Rice Pudding Chris Traeger Would Love

If you want to skip ahead to the actual recipe, no hard feelings. I do that, too. However, if you’re the sort of person who appreciates context, here are some words. In English, for your convenience.

I’ve never liked rice pudding. My mother would make it when I was a kid and it always creeped me right the fuck out. It’s gooey/soggy, overly sweet and it has raisins in. And when made in a traditional manner (that is to say white rice, white sugar, whole milk, egg), it’s nothing but carbs, sugar, fat and completely processed junk. I wanted to change that.

Today, it’s been cold, rainy and overcast in LA. This meant I was 1. craving something cozy and 2. not willing to walk to the grocery store. I had the exciting ingredients of pumpkin puree, fresh raspberries and cream cheese leftover from making my birdle cupcakes a couple of days ago. After much consideration of how to squish these things together, I decided that if rice is involved, I could call it dinner and pretend to be a grown up(ish). The result was characteristically ugly, as rice pudding is wont to be, but also cozy, creamy and sophisticatedly sweet. Here we go!

1/2 c forbidden rice, uncooked
1 1/2 c unsweetened coconut milk (I use So Delicious–the green box)
1/3 c agave nectar
6 oz pumpkin puree
6 oz fresh raspberries
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon

Step one is always pour yourself a drink. At least, it is in my kitchen. If possible, you should schedule enough time to properly enjoy the cooking process. Even if you’re rushed, take some time to enjoy the creation of your dinner/snack/dessert.

Cook the rice: bring the uncooked rice and 1c of (preferably filtered) water to a boil. As soon as it boils, cover the pot and turn down the heat to low. Allow to cook for about 45 minutes, checking the moisture level here and there. If it gets sizzly and the rice sticks to the pan, just add a little more water and cover it back up.

Chill for 20 minutes. You could use this time to watch one episode of a sitcom, write a kind note to a pal you’ve been fondly remembering but haven’t spoken to in a while, or make a donation to http://www.kiva.org and find a group you want to support. There are many options.

Make the pudding: Heat the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan. You want the liquid to simmer gently, not boil. The reason you don’t need an egg will become apparent during this step as the coconut milk thickens. This should simmer with regular stirring for 15 minutes. By the way, the raspberries will explode. And it will be awesome. Not as awesome as when cranberries explode but we can get to that in a different post. Just don’t be afraid when the berries fall apart.

After 15 minutes, the rice should be done also. Tump that rice right on into the pudding mixture and stir until it all looks uniform. Here’s the hardest part: let it sit for about ten minutes. I know. I KNOW. But trust me, it will thicken a bit as it cools and transform from a sad, orangeish soup disaster to a creamy, orangeish yummy pudding.

And there you go!! Black rice is a whole grain. A good general rule is the darker the rice, the better it is for you. That’s an oversimplification but a general rule of thumb. Coconut milk is very fatty but it’s a “good fat” which means it’s good for you skin, hair, heart and mood! Here’s more information from the BBC. I’m sure you’ve heard of the evils of white, processed sugar. Even The Simpsons covered this territory 12 years ago in “Sweets and Sour Marge”. There’s a lot of differing information on agave. Yes, it’s natural but it’s also processed. It has more calories than white sugar but you use way less of it. Hhhhhhhhhh whatevs. It’s fructose instead of sucrose so it won’t make your blood sugar spike as quickly and it’s easier for your diabetic friends to handle. Do you even know how good pumpkin is for you? It has ALL OF THE VITAMIN A and a bunch of fiber. Here’s a bunch of science numbers to illustrate.

So the long and short of it is, this is a less gelatinous, more healthful, fun and ugly rice pudding. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for visiting my kitchen x


A Welcome Note

Hiya! And welcome to my shiny, new blog!

You may know that I used to have a wee catering business called Sophia’s Place. Under this name, I fed residents of Jackson, MS the most delicious treats I could think of. Sometimes, this meant very standard things like vanilla cake with chocolate frosting. But, more often than not, I created provocative, unusual and sometimes zany treats. My favorite is still the beet cupcake with an apricot&local honey glaze. My most unexpected cupcake was arguably the cucumber, mango and cayenne cupcake topped with a tofu&brown sugar buttercream. Just trust me on that one. It totally worked.

Eating delicious food is important, obviously. But I think our first priority should be knowing what we’re eating and where our food comes from. This can be a daunting task at times. It can also involve learning very disappointing information. That’s just part of the process, though! Remember what G.I. Joe taught us, knowing is half the battle. I personally keep a vegetarian diet so most (if not all) of the recipes you find here will be vegetarian. Let me say now that vegetarianism is my choice FOR MYSELF and I am not here to convert anyone to anything. I will encourage you to try the recipes as written, though. At least once 🙂

The purpose of this blog is to encourage mindful, healthful, fully-enjoyable eating experiences. Just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it’s gross. And just because something tastes rich and delicious doesn’t mean it’s automatically bad for you. Eating should be a full experience, not just consumption of energy. So let’s create an experience together! Thanks for visiting my kitchen x