Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Best Rice Pudding Ever!

One particular dish (other than mac and cheese) comes to mind when I'm thinking comfort food:  Rice Pudding! Oh, yes! Sweet, rich, creamy and oh-so-soothing, rice pudding does the trick every time.

In a perfect world, we would just go after what we really want instead of using food as a temporary quick fix. That's sort of unrealistic. I don't think we should depend on food for comfort (this is how we build unhealthy relationships with food), but sometimes we just get nostalgic for Grandma's home cooking.  Every grandmother has a recipe for rice pudding, probably handed down through generations. My grandmother sure did. She also had rocking recipes for homemade coconut custard pie, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, potato salad drenched in mayo.......

I am not a big sweet-eater, but I've been known to cave to a dish of homemade rice pudding. Served warm and topped with freshly ground cinnamon, each spoonful transports me back in time to Grandma's kitchen. Now that I am Vegan, rice pudding is big no-no. It's made with milk or cream and those are now forbidden. The thought of rice pudding made from soy milk really turns me off.  It could never taste the same or provide the same rich and creamy consistency I crave every once in awhile.

I came across an old book I haven't read in years: Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. It's a cook-book for hungry girls who want to stop eating crap! Every recipe is made without animal products. I can't believe I forgot about this book and as I flipped through its pages, I found this recipe for rice pudding: no milk, no cream, and no sugar!  REALLY?!!

I cooked up a batch last night and it was absolutely delicious. JACKPOT!!! Guiltless comfort food just like Grandma used to make expect much healthier and tasty enough to serve to guests, even die-hard dairy devotees and carnivores.

Skinny Bitch Rice Pudding
(serves 4 - 6)
2 cups soy creamer OR one 13.5 oz can coconut milk plus 1/3 cup water) I used the coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cup medium-grain brown rice
pinch fine sea salt
2/3 cup raisins ( I like golden raisins in rice pudding but it's your choice)
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a 2 quart saucepan over high heat, combine 1 cup of the the creamer of coconut milk mixture, the water, rice, and salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until water is absorbed and the rice is almost tender, about 40 minutes.

Stir in the remaining soy or coconut milk mixture, the raisins, agave, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until raisins are plump and rice is tender, about 5 minutes. 

Spoon the pudding into bowls and let cool.  Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate for about an hour before serving chilled. 

If the pudding seems too thick, which can be the case if served chilled, you stir in a little soy milk or creamer.

I can't even begin to tell you how Cynfully Good this is!!!!

And....if you are a hungry girl or guy who wants to stop cooking crap, check out Skinny Bitch in the Kitch!

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