Expect the unexpected with this flavorful and unique side dish

By Brenda Stanley

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Dec. 21 2012 1:29 p.m. MST

It is the unexpected things in life that are the most wonderful.

Of course that isn’t always the case, like the time I surprised my husband in the store by sneaking up on him and swatting him on the butt. It would have been great, if was actually my husband. (Seriously, how many guys with a baseball cap, wearing a green flannel shirt are there in East Idaho?)

OK, so most of the time the unexpected is wonderful.

A good example is my coconut pineapple rice. It is a great addition to a meal and it is so simple to make. It will satisfy the craving for a delicious side dish, and is sweet and creamy with a unique and flavorful difference. I especially like serving it with simple cuts of meat that are grilled. This recipe is a lot more than just a side dish. It is an unexpected and wonderful addition to any meal!

Belle’s Coconut Pineapple Rice

1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk

¼ teaspoon sesame oil

1 cup jasmine rice

1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits

Pour coconut milk into a 2-cup measuring cup. Drain juice from pineapple into the measuring cup. Add enough water to make 2 cups of liquid. Pour all the liquid into a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil slowly, so the milk doesn’t burn.

Stir in the rice and sesame oil and turn down the heat to simmer. Cook rice for 15-20 minutes or until rice is fluffy. Stir in the pineapple and cook until heated through.

Brenda Stanley is the mother of five children, including two sets of twins, and a grandmother of three. She is a cookbook author and novelist. Her website is at talesofthedinnerbelle.com.