Coconut Kale with Turmeric Rice | @naturallyella

For many years, I avoided turmeric. There was an accident in one of our early rental houses that left a counter completely stained thanks to a turmeric spill. From that day, I was a bit frightened to use it. I didn’t want to do any more damage. Of course, times change and it’s become a staple ingredient for me. It’s in all my curries, grain bakes, and especially this turmeric rice. Turmeric has a unique flavor and can add such a color to dishes (as probably evident in the rice above). If you’ve never tried turmeric as a main ingredient, I recommend starting off with 1/2 teaspoon and increasing as desired. For these particular photos, I added upwards of two teaspoons.


Coconut Kale with Turmeric Rice

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Cuisine: dinner


A filling vegan dinner with two of my favorite components: easy turmeric brown rice and rich, coconut-creamed kale. Perfect for dinner or even breakfast.


Turmeric Rice:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste


  • 1 bunch (8 ounces) lacinato kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • salt, to taste
  • Toasted Cashews, for topping
  • Toasted Coconut Flakes, for topping


  1. Heat a medium sized pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Stir in the ginger, cooking for one minute. Next, add in the rice and turmeric, toasting for one more minute. Measure in 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 35 to 40 minutes, until the majority of liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Prepare the kale by removing the stems and cutting the leaves into 1/4 inch strips. Towards the end of the rice being ready, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, wide pot. Add in the garlic, cooking for roughly a minute. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat with the garlic. Add in 1/2 cup vegetable broth, cover, and let kale cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in the coconut milk and continue to cook greens until tender, roughly 3 to 5 minutes more. Taste and add salt as needed.
  4. Serve greens over a large scoop of turmeric rice and top with toasted cashews and coconut.


Tips & Tricks: As mentioned in the recipe above, let your grains sit, off heat, after cooking. This helps keep them intact so your grains are nice and fluffy and not sticky.

I use full-fat coconut milk found in the can. I like to transfer the coconut milk to a sealed container and shake well to blend together.  

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: turmeric, brown rice, cashews

Nutrition: See the information


  • Calories: 689
  • Sugar: 3.7
  • Sodium: 96.6
  • Fat: 33.1
  • Carbohydrates: 90.2
  • Fiber: 8.3
  • Protein: 14.5
  • Cholesterol: 0

Turmeric Rice


What I love most about this meal is that the variations are endless while the flavor profiles stay the same. You could mix up the greens, change out the grain, and add protein, completely changing the meal. All while keeping the coconut and turmeric flavors.

Protein: My favorite thing to do is toss in chickpeas with the kale but other legumes or tofu would work, too.

Greens: Chard and collards are the best greens to replace the kale as they stand up to the heat just as well.

Grains: I love brown rice but it takes a bit of time to cook. Turmeric works beautifully with millet and cuts the cooking time in half.