RECIPE

The best 10-minute vegan breakfast starts with instant rice and canned coconut milk

Bonus: You can go sweet or savory, depending on your mood and what toppings are in your fridge and pantry

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Published March 6, 2022 4:59PM (EST)

Rice pudding with pine nuts, fresh figs and maple syrup (Getty Images/Claudia Totir)
Rice pudding with pine nuts, fresh figs and maple syrup (Getty Images/Claudia Totir)

When I'm experiencing stress (something I know has been a near-constant undercurrent for everyone these past two years), the two things I lose first are my ability to sleep and my early morning appetite. This makes getting through some days tough, as I'm literally running on empty — which only perpetuates the stress cycle. 

Sometimes you just have to weather the storm, but I know there are little things I can do to make weathering it easier. I can leave my phone in the living room when I go to bed to put a cap on my Twitter doomscrolling; spritz my pillowcases with a lavender spray before attempting to sleep, hoping for some kind of pavlovian association with relaxation to kick in; take my dumb vitamins and go for a daily walk; and put stuff in my pantry that can be used to make a quick breakfast


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I mean really quick. If it takes more than a few minutes, I'm not going to make it. I'll just end up subsisting on coldbrews until I get hangry at two o'clock in the afternoon. That said, I do like something that's a little more flavorful and filling than cereal. 

Recently, I've settled into a routine of making coconut-rice breakfast bowls from instant rice and canned coconut milk — two cheap items I consistently have on deck. They come together in about 10 minutes, and I can use whatever bits and bobs I have in the kitchen that week. Sometimes, I go in a savory direction — incorporating scallions, whatever vegetables are lingering in my crisper drawer and a glug of hot sauce. Other times, I'm craving something sweet, so I add dried fruit, nuts and a spoonful of maple syrup to the mix. 

Savory Vegan Breakfast BowlSavory Vegan Breakfast Bowl (Ashlie Stevens)

The resulting bowls are flexible and filling. Best of all, they're super comforting with their warming congee or oatmeal-like consistency. The coconut-rice base is vegan, as are the toppings I suggest (because I'm trying to stick to a "weekday vegan" schedule). However, this would also be a good opportunity to add a little extra protein. Toss in some shredded rotisserie chicken or top the bowl with a jammy six-minute egg. You won't regret it. 

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Recipe: Savory coconut-rice breakfast bowl 

Yields
1 servings
Prep Time
minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup instant rice 
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk 
  • 1 teaspoon non-chick'n bouillon 
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced 
  • 2 to 3 radishes, sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons roasted, salted pumpkin seeds 
  • Scallions for garnish 
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes for garnish 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a small pot, combine the instant rice, coconut milk and non-chick'n bouillon. Add enough water to cover the rice and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  2. Stir the mixture over heat until it's thick — you're looking for an oatmeal-like consistency — and the rice is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Scoop the rice into a bowl. Now, it's time to add toppings: sliced avocado, sliced radish, pumpkin seeds and scallions. To make this dish feel extra luxe, I like to add a drizzle of olive oil. Finish it off with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. 

 

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Recipe: Sweet coconut-rice breakfast bowl 

Yields
1 servings
Prep Time
0 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup instant rice
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon  
  • 2 to 3 fresh figs, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons roasted, salted pecans 
  • Drizzle of maple syrup 

Directions

  1. In a small pot, combine the instant rice, coconut milk and cinnamon. Add enough water to cover the rice and bring the mixture to a simmer.

  2. Stir the mixture over heat again until it's the consistency of oatmeal. You're looking for tender rice. 

  3. Transfer the rice to a bowl and top it with the fig slices, pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup. 

 

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Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is Salon's deputy food editor.

MORE FROM Ashlie D. Stevens


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Breakfast Coconut Milk Instant Rice Recipe Vegan