Thursday, February 16, 2012

Black Dragon Cereal ~ warm coconut milk, wild rice, mango and dragon fruit


Monday was a bumpy night – our boys have been struggling with various forms of cold and flu and our dog decided to get in on the fun sometime around 4 am. 

I eventually came downstairs to start the day feeling a little less than myself.  My husband was already outside gathering the garbage for collection.  I shuffled into the kitchen to get myself a mug a java and discovered that a cup had already been poured.  I leaned over the cup to see that my Valentine had hand-drawn a heart in cinnamon... my eyes welled up.  The Buddhists would tell me that this joy was in me all along.  They're right.  And yet, this small, brilliant gesture, illuminated my day.

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In celebration of the Chinese year of the Dragon, (and our own dragon baby), I couldn't resist this little number. 

The possibilities on what to make with coconut milk are simply endless.  The coconut milk in this recipe is truly worthwhile and tastes absolutely delicious.  I like to warm it up for that extra toe curl.

The handsome dragon fruit (or Pitaya) is native to Central America and cultivated in many Asian countries including China. Reminiscent of kiwi with its dark crunchy seeds embedded in the pulp, dragon fruit is sweet, fleshy and extremely cool with its fiery red skin and green scales. This exotic fruit has notable amounts of vitamin C, phosphorus and calcium. It should give slightly when gently squeezed for ripeness. 


Black Dragon Cereal
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 + 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1/2 dragon fruit, diced
  • Handful of nuts for topping

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Notes:

You can cook the rice in advance of eating this cereal.  Simply reheat in the morning.

If you are concerned about the calories in coconut milk, you can substitute part of the coconut milk with cow's milk, rice milk, almond milk or soy milk.  You can also cut the coconut milk with water if preferred.
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Serves 4

Cook rice on stove top according to package directions (generally 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice; allow water to boil and reduce to simmer for approximately 40 minutes).

In the meantime, warm coconut milk (or milk mixtures) in a small sturdy pot on stove.

Divide cooked rice among 4 bowls and top with warm coconut milk and diced mango and dragon fruit. Add nuts as desired.

Dragon Fruit

The interior of dragon fruit with crunchy black
seeds similar to kiwi in taste and texture

Slicing - or should I say slaying - the dragon



62 comments:

  1. Liking the Asian influence here... I'm still in two minds about dragon fruit, but this is a very pretty breakfast!

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  2. That's a beeyooteeful looking breakfast! I'm not a great fan of the dragon fruit. Doesn't really taste of anything. But I guess it works in this, with all the other lovely flavors.

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  3. Wow this cereal looks yummy. I have never seen or heard of dragon fruit but it does look interesting and you say it tastes like kiwi.. Where would one find such a fruit? Cool

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  4. Thanks Ping! Yes, I get that feedback on dragon fruit and I have tasted my share of duds. On the other hand, when you hit on a good one it is so incredibly juicy and flavourful. The one pictured was possibly the best I've tasted but agreed, hit and miss.

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  5. Hope you are feeling better soon!

    Thanks for that pic of how to slice a dragon fruit - I always make a huge mess of it!

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  6. Hi Suzi - I'm spoiled to have a local spot that brings in exotics but I have seen dragon fruit increasingly in every day grocery stores... I hope you can track it down.

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  7. I too would have shed a tear had my husband drew a heart in the cinnamon. What a sweetheart he must be.

    This breakfast sounds delicious! When I first read it I thought wow, it would take too long to make that for breakfast and then you mentioned doing it ahead which makes perfect sense. Dressing this with coconut milk, almonds and mango sound wonderful. I've never had or seen dragon fruit but I love kiwi. I'm guessing you would find it at the Asian markets - correct?

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I'm going to try it one morning in place of my usual oatmeal.

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  8. Hi Kelly, this reminds me of my favourite dessert in a Pho restaurant in Paris - they have wild rice with coconut milk, served hot, with a piece of "chinese flan" on top. It's really good, but I'd happily exchange the flan for fruit any day. I love your choice of fruits - mango (my favourite) and dragon fruit which I love to eat. Did you ever try the ones which are completely dark purple inside? I find if you're unlucky and get one which is too ripe it can taste a bit like cucumber, but if you land a good one they're so beautiful - crispy and fresh, delicately flavoured.

    Loving this recipe! :)

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  9. How fun! What a great looking breakfast!

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  10. mmmm i love this! wild rice would go so well with coconut milk and fruit. i would love to cook the wild rice in coconut milk too! :D

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  11. and you are right - it's the little gestures that illuminate any day :). hope you had a wonderful valetines!

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  12. Awwwwe, such a romantic! I love stuff like that...you can't buy that sentiment from Hallmark!
    My Mom was always bringing home things from the fruit and vegetable vendors that were mysteries when we were kids...she was unafraid to experiment! But sadly, dragon fruit was only available in the last 10 years or so, but I was introduced to them in our studio. Gorgeous to photograph and a very surprising and refreshing taste. This looks like a great afternoon snack.

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  13. Kelly this looks like an amazing breakfast and a nice way to wake up, with support from the people we love and who love us back. You put a smile on my face.

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  14. This looks delicious. I love warm, grain-based breakfasts. My grocery store carries dragon fruit, but I've never known what to do with them before. This looks like an excellent place to start. Thank you!

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  15. OMG,
    It must be awsome living @ your house, Kelly. X
    I want to come over cuz I want you to cook breakfast, lunch, & dinner for me!! HaaaaHa.

    Xx
    My Inner Chick http://myinnerchick.com

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  16. this looks so good i have to try it ,thanks for sharing

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  17. Awww....Kelly....now I am welling up! Honestly....it's the simplest, smallest gestures that mean so much to me. And how sweet this was! You have a good man there! I have never used Dragon Fruit and have no idea how it tastes...but it sure is stunning! What a lovely, heartwarming breakfast...though this could be any meal for me. Your picture should be in a magazine! I hope your boys and your pooch are on the mend! : )

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  18. Don't you hate those kinds of nights! Thanks for all the info on dragon fruit. They seem to be in season here at the moment and I keep staring at them at the greengrocer's but just walk on by as I'm not sure what to do with them. This has been really helpful!

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  19. Darn it! I commented this afternoon and it didn't show up. (I was using my phone - darn me for multi-tasking!) Anyway, I think I said something like I developed quite an affection for coconut in the past few weeks. ;) And cereal. Granola to be exact. And this cereal looks like another one that I would certainly enjoy. Now I just have to find a dragon fruit. Also...my toes curled at the thought of a cinnamon heart in coffee - totally romantic!!!! Great way to wake up in the morning. I just love it!

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  20. I've never had dragon fruit before and for some reason it's giving me pause lol. I don't know if I will like it lol. But, I have to try it to determine if I will so that I shall do :)

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  21. The cinnamon heart is so sweet :-) One of the most beautiful love messages I can imagine.
    With this gorgeous bowl you make me discover one more fruit! I admire it every time I go to buy shiso in an Asian grocery shop and always wonder what it looks like inside. You remember what was the result of your appetising photos with passion fruit? They are now a part of one of my favourite rum cocktails... I wonder if the dragon fruit will end up in a drink too ;-) Thank you for this discovery!

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  22. Hope you and your boys are all feeling better! How did you manage to come up with a beautiful breakfast when you had a crazy hectic morning and been up early with your boys? I have never tried dragon fruit, I see it at my local grocery store but next time I'll buy so the boys and I can try it and will let you know what we think. Have a great weekend!

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  23. Gorgeous! I'm going to have to try this. My usual breakfast is a banana and lactose free milk so this is a definite improvement. I love all of the flavors you have going on

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  24. It's hit and miss when it comes to dragon fruit and it's really difficult to tell until you actually taste (feel alone isn't enough). But when you hit on a good one, oh boy, it's GOOD...! ;-)

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  25. Cheers Laura ~

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  26. Thank you for your very thoughtful comment Vicki - I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try. Yes, Asian markets or corner stores stock dragon fruit and I have seen them now increasingly in general grocery stores.

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  27. Don't you just love coconut milk... honestly, I could swim in it. I have not tried the variety of dragon fruit you mention... it sounds very intriguing though; does it look the same on the exterior? (how do you identify it?)

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  28. Thank you Yummy!

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  29. Cooking it in coconut milk would be pretty wonderful too... thanks Junia.

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  30. Thanks Junia :) it was a great day!

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  31. Thanks Eva ~ even on no sleep my husband always manages to be such a level headed, kind and decent guy... how did i get so lucky...

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  32. Supportive indeed...thank you France - I'm glad the story made you smile :)

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  33. Thanks so much for dropping by to share Beth - it sounds like all the elements are in place so I hope you enjoy it if you give it a try :)

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  34. haha! Sounds lovely darling.

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  35. Thank you Angie! I hope you like it as much as we did.

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  36. You're too sweet Anne... you're right... it's always the small stuff - unexpected, unselfish gestures warm me up... thank you, as always, for your kind support - I'm glad you like the photo :)

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  37. hee.hee, they can make the day a little longer but that was the best darn coffee I've ever enjoyed! Wow, a dragon fruit in season... I don't know what that's like... ;-)

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  38. Phew! I thought you were just ignoring me ;-) Coconut seriously rocks... did you dig in to some fresh ones? My husband always says that the fresh coconut in Hawaii ruined him (he can't eat the approximates ;-). I'm happy the cinnamon heart made your toes curl (hee-hee), it sure turned my day around. Thank you Kristy.

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  39. haha, love your honesty Kay - if you like kiwi, I think you can safely try... and, if you hit on a good one, it might actually taste a bit like kiwi :)

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  40. Awww... thank you Sissi!! It was a beautiful moment... I'm looking forward to a new beverage concoction from you featuring dragon fruit coming soon! ;-)

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  41. Oh, hee.hee, no I didn't make this breakfast on that particular morning... my breakfast on this occasion was 10 cups of coffee.... (just kidding! :0). My boys just loved the idea of eating a 'dragon' the first time I brought it home... ;-)

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  42. Thanks Foodjaunts - it's really hearty and full of deliciousness without being heavy. Hope you like :)

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  43. Karen (Back Road Journal)February 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    What an incredible and interesting way to start the day.

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  44. I hope you and your family are feeling better. Love this beautiful breakfast cereal idea. I had dragon fruit in Hawaii for the first time a few summers ago and my kids and I love it.

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  45. this looks gorgeous!!!
    I have still not really used dragon fruit much, I need to try this breakfast...
    SO healthy and hearty...

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  46. What a sweet hubby you have! And this is such a unique cereal, love it! In fact I love everything about it...a must try!
    Hope you are enjoying your weekend :)

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  47. I hope everyone is feeling better but seriously, how sweet was your valentine! :P This bowl looks delicious. I can't ever seem to find dragonfruit anywhere but I wish I could to make this!

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  48. Thanks Karen ~ I would eat this any time of day :)

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  49. Hawaii sounds like a pretty wonderful place to experience dragon fruit for the first time...

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  50. Thanks Reem ~ I appreciate you stopping by :)

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  51. He is indeed pretty wonderful. Thanks Magic of Spice ~

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  52. About as sweet as they get and besides, he's even willing to put up with the likes of me! ;0) I hope you come across the dragon soon....

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  53. Yep - fresh coconut is amazing! So is the fresh pineapple and papaya. :) We're using those fruits in a Hawaiian dish tomorrow - your hubs is right, it's just not the same from the grocery store. I have no doubt it will take me back though. ;)

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  54. That is so ridiculously sweet! I kind of like the idea that happiness is already inside us... such beautiful shots Kelly!

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  55. sorry I'm behind and only just getting to read this blog post! Your hubby sounds very sweet :) So cute you still surprise each other with thoughtful gestures.
    This rice sounds like a delicious way to start the day.

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  56. Dragon fruit is such a beautiful fruit to look at. I usually eat it by itself and never prepared this way (or even combine with other ingredients). What a creative way to eat it. I'm a dragon baby but didn't even celebrated special while some of my friends are trying so hard to get a dragon baby. ;-)

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  57. What a very unique cereal! I've never had dragonfruit but have always thought it to be a beautiful fruit inside and out. Perfect Vday breakfast and a breakfast any day of the week!

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  58. I like it too Jen... thanks for your kind words :)

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  59. It's all about the small stuff after all ;-)

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  60. We didn't plan our dragon baby but we'

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  61. The coconut milk works really well with the flavours here ~ makes it a different experience all together. Thanks MJ.

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  62. That's a good question :p I think they're different varieties - they might even come from different regions, but they look identical. I bought two once in a store. One was "regular" and one was the deep purpley/red flesh. You can read more about them here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hylocereus_costaricensis

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Thank you for your feedback - it's wonderful to hear from you!