofu isn’t half bad when flavored with my turmeric based spice recipe.

    • says

      Sandy, thank you! I’m really happy to hear that you enjoy my blog so much. Your turmeric scrambled tofu sounds good to me! Would you mind sharing the name of your online nut dealer? Sometimes other visitors ask for recommendations and I don’t know where to direct them.

      • Sandy says

        Hi Kate, I like Nuts.com. They carry organic raw nuts which are a bit expensive, but I am sure of what I’m getting. I buy in bulk and refrigerate them, but of course I don’t eat them in bulk. Also, they carry raw organic sunflower seeds, quinoa, kaniwa, chia seeds, dried fruits, nut flours, hemp seeds & products, cacao nibs, and more. My small town doesn’t carry what I need for a healthy vegan diet so it’s worth it to me.

        Google “scrambled tofu turmeric” for ideas on how to make scramble egg substitute for any recipe. Turmeric is a very healthy spice and it doesn’t impart very much taste when not added with other Asian spices.

  17. says

    This sounds really delicious – I will have to try this combination of flavors! I love a good stir fry and this is definitely a healthy version. Hope you are feeling better and enjoying the weekend!

  18. Anne says

    How did you know I had almost all of these ingredients on hand but didn’t know what to do with them? I made this dish for dinner last night–declared a “must repeat” after one bite. Sprinkled some peanuts on top for a bit of crunch. I started following your blog after you name kept popping up on Pinterest–what a find you are! You are blogging about a diet a try to keep with varying degrees of success. Your recipes keep me in the game. I appreciate your work and energy. Your strawberry kale salad with granola was my “gateway” recipe and now I’m hooked!

    • says

      Hooray!!! Happy to hear that this recipe made it to “must repeat” status. I added some peanuts to my last bowl of leftovers, yum! Thank you very much for commenting. :)

  19. says

    I hope whoever has made you sad is having their butt whooped by karma!
    This stir fry looks genius! My other half is not a fan of kale, but he certainly loves stir fry, I bet if I added some real bacon to his (I’ll take the coconut version thanks) that he would gobble this down without realising just how good it is for him :) I’ve never contemplated the pairing of coconut and eggs before, but now I think about it they would be a great couple.
    Kale and coconut now on the shopping list for next week! Thanks Kate!

  20. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about the current stressors. Mean people often get me down, too (as does income insecurity, argh!). You are AMAZING and I am glad that you do have positive people in your life to reinforce that fact. I know that this blog will continue to go from strength to strength and that is mostly due to the fact that you invest so much of yourself into it (your honesty, photography talent and knack with real flavours). Take care lovely. Oh, and this kale and coconut stir fry? YUM! I’ve tried a similar combo myself and loved it. Will try your version xxx

  21. says

    Girrrrl, I hear you. I’ve seen it and felt it, the insecurities, the instabilities and I’ve seen some of that ugliness, too. For me, I try to remember and focus on all of the amazing things about what we do and those super incredible folks I have met – even with the weird yuckiness that can show it’s head sometimes and that weird competitiveness of some folks. It sure can be hard sometimes, but truly some of the most amazing people in my life, I have met through blogging. Glad to hear you had a good friend whisk you away to the pool. Hope things are better this week for you.

    • says

      Glad you can relate, Beth! Sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole instead of publishing work for the world to see. Sometimes it’s just too much. This week is looking up. Hope it’s going well for you, too!

  22. says

    This is such a lovely sounding recipe! One that I would thankfully make on a weeknight when craving something quick, comforting, and veggie loaded. Making this soon.

    I’m so sorry for the struggles you’ve experienced lately. You are such a creative, inspiring, and kind person. Never forget that you’ve created a community of like-minded people, readers and fellow bloggers, you can always turn to for support. You’re great, Kate! Don’t let some nasty incidents or people make you forget or doubt that. xoxo

  23. Stacey says

    Hi Kate, I just want to echo all the support posted above – I’m quiet myself in terms of commenting, but have made a countless number of your recipes and am always looking forward to what you post next. Especially now I’d like you to know your blog and food inspiration has sent so much positive energy my way – thank you!

    • says

      Thank you, Stacey. I’m so glad to know you’re out there, reading and cooking along. Also glad to hear that you get a positive vibe from this space of mine! Sometimes I worry about putting out any negativity, but I don’t want to give the false impression that full-time blogging/my life is a cakewalk! Hope you’re having a great week so far!

  24. says

    Keep your chin up and keep writing. Though, I hear ya; I have some crazy trolls that don’t comment on my site, but do comment on the Bites blog where I contribute. Doing my best to ignore them and keep writing about what I love.

  25. says

    I just love you for posting this! I bought the hugest bundles of purple kale at the farmer’s market this weekend because they were so beautiful and tempting and such a good price. I didn’t have any plans for them though. PERFECT TIMING! I love the flavors here, all the garlic and coconut and everything I love about Thai food! I’m always gleaning recipes that help me use up veggies and this is perfect. Going on this week’s menu, thank you!

    I honestly think we all question our decisions sometimes. Don’t let that devalue the thought and consideration you put into making that decision and seeing it through. You are awesome! Keep it up girl!

  26. Jennifer says

    I made this tonight to have for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. It is absolutely soul-satisfyingly delicious. I am obsessed with coconut and was a use up of my farmers market kale. I LOVED it.

  27. Laura says

    I love your blog and I am always telling people about it. It is obvious you love what you do and that’s why you are so good at it. Not everything is for everyone and unfortunately there is always going to be someone that doesn’t like you or what you are doing. That’s ok, it’s their problem not yours. Keep doing your thing!! Shine on xx

  28. says

    Kathryne, I’m sorry to hear you’re having a rough week. You share so much beauty, health and deliciousness with all of us… it makes me mad to think of meanness coming your way. In fact I feel like kicking some butt on your behalf;)
    Hang in there my friend,
    E

  29. Wendy says

    I’ve been drooling over this recipe since you posted, and finally decided I would make it today regardless of my coconut flake amnesia that hits every time I enter the market. This recipe is absolutely scrumptious! I did use coconut oil during veggie sautée time, and it was magic. Thank you, again, Kate. I can only imagine the types of evils that lurk in the blog world, but just so you know, I think you’re blog is awesome and I look forward to every post. Give Cookie a little scratch behind the ears for me…if she’s into that sort of thing :-)

  30. Paige says

    Thought you might like to know that you are my favorite food blogger! I consider myself a work in progress when it comes to learning to cook, and you have been a huge and important part of that journey. I have loved everything I’ve made of yours(let me give a shout out to your Arugula Cremini Quiche I made last weekend-it was the hit of our brunch!). I appreciate what you do, and all the time you’ve taken to answer my questions here and there along the way. Thank you for being you. :)

  31. says

    I hope things are looking brighter for you. When life throws me a shitty hand I always find comfort in my kitchen and I think you can totally relate. This meal looks wonderful and simple. My favorite combination!

  32. Tricia says

    Eating this right now and it is blowing my mind! Took someone’s advice about tofu instead of eggs by throwing in chopped Tempeh with the rice while heating that up. Quick question, what’s the importance of the rice being cold vs. cooking it along side the stir fry? THANK YOU!!!

    • says

      Hooray! Thanks, Tricia. I’m no stir fry expert, but the real experts say that fried rice turns out best with chilled rice. I think it’s because freshly cooked rice is too moist and clumps together?

      • Tricia says

        That makes sense to this stir fry rookie! I love your blog btw, check it daily along with ohsheglows. I don’t know what I would eat if it weren’t for you two! Food would be so boring….

  33. says

    Yum! I made this tonight and it was a big success. Used julienned red bell peppers, basmati rice and a dash of red chile flakes for extra heat! These one-pot meals are my absolute favorite. Thanks for sharing!

  34. says

    Hope everything is okay, chica, and I’m glad you have some good people in your life to help get a smile on your face! I think we all have those moments of doubts and insecurity and WTF AM I DOING?! Sending hugs!

    And I want this stir fry in my life as soon as possible. It has all my favorite stuff in it!

  35. says

    You have been hands-down, my favorite food blog for awhile, and after making this stir-fry and falling in love with it, I finally decided to tell you how much I love your site. I’m not even vegetarian, but all of my favorite recipes come from you. Just wanted to say thanks and keep up the awesome work!

  36. says

    i got excited when i saw this recipe … so if that gives you any reassurance then there you go! Always love reading your posts. Hope all is better now!

  37. Una says

    Kate – I made this last night for my husband & I and we loved it! I subbed quinoa for the brown rice and added finely chopped carrots & a red and orange bell pepper…it worked out really well. The flavors were awesome and I’m looking forward to leftovers today :)

    I’ve never commented before, but frequently check your blog and so appreciate your recipes. You make eating whole foods so easy and delicious. I especially love your roasted cauliflower and farro salad.

    Thank you!!!

    • says

      Una, thank you for commenting! Your version of the stir fry sounds so delicious. I’m delighted to hear that you are enjoying my recipes, thank you!

  38. Kate says

    I almost never comment on blogs, but after making this recipe for the second time in two weeks I knew I had to. This stir fry is amazing – my husband (a dedicated meat eater) said that he wanted to have it every week! Success! Thank you for your delicious recipes and gorgeous photos!

  39. Mary Woo says

    I was so excited to see this recipe, so I tried it to reward my husband with a good, creative meal. And it was just that!! My meat-loving hubby loved it! I love that you add Thai and Asian flavors to your recipes. Your blog is my favorite go to for recipes. Keep the awesomeness coming! :)

    • says

      I’m glad you both enjoyed the stir fry, Mary! Thank you for commenting to let me know and for following along! More recipes coming soon. :)

  40. says

    Kate, we loved this dish! Well — I threw in some shredded chicken for my husband, but I enjoyed my vegetarian dinner very much and made sure he knew I had dibs on the leftovers! :) My mother stopped by unexpectedly and enjoyed it very much also. Keep those kale recipes coming! It’s that time of year, greens coming out our ears!

  41. says

    Hi Kate! Love this recipe – Am wondering how long you can leave it in the fridge for? I like to foodprep on Sundays, and would be great to make one large batch and eat it a few times, but want to know HOW MANY –
    Thanks for the find!

    • says

      Hi Ashley, good question. I was going to suggest two days max, but another commenter said her leftovers were good for four days!

  42. Kate says

    Wow, this was amazing! Stored several servings for lunches and they held up well over 4 days. This is definitely one of my top 3 favorite recipes from C&K- thank you so much for all your hard work!

  43. says

    Kate, this looks fantastic! Can’t wait to give it a try.

    And I must echo everyone else here: I absolutely love your blog and your recipes. Keep doing what you love and ignore those who may not appreciate it. You’ve got such a great following who looks forward to each and every new post! :)

  44. Kristin says

    This was so awesome! I shared it with all my friends and am going to try a noodle version tonight. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes – great site!

  45. Catherine says

    I was browsing your site tonight for inspiration to use up the leftover day-before-grocery-shopping food in my fridge, and this was perfect! All the flavors I love, and easy to make with a few subs for what I had on hand. I used spinach instead of kale, and quinoa instead of rice, and it was still fantastic! Thanks for the recipe, I love love love your blog. Almost all my favorite recipes have been culled from here.

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