Chicken Satay with Coconut and Mango Jasmine Rice


It only takes a few key ingredients added to rice to maximize flavor and leave a lasting impression. ~ by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

Chicken Satay with Coconut and Mango Jasmine Rice

Disclosure:  By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

March is a special month. It’s the month my colleagues and I get a little crazy… no I’m not talking March madness, I’m talking National Nutrition Month. Whoot! Whoot! Our theme this year incorporates food and behavior

Bite into a healthy lifestyle.

 Here’s my first suggestion for an improved lifestyle:

Think U.S.- Grown Rice!

Yep, that’s it. No need to make this complicated.  Rice is  nutritious, sustainable, safe, locally-grown, and GMO-free! ( Look for the “Grown in the USA Rice” label on packaging.) Rice is also gluten free and the least allergenic of all grains, making it a great option for individuals with gluten sensitivity  or intolerance.  It’s  so  versatile and  pairs well with the foods we all need to be eating more of: fruits, vegetables and lean protein. I’m  smitten with the  nutty taste of brown rice (especially in my  Brown Rice and Pumpkin Risotto).  Studies link whole grains, such as brown rice, to a reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even some cancers. The rest of my family prefers white enriched rice (in dishes like my Copycat Ginger-Seasame Braised Chicken Meatballs). Here’s the good news: brown rice and white enriched rice are a desirable part of a healthy diet! Both are naturally low in sodium, cholesterol free, trans fat free, and contain only a trace of fat.

If I still haven’t convinced you to think U.S.- grown rice,  let me ask you this, ….  “faster is better, right?”  So for a fast, casual meal, use rice as the base and top with lean protein such as: chicken, fish and/or seafood, lean beef, eggs, low fat cheese, or beans (for a high quality plant based protein).   Today I’m using jasmine rice (my daughter’s favorite variety) to start the foundation of a meal that takes 30 minutes to prep and cook (not including marinating the chicken).  My inspiration for this dish came when I purchased some dried mango on my weekly trip to  Trader Joe’s. Here are the ingredients I used to  make the coconut and mango jasmine rice my family is still raving about…

ingredients for Coconut and Mango Jasmine Rice

 Dried mango gives the rice a little sweetness. Peanuts and coconut add a satisfying crunch.  Topping it off with chicken satay complements the tastes and results in a meal  that’s packed with protein, affordable, flavorful, and  worthy of a special occasion. Now that’s a real slam dunk!

IMG_1404Be sure to see the links at the bottom of my post for more ways to think U.S.-grown rice during National Nutrition Month and beyond.

Chicken Satay with Coconut and Mango Jasmine RiceChicken Satay with Coconut & Mango Jasmine Rice (serves 4)

by Diane Boyd


  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Supplies: bambo skewers

for the coconut & mango jasmine rice

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked U.S.-Grown Jasmine Rice
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried mango
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut flakes*


1. Soak bambo skewers in water while prepping ingredients.

2. Add ingredients peanut butter through garlic into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Reserve 3/4 of sauce for serving and use remainder to marinate chicken tenders for about 2 hours.

3. Preheat grill to medium high.

4. Thread  chicken onto skewers .

5. When grill is hot, (400 degrees F) place chicken on grill rack and grill 6-8 minutes per side or until chicken is beautifully charred.  Garnish chicken with green onion.

for the jasmine rice

1. In a medium saucepan, bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil. Stir in jasmine rice; return to boil, stirring once. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender.

2. Stir in dried mango, peanuts, and lime zest. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Serve chicken over a mound of rice with remaining peanut sauce on the side.

* TO TOAST COCONUT:  Spread coconut flakes onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring often.

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California Dairy Delicious: Inside Out Cannoli with a Twist of Lime

Inside Out Cannoli with a Twist of LimeInside Out Cannoli with a Twist of Lime


I received a gift card to offset the expense of my ingredients. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Milk Advisory Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Don’t tell Mom! Has your family ever pulled that one?  S0me of the best stories actually start like this. Like the time I was enjoying a meal at a local restaurant and never realized I was sitting next to funny man Danny McBride. Ok, so I was focused on the food; and for good reason.  I was enjoying the world’s most luscious lime ice cream!  And ever since that night, it’s been my life’s goal to recreate something as delectable.

Finally, I believe I have  realized my aspiration. I have thought long and hard about the best time to roll this one out, and the time is right, because this week the Recipe Redux is showing you how easy it is to enjoy the taste of eating right when you include California dairy products. The California Milk  Advisory Board (which represents over 1500 dairy families) and their nutrition partner, the Dairy Council of California, is celebrating “dairy good”.  Dairy plays a vital role in contributing to an overall healthy diet and we want to encourage everyone to adopt  healthy eating habits that include dairy!

Enjoying California dairy foods with meals is a delicious and inexpensive way to meet daily protein needs necessary for maintaining or increasing skeletal muscle mass, and improving body composition (increasing skeletal muscle and decreasing body fat). Dairy with meals helps meet the requirements for important nutrients many Americans are lacking: calcium, potassium and vitamin D. Given the multiple benefits of dairy, it should not surprise you, the recommendations are for 3 servings daily. You can read more about the health benefits of dairy at and about the higher nutritional standards in milk/dairy produced in California at

Real California milk and dairy products are sold nationwide and can be identified with the Real California Milk or Real California Cheese seals on packaging.


Today I ‘m thrilled to  show you how easy it is to to lighten up one of my  favorite dairy desserts (the cannoli) with real California dairy. Easy as in, it  takes 20 minutes to make (30 minutes to chill)  and it’s no cook. Traditionally, this Italian dessert is made with a pastry shell (often fried) that’s stuffed with a mouse like filling (usually made with ricotta cheese, heavy cream, and sugar). A light version can be made by simply swapping full fat ricotta cheese for California reduced fat ricotta cheese and eliminating the fried shell. Oh, and  about the lime ice cream that had me ‘ice cream absorbed’ and was this recipe’s inspiration; I’m drizzling the ricotta mouse with a fresh lime sauce and serving it  ‘inside out’ with crisp wafer cookies. Please note: YOU can lighten up any dairy recipe by substituting all or half of the full fat dairy ingredient with  a reduced fat or fat free dairy ingredient. This WILL MAINTAIN THE  NUTRITIONAL PROFILE AND BENEFITS of DAIRY  (without the fat)Note: using dairy alternatives or substitutes  will not deliver the same nutrients found in dairy.

California dairy products are both nutritious and delicious on their own, and can be used as  ingredients in a myraid of recipes, from sweet to savory. Please check out the bottom of this post for more light California dairy delicious ideas!

What dairy recipe will you lighten up with California dairy?

Inside Out Cannoli with a Twist of Lime

Inside Out Cannoli with a Twist of Lime (serves 4)

by Diane Boyd


  • 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup California heavy cream
  • 1 cup California reduced fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • finely grated zest of 1/2 lime
  • chopped pistachios, for topping
  • plain crisp wafer cookies, for serving


1. Stir fresh lime juice into sweetened condensed milk and set aside.

2. Combine ricotta, confectioners’ sugar, and lime zest in a large bowl and beat with an elcetric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.

3. Pour heavy cream into another bowl and beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. (Test the stiffness by pulling a beater out of the cream. The whipped cream should hold its shape and cling to the beater.)

4. Fold one third of the whipped cream into ricotta mixture with a rubber spatula until combined and uniform. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream.

5. Spread half of the ricotta mousse into a pie plate or loaf pan. Drizzle with half of the lime sauce. Repeat with remaining ricotta mousse and lime sauce. Chill, uncovered 30 minutes or up to overnight.

6. Spoon ricotta mousse mixture into cups or bowls and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve with crisp wafer cookies on the side.

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